• Friday, April 19, 2024


BBC admits to under-reporting income in India: reports

Broadcaster says it is fully cooperating with Indian authorities

The BBC says it takes its tax obligations seriously. (iStock)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

THE BBC has “informally” admitted to having under-reported its income in India and paid less tax than its actual obligation, media reports said on Tuesday (6).

Tax authorities had surveyed the corporation’s offices in New Delhi and Mumbai in February, weeks after the broadcaster aired a documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s actions during deadly sectarian riots in Gujarat in 2002 when he was the state’s chief minister.

The government blocked videos and tweets sharing links to the documentary, which it called “hostile propaganda” targeting India. The controversial documentary was aired only in the UK.

On Tuesday (6), the Hindustan Times reported that the BBC sent an email to the Central Board of Direct Taxes, stating it had under-reported about ₹400 million (£3.91m) of income in its tax returns.

The corporation should file a revised return to demonstrate its seriousness as the email had no legal sanctity, a tax official told the newspaper.

He said the income tax department would continue to take action on the London-based broadcaster until “the matter is taken to the logical conclusion”.

The BBC, however, said it “is cooperating fully with the Indian tax authorities’ enquiries and will continue to do so.”

“The process is ongoing and will take time to conclude,” its spokesperson told Eastern Eye on Tuesday, adding that the media house “takes its tax obligations very seriously.”

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