Mumbai: An Income Tax tribunal has allowed ace cricketer Sachin Tendulkar to claim deductions from his taxable income pertaining to earnings from modeling in advertisements.
The two-member tribunal, which gave its order on May 20, upheld the cricket legend`s argument that he was an `actor` while appearing in commercials. Asha Vijayaraghavan, judicial member of the tribunal, and R K Panda, accountant member, gave the ruling on four appeals filed by the batting maestro against the verdict of Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) for assessment years 2001-02 to 2004-2005.
Tendulkar argued that he had claimed deductions under Section 80 RR of I-T Act on the ground that he was an `actor` while appearing in advertisements. He submitted that the CIT (A) had wrongly held that he was not an actor as cricket was his principal profession.
Tendulkar further argued that he was a cricketer and not a professional actor. He submitted his appearances in advertisements made him an actor and thus he was entitled to deductions. Moreover, he argued that such deductions had been allowed to him earlier.
He cited cases of popular figures like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Tarun Tahilyani and Harsha Bhogale, who had also claimed deductions from their income through advertisements.
"In the present case, the assessee, while appearing in advertisements and commercials, has to face the lights and camera. As a model, the assessee 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," the tribunal held.
"No doubt, being a successful cricketer, it has added to his brand value as a model. But the fact remains that the assessee has to use his own skills, imagination and creativity. Every person, or for that matter every sportsman, do not possess that degree of talent or skill or creativity and face the lights and camera etc," the members said.
"We are of the considered opinion that the income received by the assessee from modelling and appearing in TV commercials and similar activities can be termed as income derived from the profession of an artist," they said.
Therefore, there is no bar on the part of the assessee to have its second profession as an artist apart from playing cricket, the tribunal noted.
"We accordingly hold that the amount of Rs 5,92,31,211 received by the assessee amounts to income derived by the assessee in the exercise of his profession as an artist and therefore entitled to deduction u/s 80RR of the Act."
The tribunal noted that Tendulkar had received an amount of Rs 19,92,27,085 as gross receipts from sports sponsorship and advertisements, which included an amount of Rs 5,92,31,211 received in convertible foreign exchange from ESPN Star Sports, Pepsico Inc and VISA.
The cricketer had claimed deduction u/s 80 RR amounting to Rs 2,08,59,707 on account of receipt of Rs. 5,92,31,211.