Kingfisher to get another lifeline on service tax dues

Kingfisher Airlines is likely to get another reprieve as the finance ministry is expected to extend the deadline for the cash-strapped carrier to repay its service tax dues.

"We cannot kill Kingfisher. We might give KFA some more time, if it pays some dues by March 31," the Economic Times cited unnamed official sources as saying.

Kingfisher Airlines, which has drastically downsized operations asking most of its staffers to stay at home, has agreed to pay only up Rs10 crore of its Rs76-crore service tax dues this fiscal.

As many as 40 bank accounts of the debt-ridden airline have already been frozen by the service tax department for non-payment of dues worth Rs76 crore, including arrears and interest. Its IATA accounts too stand frozen.

According to Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) chairman S K Goel the revenue department could take Kingfisher to court over alleged service tax evasion, saying the company had not deposited taxes it collected from travellers.

The income tax department too had frozen the carrier's bank accounts for failure to deposit tax deducted at source.