AR Rahman Gets Madras High Court Notice For Income Tax EvasionAR Rahman (file photo)

Popular Indian music composer A R Rahman has been asked by the Madras High Court to respond to a petition filed by the Income Tax Department for allegedly evading tax by re-routing his income.

The High Court issued the notice after the Income Tax Department filed a petition saying that the Oscar and Grammy Awards winner had evaded tax payment by routing the income through his A R Rahman Foundation, a trust set up by him.

The Income Tax Department said Rahman, also known as Mozart of Chennai, received Rs 3.47 crore as payment during 2011-12 fiscal for a three-year contract he signed for composing exclusive ringtones for a UK-based telecom company.

The composer gave instructions to the UK firm to make the payment to his trust, which the Income Tax Department has claimed is taxable.

The income which is taxable should be received by the composer and can be transferred to the trust only after payment of income tax.

Such income could not be routed through the Foundation since it was exempted under the Income Tax Act, the department argued.

The A R Rahman Foundation website says it has been set up to create opportunities for everyone - especially the underprivileged - to lead a better life, both mentally and physically, through music, education and leadership building.

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