Anushka Sharma Moves High Court Over Sales Taxes “Erroneously” Imposed by Maharashtra Government, Court Seeks Govt’s Reply

Anushka Sharma moves high court over sales taxes

Anushka Sharma, a Bollywood actress claims that the assessing officer “erroneously” asserted that she had obtained copyright through endorsements and hosting award functions and had sold or transferred it.

While according to her,  she did not hold the copyright and was not permitted to sell it.

Anushka Sharma filed a lawsuit on January 12 challenging a sales tax department order against her that seeks to recover taxes for the years 2012–2013 and 2013–2014. 

On Thursday, January 12, the Bombay High Court asked the Maharashtra government to respond. Under Maharashtra, Value Added Tax (MVAT) Act, the Mazgaon deputy sales tax commissioner issued the decision.

Anushka was arguing that the assessing officer had erroneously applied sales tax to the fees she got for endorsements and hosting award ceremonies. Her argument was being heard by a bench made up of Justice Nitin M. Jamdar and Justice Abhay Ahuja. 

Anushka collected Rs 12.3 crore in 2012–13; the administration assessed Rs 1.2 crore in sales tax (including interest). Similarly to that, she had to pay a sales tax of Rs 1.6 crore for the Rs 17 crore she received in 2013–2014.

The actress pleaded with the court to postpone the recovery of the sum connected to the tax assessed in the contested orders. The petition also asked for a temporary restraining order to stop the assessment officer from issuing orders until 2017.

Her appeal claims that she entered into a three-party contract with producers or event organizers, and her agent, Yashraj Films Pvt Ltd, to participate in movies and at award ceremonies.

Though she had obtained copyright through endorsements and hosting award ceremonies, the evaluating officer had “erroneously” recorded that he had sold or transferred it. Sales tax was therefore imposed on hosting award shows and endorsing products rather than considering films.

However, her attorney Deepak Bapat claimed that the show’s creators had always held the copyright to the corresponding videos. He said that Anushka was unable to sell or otherwise dispose of the copyright because the producers held it.

The actress further asserted that an actor who has been in a movie cannot be referred to as the movie’s originator or producer and does not possess the movie’s copyrights.

It should be noted that Anushka had previously appealed through her tax advisor Shrikant Velekar last month.

However, a court made up of Justice Jamdar and Gauri Godse dismissed the appeal and criticized the actress for submitting the appeal through her tax advisor rather than on her own.

The bench stated that there was “no explanation provided as to why the petitioner cannot submit these petitions on solemn affirmation” in a judgment dated December 15, 2022.

The Actress then retracted her initial appeal and submitted a new one in her own affirmation. The court scheduled a follow-up hearing for February 6 after granting additional government pleader Jyoti Chavan time to answer her plea.