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Income Tax Withdraws Exemptions to Four State Cricket Bodies
January, 10th 2014

Four state cricket bodies, including the associations of Maharashtra and Saurashtra, are facing a bouncer of sorts from the income tax department. The department said on Thursday that it has withdrawn tax exemptions given to the four — the other two are the Baroda and Kerala bodies — after finding that they had involved in "activities which were considered commercial in nature" .

Authorities also plan to open past tax assessments to examine whether earlier claims from the four associations for tax exemptions were genuine, the Central Board of Direct Taxes said in a statement. The government in 2009-10 amended the definition of "charitable purpose" in the Income Tax Act, preventing entities operating on commercial lines from claiming income-tax exemptions.

Promotion of sports, if not commercial in nature, is considered a general public utility under the amended definition and is given the exemption. There have been allegations that some entities, registered as notfor-profit to claim tax benefits, also engage in commercial activities . The Board of Control for Cricket in India, the national cricket body, is currently facing a tax demand of about.

2,300 crore from tax authorities. Tax authorities are closely monitoring entities that are claiming tax exemption for doing 'charitable' work to ensure that it is for a permitted activity. The department has also created a centralised online database for such entities. The Comptroller and Auditor General in a report tabled in Parliament last month had slammed the department for extending irregular tax exemptions to the four cricket affiliates of the BCCI, resulting in short-levy of more than 37 crore in tax. The auditor said the tax department allowed irregular exemptions on income from TV rights given to the four associations engaged in commercial activity.

 
 
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