In Bollywood and other film industries in India, there’s a saying that “there’s no business like the show-business”. Besides being famous, Film and TV celebrities are also among the biggest earners. With their flashy lifestyle, fleet of cars cars, luxury homes, its difficult for celebrities to stay away from the lens of the tax authorities.
Madras HC issues notice to A R Rahman over tax evasion
The Madras High Court recently issued a notice to music maestro A R Rahman for tax evasion. It’s alleged that Rahman diverted money to his foundation to save on taxes, as per this report.
As per the IT department, in the assessment year 2011-12, Rahman received Rs 3.47 crore from UK-based Libra Mobiles to compose exclusive ringtones for the company. However, Rahman instructed the company to pay the money directly to the foundation (managed by him), the department said.
The IT department’s stand is that Rahman should have taken the money in his account as professional fee, paid the tax, and then transferred the money to his foundation if he wanted to. However, by taking the money as a donation directly in the trust’s name, he ensured no tax was paid to the Indian government, as income to a charitable trust is exempted under the Income Tax Act.
Remember, the black money controversy, where it was alleged that a few film personalities had secret bank accounts in HSBC Geneva? Then it was the ‘Panama Papers’.
Mossack Fonseca, a law firm headquartered in tax haven Panama, helps its worldwide clientele evade tax (as per Indian Express report), for a fee, by setting up offshore entities in tax havens around the world, masking the real ownership of the company.
Names of Bollywood biggies like Amitabh Bachchan & Aishwarya Rai Bachchan had also figured in the list of Indians who were clients of the law firm.
Watch: Panama Papers
However, Mr Bachchan later released a statement saying the allegations are not true. Mr. Bachchan said his name was misused and denied any connection with companies in TAX HAVENS.
“I have never been a director of any of the… stated companies. It is possible that my name has been misused,” the statement issued by Mr Bachchan said.
Kapil Sharma in Tax Controversy
Sometime back, Kapil Sharma was engulfed in a controversy where it was alleged that Kapil Sharma didn’t pay service tax amounting to nearly Rs 65 lakh. However, Kapil Sharma later clarified that the delay happened because he got caught up in his work, and he had all the intentions to pay the service tax.
Watch: Kapil Sharma clears up SERVICE TAX controversy
Tamil Superstar Vijay Evaded Income Tax for 5 Years
Income tax officials, after raided the properties of Tamil superstar Vijay, had revealed that the Tamil actor has been (partially) evading payment of income tax for the past five years.
Income tax officers had also raided the houses of actresses Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Nayanthara, producers P.T. Selva Kumar and Shibu Thameens, financier Ramesh (“Puli”).
“All of them including Vijay have been paying tax but not the full amount. The total tax evaded amount comes to about Rs.25 crore,” revealed a source from the income tax department.
Dharpakad song from Special 26
Famous Income Tax Raids
And what about income tax raids?
Of course they have happened! In the past, income tax officers have raided the homes of several celebrities, to track tax evasions. Whenever, their films do well, or when thy buy a new house, or when they buy a luxury car, the income tax guys come knocking at their doorsteps.
Here are some interesting instances.
- Priyanka Chopra: The actress had assets worth Rs.7.5 crores hidden in her apartment. Interestingly, when the IT officials landed up at Pee Cee’s residence one fine morning, it was Shahid Kapoor who had opened the door :).
- Sanjay Dutt: His residence was once raided because Sanju baba was fond of wearing custom-made wristwatches…worth a few crore rupees.
- Sonu Nigam: The flashy luxury cars lined up at Sonu Nigam’s residence caught the attention of the IT officials who perform a raid at his house.
- Madhuri Dixit: The IT officials who raided Madhuri Dixit’s residence broke one of the walls of her house and found money stashed in them.