Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan and son Abhishek have been asked by a tax tribunal to pay tax on the 'Versa' car given to them by carmaker Maruti Udyog Ltd as part of their professional fees for endorsing the brand.
The case dates back to 2000, when the father and son duo entered into an agreement with the auto major for its multi-utility vehicle 'Versa'. According to the agreement, both the actors were to get Rs 4.02 crore (Rs 40.2 million) and a Versa as professional fees. The car was delivered in 2001.
However, the Bachchans did not mention the receipt of the car to tax authorities in the income tax returns filed for the financial year 2001-02.
Later, during audit, tax officials found that the car was not shown as part of their income in 2002-03 also.
The department valued the car at Rs 634,000 on the basis of its insurance certificates and directed them to pay tax by adding it as part of their professional income.
The I-T department could not, however, establish the timewhen the car had been actually received, so it added its value to the income of the year 2001-02.
Bachchan had challenged the contention in the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, saying that a car is said to be received only on the date of registration and if the registration is not done the person is not deemed to be the owner.