BBC survey continues, likely to drag to 3rd day

According to sources in the tax department, the survey is likely to continue on Thursday.

Published: 16th February 2023 07:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th February 2023 07:24 AM   |  A+A-

Security personnel close the gate of BBC office on the second day of Income Tax Department's survey operation, conducted as part of a tax evasion investigation, at KG Marg in New Delhi on Feb 15. (PTI

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Tax sleuths continued their survey on four premises of the BBC for the second day on Wednesday, over the British media outlet’s alleged diversion of profits by violating India’s transfer-pricing rules (TPR) to avoid tax.

Hindu Sena activists stage a protest outside the BBC office amid the IT Department's survey operation, at KG Marg in New Delhi, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023. (PTI)

According to sources in the tax department, the survey is likely to continue on Thursday. It may extend further depending on when the officials, who are poring over the financial records of the company, will complete information gathering. 

The survey was initiated to assess suspected tax evasion and its quantum by the broadcasting company’s division in India, which had allegedly shown expenditures that were never incurred. Sources said officials are perusing documents related to accounts that date as many as 10 years back.

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The focus of the survey is to look into manipulation of prices for unauthorised benefits, including tax advantages. TPR is applicable to firms operating in multiple global locations. Profits generated by offices of different countries come under the ambit of tax laws of the country of operations. 

Reactions to taxmen’s  action against BBC continued on Wednesday, Indirectly referring to the BBC documentary on Modi, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar warned against falling for ‘doctored narratives’ aimed at running down India’s growth story. Urging people to be vigilant about such tendencies, he said:

“Now, if an India is on the rise, sinister designs are there to set afloat a narrative by free fall of information. We have to be alert. This dumping of information is another way of invasion. We have to boldly neutralise it.”

Also Read:UK government 'closely monitoring' as BBC tax 'enquiries' in India continue

When asked for reaction, US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price told reporters that the US “is aware” of the survey operation at BBC offices by Indian tax authorities but is not in a position to offer its judgement. The US supports the importance of free press around the world, he added. 

It’s political vendetta, says Didi
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday alleged the tax department’s survey on BBC offices is the BJP-led central government’s ‘political vendetta’

Who said what on 'BBC I-T survey':

'Intimidation tactics, heights of dictatorship': Opposition parties on BBC I-T 'survey'

BBC's reporting 'venomous', allow I-T dept to do its job: BJP on Tax 'survey'

UK government 'closely monitoring' as BBC tax 'enquiries' in India continue

US says it supports free press, freedom of expression globally

Editors Guild 'deeply concerned' about I-T survey at BBC offices


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