New Delhi: The final tax assessment of the trusts associated to yoga guru Baba Ramdev by the Revenue department has begun after the officials of the Income Tax Department and the Service Tax Department conducted probes on these trusts to check on alleged tax evasion.
There were notices issued by the Income tax as well as the Service tax department which are now being contested by Ramdev. "An inquiry has been initiated to ascertain the Service Tax liability on Ramdev's trusts. Prima facie, there were some commercial activities like sale of coupons to participate in yoga camps and sales of products (claimed to be of medicinal use) by Patanjali Yoga Peeth run by him. The department is assessing them," as per sources.
The officials are collecting information that include the source of money that is used for conducting various programmes. As per Ramdev's spokesperson SK Tijarawala, the trusts are involved in charitable activities and thus are exempted from paying tax. "We will cooperate with all the agencies in their probe. We do not have anything to hide. Yoga camps are barred from paying service tax as they are meant for providing medical relief to the people," he informed.
Earlier this year in May, the income tax department with regards to the selling of ayurvedic medicine has already issued a notice of Rs 58 crore.
Now as per sources the Service Tax department has raised a demand of around 5 crore on the yog shivirs
organised by these trusts. "The DGCEI will also seek details of various activities done by Ramdev's trusts. A letter in this regard may be issued soon," the source said.
A notice has already been issued by the Service tax department to Patanjali Yoga Peeth for sale of entry coupons for yoga camps.