New Delhi: Some 300
Indian political parties have never filed their income tax
returns, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has told the
Election Commission, official sources said Sunday.
The CBDT investigated the financial transactions of these 300
parties, mostly politically insignificant, after it was asked by
the poll panel to probe if these parties were involved in
violations of tax laws or engaged in money laundering, official
After receiving the report, the Election Commission has now asked
the tax panel to initiate proceedings against these parties,
spread over 13 states including West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, as
also the northeast.
These political parties are being seen as a cover to escape taxes
as money donated to political parties is exempt of tax.
In the course of the income tax proceedings, these parties would
be asked to show cause why they did not file statutory tax returns
and what their sources of funds are. An adverse finding by the tax
department could lead to the registration of these political
parties being cancelled.
Under the law, all the political parties are obliged to file their
annual returns showing the sources of funds received by them and
Chief Election Commissioner Y.S. Quraishi had recently noted that
75 percent of registered political parties in the country have
never contested an election.