Tuesday 16 Aug 2022

Here's the U-turn: Tax exemption to Pastor’s luxury car revoked

THE GOAN NETWORK | JUNE 28, 2022, 12:35 AM IST



Eight years after granting an exemption in taxes to a Mercedes Benz car, the transport department has directed a Christian pastor Dominic D’Souza from the Domnic and Joan Ministries of Sodiem, Siolim to pay an amount of Rs 6.03 lakh.

"You are directed to pay the government an amount of Rs 6,03,559 lakh forthwith i.e. within a week of receipt of the notice,” said the notice issued by the assistant director of transport on June 21.

It may be recalled that D’Souza had been recently booked on charges of forced religious conversion and was immediately released on bail.

His trust is reported to have purchased a Mercedes Benz B 180 CDI car at an estimated cost of Rs 30 lakh and an additional Rs 30,000 for the registration number of one’s choice.

The transport department had issued a show-cause notice on June 3 and conducted a hearing on why its decision in 2014 to waive road tax on his luxury car should not be revoked.

As per the existing Motor Vehicle Act, Rule 22 (I) (xii) states that charitable trusts and NGOs are exempted from tax benefits that D’Souza availed.

However, the comptroller auditor report had stated that waiver of tax for a luxury car had caused in loss of revenue to the government by exempting a luxury car.

Questions were raised on whether luxury cars were necessary for charitable use.

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