Cash-strapped edtech major Byju’s has either delayed the deposits of the tax deducted at source (TDS) and/or has not made the required regulatory filings with the income tax department since April 2023 for employees who are in the salary bracket of ₹30 lakh and above, according to employees of the company who didn’t want to be identified.

Multiple employees of the edtech major who spoke to businessline have alleged that the TDS, printed on the payslips, does not however show up in Form 26AS from April last year.

While, Byju’s currently has around 15,000 employees, it’s unclear how many fall under the CTC of ₹30 lakh and above.

“Post July, our salaries aren’t reflecting the deductions,” said one of the employees who spoke to businessline. The company has not deposited the TDS amounts for months now, another source indicated requesting anonymity.

Expert opinion

According to tax experts, non-payment of TDS after deduction from salary is an offence. In case, where the employer has deducted TDS but not paid it to the government, the employer will have to pay interest which is levied at 1.5 per cent for every month or part of a month on the amount of such tax from the date on which such tax was deducted to the date on which such tax was deposited to the government of India.

While in the case of delay in filing of TDS return, a penalty of ₹200 per day, under Section 234E of the Income Tax Act (“act”), for the delay in filing TDS returns after the specified due date. This amount would be capped at the amount of TDS, said Ameet Patel, Partner, Manohar Chowdhry & Associates.

“There is also a prosecution provision under Section 276B/ 276BB of the Act that deals with those instances where the company has deducted the withholding taxes, but failed to deposit with the government within the prescribed time-limit and it contains criminal prosecution penalty including imprisonment for officials of the company for a term between three months and seven years with fine,” said Patel.

Responding to a detailed questionnaire from businessline, a company spokesperson said, “While filings are in the process of being completed, a majority of the TDS payments are closed. We are prioritising this and for any isolated cases, the company is striving to close them at the earliest. All Form 16s will be issued on time, as has been done for T&L employees historically,” the spokesperson added.

BCCI dispute

On Wednesday, Byju’s also informed the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Bengaluru, that it had referred its dispute with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to an arbitrator and was trying to settle the matter with the cricket administrator.

The company noted that the case contained both law and fact, which could only be settled via arbitration. It also said that it had filed objections to the insolvency petition filed by BCCI last year in September.

While the counsels for BCCI denied any negotiations and asked the tribunal time to consult with the board and asked that the bench give a short date.

The Bengaluru bench of NCLT opined that the arbitration application would have no bearing on the insolvency proceedings and deferred the hearing to February 7, allowing the BCCI to file a reply to objections from Byju’s.

BlackRock cuts valuation

Recently, BlackRock has yet again cut the value of its holding in Byju’s, slashing the implied valuation of the Indian education tech start-up to $1 billion from the $22-billion mark set in early 2022.