GST Council asks AR Rahman to pay pending dues

GST Council asks AR Rahman to pay pending dues

The Madras High Court on Wednesday (February 12) granted an interim stay on the order passed by a Commissioner of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Central Excise (CE) directing music composer AR Rahman to pay arrears of Rs 6.79 crore and an additional penalty of another Rs 6.79 crore.

KM Ravichandran, Commissioner of GST and CE (Chennai South), in his order said that AR Rahman was not paying the service tax promptly on the payments that he had received for his work. He said that the statement was based on the information collected by the Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGSTI).

AR Rahman filed a writ petition against the Council's order and the Madras High Court has provided interim stay on the order given by the Commissioner of GST and CE, till March 4.

The officials had stated that Rahman was earning income by composing music for movies and also by receiving royalties for public performances of his music works. The composer also conducted live concerts within the country as well as in foreign nations. The officials said that all the services were taxable and the composer had failed to pay the service tax.

Contesting this order, AR Rahman’s council stated in the court that there has been a wrong assumption and said, "In terms of section 13(1)(a) of the Copyright Act, copyright subsists in musical work and the composer is the sole and absolute owner of such right."

"The said rights are assigned to the producer of films under agreements executed with the producers which makes them the absolute owner of the copyright," added Rahman’s Council and claimed that this does not fall under service tax.