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Tax-ing Time! SC reopens 2001 case against Amitabh Bachchan

The Supreme Court has reopened a decade-and-a-half-old case against Amitabh Bachchan; star’s legal team says he has been given right to appeal against re-assessment order

In a setback to Amitabh Bachchan, the Supreme Court yesterday allowed the Income Tax department to reopen a 2001 case against him in which he has been accused of owing Rs 1.66 crore in taxes for his show Kaun Banega Crorepati.

Amitabh Bachchan
Amitabh Bachchan

In July 2012, the Bombay High Court had granted relief to the megastar by dismissing an appeal filed by the Income Tax commissioner who reopened the actor’s assessment proceedings for 2001-02. Among the reasons given for reopening assessment were that books of accounts kept by the actor were not examined and that although he had seven bank accounts, he had given details only of six. Moreover, he had withdrawn revised returns wherein he showed 30 per cent expenses for professional causes.

A similar plea is pending since May 2009 in the top court which had earlier issued a notice to the megastar.

In 2008, the High Court had allowed I-T exemption of 30 per cent on Mr Bachchan’s total income of Rs 50.92 crore from the show. It had accepted the actor’s plea that being an artiste, he should be given tax relief.

The I-T department, in its appeal, challenged the order on the ground that the relief is for those artistes who either earn by performing outside the country or receive payment from foreign agencies.

Responding to the development, the chartered accountants and legal advisory team of Bachchan said, “The said mentioned case has no relation to KBC (Kaun Banega Crorepati) whatsoever in any matter or context. The said mentioned case has not been reopened. The Supreme Court has given the respondent, i.e. ‘Mr Amitabh Bachchan’, the right to appeal against the re-assessment order.”

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