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Accountant who deducted TDS for alms to beggar nominated for industry award

02, Jul 2011 By Pagal Patrakar

New Delhi. Himmat Tripathi, who always gave nine rupees to a beggar but entered ten rupees in the account books with one rupee shown as TDS (Tax Deduction at Source), has been nominated for this year’s industry award for Creative and Honorary Excellence in Accounting Practices (CHEAP).

CHEAP awards, which aren’t supported by any organization as it would cause cash outflows for the sponsors, are given each year to accountants who come up with innovative and path-breaking ways of saving cash for their clients, organizations, or themselves.

“I am thrilled and deeply indebted to all the accountants of this country who chose me for this honor,” HT, as Himmat Tripathi is fondly called, told Faking News. HT was selected for the award through an online poll that was conducted only during the nights when internet surfing charges are discounted for many.

Coin in hand
Tripathi shows the TDS he collected today; he claims he deposits it with the government without fail.

HT, working as a consulting accountant with Scrooge Industries Limited, won’t get any cash prize but will receive an email confirming his success and his name would be prominently displayed on the Facebook page, which is the only organizational infrastructure of the CHEAP awards community.

In an exclusive interview to Faking News, HT said that the idea of applying TDS on alms to beggar came to his mind when he read the news about 2 lakh rupees, a taxable income, found in the pockets of a beggar, who unfortunately was dead before he could hire a CA.

“Clearly this income was accrued through begging and it was taxable,” HT explained, “I say it was taxable because we never get any tax exemptions under Section 80(G) from the government when we pay alms to beggars, which obviously means that the government doesn’t recognize beggars as any charitable entities.”

“Therefore, either the government should allow tax exemptions on money we pay to beggars or we should be allowed to apply TDS on that payment,” HT explained why he decided to apply 10% TDS on 10 rupees he used to pay to the beggars, either by paying nine rupees in loose change or by taking back a one-rupee coin from the begging bowl of the beggar.

HT denied that there was anything illegal or unethical in what he was doing.

“Begging is a legitimate profession in the eyes of the government as hardly any beggar is arrested for breaking the Prevention of Begging Act. Perhaps the term ‘begging’ in constitution is notional! I hope Kapil Sibal would clarify that. But in absence of any clarification, I’d treat this ‘notional begging’ as a genuine financial transaction,” he argued.

HT claims that this ‘financial transaction’ i.e. alms to the beggars can be treated as OPEX or ‘operation expense’ in the account books and insists that other individuals or organizations should do the same.

“It is like ‘adverting expense’ for many of us, where we advertise our persona and promote ourselves as socially responsible entities. That’s how I treated it in my income tax returns that I file as a professional,” HT informed.

“My juniors and relatives would be so impressed when I’d drop 45 rupees in the bowl of a beggar, but they would never know that it was actually 50 rupees in the books!” the CHEAP award winner said.

Sources inform that HT was a dark horse who won the CHEAP award, which almost went to the CA of Sachin Tendulkar, who had shown Tendulkar as an artist for tax purposes.