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Broke Kingfisher even retains tax cut from its staff, they get IT notices
November, 28th 2011

Such was the financial mismanagement at the cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines that it did not deposit tax deducted from employees salaries amounting to Rs 422 crore over the last couple of years with the Income Tax authorities. The company failed to meet its obligations amounting to Rs 15 crore towards employees provident fund, service tax and fringe benefit dues too.

While the companys March 2011 annual report acknowledges the dues owned by it to the tax department, its employees came to know of this only recently when the income tax department sent them notices raising tax demands, in certain cases up to Rs 80 lakh, after they filed for a tax refund.

A Delhi-based aircraft maintenance engineer employed with Kingfisher Airlines till 2009 received a shock when he came to know that the airline did not deposit TDS. Now I get an intimation from the income tax department... through which an amount of Rs 2,88,480 has been demanded from me, he wrote in a complaint to the IT authorities, after he failed to get a response from the airlines personnel department.

Confirming the receipt of complaints from Kingfisher employees, top IT officials said the airline would soon be served a notice. We suspect there may be several such cases, said a Bangalore-based IT official, adding that apart from penalties, the defaulter could also be jailed.

An airline spokesperson declined to comment, and a questionnaire sent by The Indian Express remained unanswered for two weeks.

According to the companys annual report 2010-11, amounts payable from 2008-09 onwards in respect of tax deducted at source amounted to Rs 422.97 crore. Besides TDS, provident fund of Rs 43.80 lakh, service tax of Rs 10.47 crore and fringe benefit tax of Rs 4.50 crore were outstanding for a period of more than six months.

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