The election commission has asked the Central Board of Direct Taxes to withdraw tax exemption benefits to 10 political parties as they failed to submit the mandatory expenditure contribution reports on time to the poll panel.
EC has asked CBDT to take action against the defaulting parties under provisions of section 29C (declaration of donation received by the parties) of the Representation of the People Act in consonance with income-tax laws.
They were expected to file contribution and donation receipt reports for 2012-13 by September 30, 2013. But they defaulted in submitting the records to the commission by an average of one-five months.
The defaulting parties included Nagrik Ekta Party, Dharamrajya Paksh, Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist), Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party, Sunder Samaj Party, Loktantrik Manavtawadi Party, Rastriya Mahila Janshakti Party and Indian People Green Party. Though RMJP filed the report on time, but the poll panel found some discrepancies in the records and referred it to CBDT.
The contribution reco-rds of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha for fiscals 2006 to 2012 were received well beyond the deadline on December 16, 2013. The other party, Rashtriya Nowjawan Dal, filed its reports for fiscals 2010-11 and 2011-12 on November 19, 2013. Sources said CBDT was aware that some other smaller parties have not even furnished the data till now to EC.
“It is pertinent to mention that under subsection (3) and (4) of section 29C of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 only those registered political parties are entitled to tax exemption who have filed their contribution report in form 24A prescribed under rule 85B of conduct of election rules, 1961 before the due date for furnishing a return of income of that financial year,” EC wrote to CBDT.
The commission asked CBDT to acknowledge the receipt of letter and keep EC informed of action taken.
Under section 29C of the RP Act, it is mandatory for all registered political parties to submit a contribution report of all the donations and funds received by it in a year from individuals or any other entity.
Under the latest communication to CBDT, the commission has reported instances of parties that have not submitted details of their contributions of over Rs 20,000 for 2012-13 and past periods.
Sources said while parties like Congress, Aaam Admi Party (AAP) and Trinamool Congress complied with EC directives and sent their reports on time, BJP sent its report on March 26. Over half-a-dozen smaller parties are yet to submit their reports.
The income tax department will now initiate proceedings under the provisions of Income Tax Act 1961 (43 of 1961) in this case and after issue of summons, it will seek to tax the entire donations amount received by these parties.