Sun, 10 Apr 2011 16:44:20 GMT

Indian cricketers may have to share goodies with taxman

New Delhi: They are being showered with rewards, titles and honorary doctorates after bringing cheer to 1.2 billion Indians by winning the World Cup after a 28-year gap, but the star cricketers will not find the taxman equally benevolent.

Indian cricketers may have to share goodies with taxman

Tax experts believe although some portion of the largesse doled out to Team India could be tax-free, a whole lot of other goodies like cars or land, and in many cases even cash awards by various organisations and state governments, will come under the tax bracket.

Let's take the case of captain M.S. Dhoni. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced a Rs. 1 crore bonus, the Delhi government Rs. 2 crore, Punjab Rs.1 crore, Uttarakhand a house in Mussourie and land for a cricket academy and the railways says he can travel AC-I Class free for life.

"Provisions are there to exempt any payment, in cash or in kind, made by the central or state governments if approved by the central government in the public interest," says Rohit Bansal, chief executive, India Strategy Group, with Hammurabi and Solomon Consulting.

"Under Section 10, Clause 17(A) of the Income Tax Act, even state governments have to apply to the central government for tax waivers on awards. The BCCI can also lobby for an exemption for cash awards that it gives away by citing the exemption clause," he said.

"But being neither a central government nor state government institution, justifying an exemption to the BCCI for its rewards is legally shaky. But other rewards like cars and real estate for personal use will attract tax at a flat 30 percent," Bansal told IANS.