NEW DELHI: India has conveyed to the US its decision to pursue with it at the earliest the alleged violations of tax laws and visa status by some of its staff in American embassy school here which was being probed by the Income Tax department.
Income Tax department is probing into alleged tax violations after reports that several teachers at the American Embassy school were working "illegally", in violation of both tax laws and their visa status.
The government has earlier indicated that these violations were serious and it was likely to initiate action in this regard.
The I-T department's exemption wing, which deals with tax related issues pertaining to charitable institutions and those bodies which have been granted I-T waiver, has begun a probe into alleged violation of Indian tax laws and once the preliminary information is gathered, the tax department would be taking a view on issuing notices to the authorities concerned, sources have said. However, MEA is still awaiting response on the information sought in December last year on visa and other details of all the teachers at these schools and their salaries along with the bank account details of their Indian staff members.
India had, in 1973, granted "tax exempted status" to 16 teachers of the school. However, as per information available with the government, there were many more teachers who were working but not shown as such.
However, in response, the US State Department said the school "is not run by the Embassy (and) only about a third of the students there are American".
India initiated a slew of initiatives in retaliation against the arrest and strip-search of its senior diplomat Devyani Khobragade, a 39-year-old 1999-batch IFS officer, on December 12 in New York on charges of visa fraud.
Though, the first indictment against her was rejected by the US Court, the prosecutors have filed a second indictment in the matter earlier this month.