Aviation News

10 foreign airlines questioned by DGGI over alleged tax evasion charges, ET Infra


Executives of at least ten prominent foreign airlines including British Airways, Etihad, Thai Airways and Qatar Airways been questioned by the Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) over allegations of tax evasion which have run into hundreds of crores of rupees, TOI reported on Sunday.

The DGGI has questioned these executives over allegations of these carriers’ booking expenditure related to their India operations with their overseas head offices in the last month.

Citing sources, TOI reported that the DGGI has requested documentation from these airlines covering every expense incurred by the international carriers for their operations in India. This may include aircraft leasing, crew and ground staff costs, fuel for the aircraft, and any additional maintenance or repair expenses.

For the first time, Indian authorities have requested that international airlines report all of their expenses relating to India and pay taxes for services provided here under the new GST regime. For international shipping lines and carriers doing business in India, this expense might reach millions of dollars.

Six airlines’ finance managers have recorded their statements with DGGI, including British Airways, Etihad, Thai Airways, and Qatar Airways. These executives are in charge of matters relating to accounting and tax compliance for their activities in India.

Executives from Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Emirates, Oman Airlines and several others have reportedly not yet responded despite having outstanding summons. Meanwhile, several airlines, like Emirates, have been given another date to come in for interrogation, but several others have asked for an extension since they are still compiling the necessary documentation from their head office.

Despite a summons being issued to Singapore Airlines that has been lingering for a few months, officials from the airline have not yet shown up for interrogation, sources told TOI. It has been requested to provide documentation of all expenses incurred for its operations in India.

At least six international airlines had their India offices searched by DGGI in October in an effort to determine their tax obligations. As a result, these carriers requested new deadlines from their foreign head offices to submit the necessary data.

Readers may note that the new GST regime sees any international business’s Indian subsidiaries as two distinct companies, and the former are subject to the same tax laws as any other Indian company.

  • Published On Dec 31, 2023 at 08:24 PM IST

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