The Tax Information Network of the Income Tax Department has recently released the 'refund status' between the assessment year of 2001-02 and 2017-18, providing with a few interesting facts associated with some of the top most politicians of our country which you may like to know. The Tax Information Network, managed by NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Limited, permits to check the refund status on its platform with an individual's PAN (Permanent Account Number), which has been sourced from the election affidavits filed by the political leaders for the Lok Sabha polls 2019.
Going by the online status, shared by the tax collection body, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has received income tax refunds at least five times in the last 18 years, while Congress chief Rahul Gandhi got six refunds during the period. Besides, the refunds for assessment years 2015-16 and 2012-13 got "adjusted against outstanding demand" in case of Modi, while it was the case for Gandhi in assessment year 2011-12.
While the portal does not disclose the amount of the refund, it mentions the date of the refund or adjustment, the challan sequence number and the mode of payment (cheque or direct credit), among other details.
As per the 'refund status' records, Modi got his refund for the assessment year 2018-19 through 'direct credit' to his account on September 26, 2018. The refund for the same year took place on October 6, 2018 for Sonia Gandhi and on March 26, 2019 for Rahul Gandhi.
Modi got the refund for assessment year 2016-17 on August 16, 2016 through direct credit and through 'refund cheque' for 2013-14 on January 7, 2015, for 2010-11 on January 9, 2015 and for 2006-07 on October 11, 2007. For assessment years 2015-16 and 2012-13, his refund got "adjusted against outstanding demand". Modi became Prime Minister in May 2014.
In case of Rahul Gandhi, his refund for assessment year 2011-12 got "adjusted against outstanding demand" on February 1, 2012, while he also got a refund cheque for the same year a few days later on February 13, 2012. His other refunds relate to assessment years 2017-18, 2016-17, 2012-13 and 2007-08.
In a related note, the Congress chief, in his election affidavits for Lok Sabha polls 2019 disclosed that the Income Tax Department has initiated reassessment proceedings against him for the assessment year 2011-12 and has passed reassessment order, dated December 31, 2018, raising demand. The Gandhi scion, however, has added that the said proceedings are under challenge before the Supreme Court.
In his affidavit, Gandhi has declared total income (as shown in income tax returns) of over Rs 1.11 crore for financial year 2017-18 (up from Rs 1.03 crore in 2013-14).
PM Modi, in his affidavit for General Elections 2019, declared total income of Rs 19.92 lakh for the financial year 2017-18, up from Rs 9.69 lakh in 2013-14. There are no "income tax dues" pending against him, as per Modi's election affidavit filed for Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency.
Listing his assets in the affidavit, Modi under the sub-head 'value of claims/interest' mentioned Rs 85,145 as tax deducted at source (TDS) for financial year 2018-19.
Moving on to other politicians, Rahul Gandhi's mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi has also received at least five refunds since the assessment year 2001-02, but there is no adjustment against any outstanding demand for her in this time period. Just like her son Rahul, the former Congress chief also raised the issue of reassessment proceedings, initiated by the I-T dept for the year 2011-12.
In her election affidavit filed for Raibareli parliamentary constituency, Sonia's total income is Rs 9.6 lakh for the FY 2017-13, down from Rs 17.6 lakh in 2013-14. Sonia Gandhi's refunds relate to assessment years 2016-17, 2012-13, 2008-09 and 2007-08, besides 2018-19.
On the other hand, BJP chief Amit Shah's income tax refund got "adjusted against outstanding demand" for the assessment year 2015-16. The TIN-NSDL records do not show any other refund for him in the last 18 years.
(With inputs from PTI)