AR Rahman pulled up by GST team for pending dues

Hyderabad: Oscar-winning composer A.R Rahman is among the few celebrities who do not get entangled in controversies. In the two-and-a-half decades that he has worked in films, he has kept away from unwanted controversies.

However, it has been reported that the goods and services tax (GST) council and Central excise (CE) department has issued an order asking A.R Rahman to pay arrears of Rs. 6.79 crore along with an additional penalty of another Rs. 6.79 crore for pending dues.

When the GST council slapped a notice against A.R Rahman, the composer’s council filed a writ petition. The case was heard on 12 February at the Madras High Court and the judge has provided an interim stay on the order given by the commissioner of GST and CE till 4 March.

Reportedly, K.M Ravichandran, commissioner of GST and CE, Chennai South, in his notice claimed that A.R Rahman has not been paying proper service tax on payments that he received for his work. The notice was drafted based on information collected by the directorate general of GST Intelligence (DGGSTI).

Rahman has been earning income by composing music for films and also through royalties for his public performances. He has also conducted live concerts in India and abroad. The GST council said these services are taxable and that the music director had failed to pay service tax for the same.

The composer’s council put forth its arguments in front of the judge and tried to prove that A.R Rahman is the absolute owner of his songs and stated that his income does not fall under service tax. Since the court has granted a stay till 4 March, A.R Rahman can breathe a sigh of relief for now.

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