Actor Sachin gets tax break - Yahoo News

Rana Tahir Mahmood

Senator (1k+ posts)
Actor Sachin gets tax break
Jun 06, 2011 at 07:28
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By Kiran Tare, India Today, Yahoo!
Sachin Tendulkar, super God of cricket, has formally declared that he is an actor and not a cricketer. The excuse: he models for TV advertisements. In order to save tax of around Rs 2 crore ($465,000) on income derived from doing TV commercials, Tendulkar told the Income Tax tribunal that acting, not cricket, is his profession. The tribunal accepted that he is an artist on the grounds that "he has to use his own skills, imagination and creativity in the commercials".

Tendulkar was levied an income tax of Rs 2,08,59,707 on the income of Rs 5,92,31,211 that he earned from ESPN Star Sports, PepsiCo and Visa in foreign currency during 2001-02 and 2004-05. He had challenged the order of the Commissioner of Income Tax-Appeal (CIT-A), to pay up. In an order on May 20, the tribunal ruled that Tendulkar could claim deduction in tax on his income from modelling as he is an artist.

Tendulkar had claimed deduction of tax under Section 80RR of the Income Tax Act. The section states that a person can claim tax deduction if he is a playwright, artist, musician, actor or sportsman and the income for which deduction is claimed is derived by him in the exercise of his profession.

When the assessing officer asked Tendulkar to explain the nature of his profession, the master blaster submitted that "he is a popular model who acts in various commercials for endorsing products of various companies". He further stated that the income derived by him from 'acting' had been reflected as income from "business and profession" whereas income from playing cricket was reflected as "income from other sources" since he is a non-professional cricketer. Tendulkar explained that the claimed deduction in tax was from the exercise of his profession as an 'actor'.

The assessing officer rejected Tendulkar's claim and looked up the dictionary for the meaning of the term 'professional'. "It could be correct to say that playing cricket is the source of his livelihood and is therefore his profession," the officer observed, adding that "if Sachin is not a cricketer, then who is a cricketer?" He noted that Tendulkar had received remuneration for providing a wide variety of services to these companies. The various activities mentioned in the agreement with these companies had nothing to do with his claim of being an actor. Therefore, the officer said, his claim was not justified. Tendulkar has an agreement with these companies for the use of the name, photo, original voice, clothing, footwear, playing product spokesman, personal and media appearances.

"It is true that while appearing in ad films Tendulkar would have to dress in a certain way and would have to follow the script suggested by the director. However, that does not make him an actor. In all the advertisements in which he appears, what is highlighted is his personality as a cricketer. It is important to note that the company that wants Tendulkar to endorse its brand uses him because he is Sachin Tendulkar, the cricketing legend," the officer noted.

After his claim was rejected, Tendulkar submitted that he should be considered an 'artist' for the purpose of Section 80RR. He submitted that the meaning of 'artist' be read along with the several clauses of the endorsement agreements. However, the CIT-A did not buy this argument. He ruled: "Tendulkar is primarily involved in playing cricket and irrespective of whether he is a professional or not, it cannot be disputed that his profession is playing cricket. Tendulkar is not being paid for his activities as an actor or his performance as an artist. The nature and quality of his acting or performance as an artist would never have resulted in the contracts and payments made out to him."

Tendulkar appealed against this ruling to the tribunal. An earlier ruling by the tribunal allowing tax deduction to actor Amitabh Bachchan helped his case. In 2004, the tribunal had ruled that the income derived by Bachchan as a host of TV show Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) was liable for deduction of tax under Section 80RR because he used his skills as an artist in the show.

Asha Vijayaraghavan, judicial member of the tribunal, and R.K. Panda, accountant member, ruled: "While appearing in advertisements and commercials Tendulkar has to face the lights and camera. As a model he brings to his work a degree of imagination, creativity and skill to arrange elements in a manner that would affect human senses and emotions and to have an aesthetic value. No doubt, being a successful cricketer has added to his brand value as a model. But the fact remains that he has to use his own skills, imagination and creativity. Every sportsman does not possess that degree of talent or skill or creativity to face the lights and camera. The income received by him from modeling and appearing in TV commercials and similar activities can be termed as income derived from the profession of an artist."

Tendulkar had also claimed deduction of Rs 57,969 towards staff welfare expenses that included expenses incurred on tea and snacks provided to his staff, Rs 50,000 each on account of entertainment expenses and telephone expenses and Rs 1,42,824 on account of car expenses. However, the tribunal dismissed these claims saying that the use of telephone, car and food was for him and his family.

This is one act where the man who holds almost all the batting records in cricket has outdone himself.

Reproduced From India Today. 2011. LMIL. All rights reserved.

Source: Yahoo News


Minister (2k+ posts)
wah re wah - Sachin declaring himself he is not a cricketer but an actor -:lol: - to save tax "legally" (clap)

Maybe all our govt employees should start working in tv commercials to save/evade tax too :P

Zionist Hindu

Senator (1k+ posts)
Everybody wants to keep as much as he can of his hard earned money. If he is doing it legally then it is his right. I would have done the same. I know he pays lots of tax and does a fair bit of charity.