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Poor hockey star will need CA to do his taxes

After striker Yuvraj Walmiki's penury was brought to the fore, Income-Tax department has him under the scanner for not filing returns; dept says donations and cash prizes he got attract 30 per cent tax

Yuvraj Walmiki, the hockey hero instrumental in India's 4-2 win over Pakistan in the Asia Champions Trophy, now has Income-Tax officials watching his accounts closely.

A fortnight after MiD DAY reported ('Need Rs 1,000 loan to cook biryani for our hero son', September 15) about Walmiki living in penury at Marine Lines in the city, he was showered with monetary help.


Yuvraj Walmiki was recently honoured with a cheque of
Rs 10 lakh from Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan


Last Thursday, Walmiki was felicitated at Thakur and Rizvi colleges, which he said provided him financial support of Rs 2.50 lakh and Rs 50,000 respectively.

But he also attracted the questioning glances from the I-T department, who are looking into the humble reserves of the 21-year-old, who has never filed an I-T return ever in his life.

Officials say that all the prize money and donations he has received till now, attracts a tax of 30 per cent, unless he produces documentation to establish that the grants received are exempted under taxation.

Also, he will have to ensure that he seeks the assistance of a chartered accountant or a tax planner, to ensure that he avoids any tax liability in future.

For now, Walmiki is managing the accounts himself. His mother, Meena, said, "Yuvraj, is handling all the financial matters himself, though, most of the time he is out of the house."

According to an I-T officer, "Even if Walmiki deposits the cheques in his savings bank account and if the bank balance exceeds Rs 10 lakh in a year, or he purchases a property above Rs 30 lakh or spends over Rs 1 lakh at a time from his credit card, or invests over Rs 2 lakh in mutual funds, the I-T department is automatically informed about the transactions and the department can call in for his I-T returns for scrutiny purpose."

The officer even cautioned Walmiki that he should not evade submission of returns, once he has procured a PAN number and that any tax evasion on the funds received can attract a penalty of 100 to 300 per cent on the taxable amount.

Walmiki admitted to MiD DAY that he has been receiving financial assistance from individuals, politicians and institutions, who invite him for felicitation.
 
"I have a PAN card with me for the last year, I have received a few lakhs from the state government and other people.
 
I will follow the instructions of Dhanraj Pillay and other well-wishers on financial matters and would do accordingly."

Exempt him: Pillay
His mentor, hockey legend Pillay told MiD DAY that the government should exempt Yuvraj from paying tax. "He hails from a poor background and the financial support that he is getting is just a token of appreciation from people and institutes to support his family," Pillay opined.

The I-T officer clarified that donations can only be accepted and exempted under the IT Act, if the recipient is registered with the Charity Commissioner and has the requisite permissions.

In case of Walmiki, the income he is generating by way of public donations will be considered as income from other sources, and it cannot be shown under categories like salary, business income, capital gains or income from house property. As such, the funds will attract 30 per cent tax.
 
The I-T department may, however, consider an exemption of Rs 10 lakh that Walmiki received from the state government.

Pillay added, "Till now Walmiki might have got financial support of a little over Rs 16 lakh (see box). Our first priority is to get a house for him with this money."

Asked if the state government would allot him a flat, Pillay said, "The government procedure would take time, as there is a stay on the CM's discretionary five per cent and 10 per cent quotas."

Testing times
Meanwhile, Yuvraj is keen to start preparing for his final year B Com exam and is looking for a professor who could take his tuitions for accounts.

"I was busy playing and since it is not possible to enroll in private classes, I will have to look for a personal tutor, who can help me learn accounts. I am confident that if I study sincerely for a month, I can easily pass the university exam."

Funds Received
State government: Rs 10 lakh
Dy CM Ajit Pawar: Rs 1 lakh
Valmiki Community: Rs 1 lakh
Ashwin Naik: Rs 1 lakh
Raj Thackeray: Rs 1 lakh
Hitendra Thakur: Rs 1 lakh
Vijay Patil: Rs 51,000
Thakur college: Rs 2.50 lakh
Rizvi college: Rs 50,000

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