Tax tribunal alleges Airtel evaded customs duty, asks to pay $125 million

Telecom Lead India: India’s leading service provider Bharti Airtel has
been ordered by a tax tribunal to pay more than $125 million for customs
duty evasion.


The service provider has been asked to pay custom duty
under a Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) order.


The Hindu Business Line reported that the total amount
due includes differential duty liability of Rs 215.51 crore, apart from a
similar amount of penalty and a redemption fine of Rs 189 crore for confiscated


The tax tribunal has alleged that Airtel has divided the
value of its telecom equipment imports into hardware and software category,
which led to the undervaluation of the imported goods.


The case has its roots in the year 2004, when the
authorities conducted searches at Bharti’s Bangalore office.


The report said the case against Airtel was over
undervaluation of the imported goods and non-inclusion of the value of software
in the imported goods.


Meanwhile, the service provider has the option to appeal
the tribunal’s order at the country’s Supreme Court.


The company’s spokesman has told Reuters that the company
was yet to receive a copy of the tribunal order.


Bharti Airtel to move court against Rs 1,067 crore tax notice
over its foreign operations


Earlier, Tax department has sent notice to Airtel to pay
Rs 1,067 crore. The income tax department served a demand notice of Rs. 1067 on
Bharti Airtel for non-payment of TDS dues in the last four financial years on
its overseas operations.


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