Actor Vijay failed to pay head tax voluntarily, HC says

The Commercial Tax Department told the Madras High Court on Monday that actor C. Joseph Vijay voluntarily failed to pay the head tax for a BMW X5 luxury car imported by him from the United States in 2005, even after his petition for writ was denied. June 28, 2019.

Appearing before Judge R. Suresh Kumar, Additional General Counsel Haja Nazirudeen said the actor failed to file returns or pay taxes voluntarily after his 14-year-old case was dismissed. Therefore, a notice was issued to him on March 9, 2021, requesting details of importation and transportation costs.

Another formal notice was also served in person on the actor’s lawyer on March 19, 2021. Having not yet had a response, another formal notice was sent by registered mail on July 14, 2021, but it also elicited no response. Therefore, officials checked the value of the car with the Regional Transportation Office (RTO).

According to the information received from the RTO, the value of the car was found to be ₹63.84 lakh, and it was learned that ₹2.34 lakh had been paid for the insurance. Using this information, the authorities demanded a head tax amounting to ₹7.98 lakh along with criminal interest amounting to ₹30.23 lakh.

The AAG, assisted by additional government litigator Richardson Wilson, said the actor paid the ₹7.98 lakh tax amount alone on September 17, 2021 under protest, and rushed to the High Court for contest the request for a penalty and recovery notice that had been issued to him. He urged the court to deny the actor’s writ petition.

Although the actor claimed he sold the car in 2009, the AAG said the sale would not relieve him of his responsibility to file returns and pay the tax since he was the original importer of the vehicle. The court officer also filed a separate counter affidavit for a similar motion for writ filed by music composer Harris Jayaraj.

The musician had imported a Hummer H3 in February 2010 and a Maserati Granturismo S Coupe in November 2010. After hearing elaborate arguments, the judge reserved his verdict in both cases.