Indian Income Tax Authorities survey’s BBC regional offices

Indian Income Tax Authorities survey’s BBC regional offices, search to continue till next day

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New Delhi, India: The Indian Authorities conducted a robust and vigilant survey on the regional office of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) to monitor the companies’ deliberate non-compliance with the Transfer Pricing Rules and its vast diversion of profits.

The authorities have termed this exercise a ‘survey’ but not a search/raid as per the provisions of the Income Tax Act. It also clarified that such surveys are conducted by government-owned firms to check the smoothing running, and it should not be confused by the nature of search/raid.

With the above-mentioned rules, there has been persistent non-compliance in the case of the news broadcasting website for many years. Because of all this, several notices have been issued to the BBC. However, the BBC has been continuously defiant and non-compliant and has significantly diverted its profits.

According to the Indian authorities, the prime focus of the conducted survey was to look into price manipulation for unauthorised benefits, such as tax advantages. BBC’s persistent non-compliance with the norms is the reason for these surveys, making the organisation a repeat offender.

As per the sources, BBC has been

a. Non-compliance with transfer pricing regulations
b. Frequent and deliberate breaches of transfer pricing standards; and
c. Deliberately diverted a major portion of the income, and they did not allocate the profits according to an arm’s length agreement.

Accordingly, the survey will be conducted till midnight, and the authorities have seized phones and laptops. The reports have suggested that it is expected that the survey will continue till the next day (February 15, 2023), and the search will be conducted the whole night. It has been revealed by the sources that the authorities of the Income Tax have been checking all the accounting details dating back to 2012.

While updating about the situation at the BBC offices in New Delhi and Mumbai, BBC tweeted, “The Income Tax Authorities of India has been currently at our offices, and our team is fully cooperating. We hope that this situation will be resolved ASAP.”