The Supreme Court has agreed to examine the eligibility of income tax exemption for nuns and priests employed as teachers in government-aided Christian missionary schools.
As reported by Deccan Herald, a bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra on Thursday(18 January) took note of the submissions of senior advocate Arvind Datar that the plea of several dioceses and congregations from Tamil Nadu and Kerala on the issue needed an urgent hearing.
The plea centers around whether the income earned by nuns and priests in their roles as teachers can be subjected to income tax.
In 2014, the Income Tax department had directed educational authorities to implement TDS (tax deducted at source) for individuals serving as teachers.
However, appeals were filed in the top court after the high courts did not agree to the challenge raised by nearly 100 dioceses and congregations from Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
The appellants argued that the income of nuns and priests, working as teachers, ultimately becomes the income of the congregation operating the school, and they, as individuals, do not personally acquire the money paid as salaries.
The pleas also mentioned that the IT exemption was being enjoyed by government-aided missionary schools from 1944 till the union government decided to impose tax deduction at source in 2014.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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