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April 10, 2021

Whether Sachin Tendulkar is an actor or a cricketer?

Whether Sachin Tendulkar is an actor or a cricketer?

A great dispute between Sachin Tendulkar and assessing officer: Whether Sachin Tendulkar is an actor or a cricketer?

Fact of the case

The assessee Mr Sachin Tendulkar is a leading cricketer and filed his return of income on 31.10.2003 declaring total income of Rs. 18,51,06,510/-. In the computation statement filed along with the return, the assessee had shown salary income of Rs. 16,000/- from M/s IDL Ltd; Rs. 19,51,98,706/- shown as income from business/profession and Rs. 77,63,166/- as income from other sources. The Assessing Officer, noted from the tax audit report filed in Form No.3CD that the nature of business/profession has been mentioned as ‘sports sponsorship/modelling’. The income and expenditure account has shown Rs. 19,95,27,085/- as gross receipts from ‘sports sponsorship and advertisements’. As per Schedule-1, this consists of Rs. 5,92,31,211/- received in foreign exchange and Rs. 14,02,95,874/- received in Indian rupees. The amount of Rs. 5,92,31,211/- received in foreign exchange is from the following companies:

Sl.NoName of the companyAmount (Rs)
1ESPN Star Sports3,19,94,795/-
2Peosico Inc73,33,500/-

Issue of the case

The Assessing Officer reopened the assessment u/s 147 for the reason that incorrect claim of deduction has been made by the assessee u/s 80RR of the Act. Accordingly, notice u/s 148 was issued and served upon the assessee on 31.3.2006.

Observation of the ITAT

The counsel on behalf of assessee vehemently argued that even if assessee is getting advertisements because of his cricketing skills, then also he should be classified as an artist as Section 80RR nowhere envisages the capacity in which an artist performs. Also, it was further argued that a person can indeed have two professions at once i.e. a cricketer and an actor/artist too.

The Assessing officer on the other hand argued that Section 80RR specifically mentions that the phrase “exercise of his profession” and “such income” means that there should be a direct nexus between the two and also the activity carried out exercise of profession should not be a mere single/incidental act but should be the main profession i.e. cricket itself. The counsel further placed reliance on the case of Harsha Bhogle v. Assessing Officer wherein it was held that a presenter or a commentator cannot avail the benefit under Section 80RR as he is not an artist.

It will also be pertinent to mention that the Assessing officer went a bit over line by stating that the assessee (Sachin Tendulkar) suffers from an identity crisis by not being sure that whether he is a cricketer/artist/actor and thus should not be given any tax benefit at all.


 ITAT overruled the decisions of both the AO and CIT and held that Sachin as an artist.

Read the full ITAT order from below Link


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