The excise department has sent a notice to SpiceJet to pay up ₹62-crore dues in taxes. The department also sent a notice to Yes Bank, which is the airline’s operating bank, asking it to freeze the account of the debt-strapped company, till such time the payment was not done by the company. However, SpiceJet was given time till April 7 to pay its dues.

Multiple sources confirmed that SpiceJet received a notice from the excise department, demanding the remittance of taxes for at least two financial years. 

An official in the excise department said, “The company has been given multiple notices to repay the taxes. However, it has failed to do so. We sent them a notice to pay the taxes, again, and the airline failed to do so.”

The source also said that the department had also written notice to Yes Bank, which is its operating bank to freeze its account. “The letter was sent to SpiceJet and Yes Bank under  Section 79 of the CGST and HGST Act, 2017, for recovery of dues. It is a standard procedure that the department follows in order to recover the dues..” The source added that other banks, too, may have received a similar notice.

However, SpiceJet requested the department to give them some time to repay its dues. Hence, the excise department gave them a fortnight’s time till April 7 to repay dues. The same was communicated to Yes Bank as well. 

Non-payment of GST dues

When contacted, a spokesperson for the airline said, “SpiceJet is in the process of discharging its current GST liability since October 2021 on regular basis. The company is already making payments as per mutually-agreed payment plan. There is no freeze on any of our accounts which are operating normally.”

BusinessLine had reported in August last year that a similar matter related to non-payment of GST dues is already being heard in the Haryana and Chandigarh High Court, where SpiceJet had stated that it wanted to repay the dues to the tune of ₹80 crore in installments. In November last year, the court had said that if SpiceJet failed to pay monthly installments, then the GST department could take action against the company. It wasn’t confirmed immediately whether the said notices were in regard to the same matter or not.

Auditors of the debt-strapped airline had cast a doubt on the ability of the airline to remain a going concern as its net worth has eroded. In the annual report for FY21, the independent auditors pointed out that SpiceJet has defaulted on tax payments, GST payments and employee provident fund dues in FY21 totalling ₹90 crore.

Apparently, over 45 days ago, SpiceJet had requested ₹500 crore of a working capital loan from Yes Bank, which has still not been granted to the airline.