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Brand Sachin untouched by tax woes
December, 12th 2007
Has outstanding tax bill of Rs 1.66 crore

Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar may be continuing to spew fire with the willow all across the globe. But, back home, he appears on a sticky wicket on the tax front.

The Income-Tax Department has pushed the master-blaster to the back foot by delivering an outstanding tax bill of Rs 1.66 crore. Although brand analysts say that his brand value may not have taken any significant knock in recent times, the cricketer has been allowed by the I-T Department to pay the outstanding in monthly instalments.

In fact, sources in the I-T Department say that I-T dues are pending from other cricketers playing First Class cricket as well, but were not able to provide the player-wise details, as it would require compilation of data at all the field formations spread throughout the country.

The sources said Sachin was in the process of filing an appeal with the IT Appellate Tribunal against the order.

When contacted, a senior I-T official here said the outstanding amount of Rs 1.66 crore was fairly a large amount by any standards. The assessee had the right to file an appeal. But if the appeal did not go in favour of the assessee, he had to pay the outstanding within 30 days of the tribunal order along with interest, the official said, adding that the permission to pay the outstanding in monthly instalments was not an uncommon norm in the department. The batting maestro has been known to be associated with several top brands, most of which he still continues to endorse. The brands include AirTel (it pulled the plug off him post the World Cup debacle), Sunfeast, Aviva Life Insurance, Canon India, Adidas and Future Group.

Mr Harish Krishnamachar, Managing Director, Iconix, the agency handling Sachins endorsements, told Business line that the brands he endorsed have stayed with him all along his so-called good and bad times. His brand endorsements deals are today beyond his last 5, 3 or 2 knocks that he has. It is based on the kind of image impression and status that he has built in Indian cricket over time and that is something that is not going to change. Today, his valuation is not based on the past few knocks.

While it could not be confirmed the precise rate charged by Sachin, some reports say that he gets anywhere between Rs 1 crore and Rs 1.5 crore for an endorsement.

A senior official of CelebZ, the celebrity research arm of Mindshare, said that Sachins brand valuation would not have gone up as age was not on his side. At best it could have remained flat or slipped by a few notches, he pointed out.

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