Paying income tax is a must, no matter if s/he is a divine entity or a lesser mortal. And the example has been set by Sri Kripamoyee Kalika Thakurani, the idol of Bamondas Mookerjee Kali Mandir of Cossipore. She has filed an income tax of Rs 7,100 in the assessment year 2017-18. She even has a PAN card — AAAJS0528B — where the date of birth mentioned is September 29, 1909. The two Shivalingas — Durgeswar and Kshetreswar — have also filed tax. And they too, have PAN cards.
“I am filing income tax in the name of the deities from 1966-67. The PAN cards were made in 2000-01 where the date of the formation of the trust was given as the date of birth of the deities,” said Ashim Kumar Mukherjee,the great grandson of Bamondas Mookerjee and the managing trustee of the temple since 1966-67.
He added that being a lawyer and a systematic person himself, he follows the legal procedures wisely. “I have all my documents up-to-date and nobody can question me on authenticity. I prefer to abide by the law and keep it crystal clear,” said Mukherjee. The Kali idol and the two Shivalingas also have bank accounts and fixed deposits.
Agnidipto Tarafder, assistant professor of The West Bengal National University Of Juridical Sciences said, “In India, the practice of paying tax in the name of deity is quite common. The law does not distinguish between natural and unnatural entities for the purpose of taxation or holding of property.” However, in many temples in Kolkata, the deities does not have a separate PAN. Somenath Halder, one of the sebait of Kalighat temple, said the Kali idol in Kalighat does not hold a PAN card.
Source: Times of India