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Tax dept “surveys” offices of NewsClick, Newslaundry over alleged tax evasion

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Income Tax officers visited the premises of news portals; NewsClick and Newslaundry in south Delhi on Friday, calling it a “survey” and not “raids”.  However, as per reports the surveys were related to alleged tax evasion.

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The surveys are linked to allegations of tax evasion, officials said, adding that the account books of the portals are being examined.

“Surveys have been carried out in the case of both Newslaundry and NewsClick. The department’s officials conducted surveys on their premises in Delhi on charges of tax evasion,” the official said.

Media reports, quoting officials, alleged that the operation was to verify certain tax payment details and remittances made by the organisations.

The officials visited the business premises of the two portals, they added.

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According to a Newslaundry employee, the taxmen came around 11.30 AM and haven’t left. “Employees in the office were asked not to use their cell phones,” the employee alleged. NewsClick and its founders were raided by the Enforcement Directorate in February in a money laundering case following a Delhi Police FIR that alleged the company had received foreign direct investment (FDI) of ₹ 9.59 crore from Worldwide Media Holdings LLC USA in the financial year 2018-19.

Both organisations were paid a visit by IT officials on June 30 too, when notices were served to them. At the NewsClick office, statements of founder and Editor-in-chief Prabir Purkayastha and Pranjal were taken at the time.

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