Following the news that The Goods and Services Tax (GST) department attached the bank accounts of Telugu superstar Mahesh Babu to recover service tax dues from him, the actor's legal team responded to the move, accusing the GST Commissionerate of lapses and claiming that the due amount of Rs 18.5 lakh, for which they levied a penalty of Rs 73.5 lakh, was non-taxable.
As per a report in The News Minute, the press statement by the legal team read, "The brand ambassador services was brought in the statute by insertion of section 65(105)(zzzzq) with effect from 1-7-2010. The GST Commissionerate Hyderabad has carried out the attachment without notice when several judicial pronouncements on this issue is in favour of the taxpayer and more so when the dispute is pending before the High Court".
On Thursday, Hyderabad GST Commissionarate issued a press release which claimed that Mahesh had not paid the Service Tax during 2007-08 for the taxable services he rendered as brand ambassador, appearance money and advertising for promotion of products among others.
"The total tax due from him was Rs 1.85 million. Today, the GST department has attached his bank accounts in Axis Bank and ICICI Bank for an amount of Rs 7.35 million, which includes tax, interest and penalty," it said.
A senior official at the GST department said the 43-year-old actor cannot operate the bank accounts until he settles the tax dues with the department.