Bombay HC seeks state authorities’ response to Anushka Sharma’s challenge over VAT dues | Mumbai News


MUMBAI: Actress Anushka Sharma on Friday approached the Bombay high court with petitions against the state and commissioner of sales tax authorities challenging a March 2021 order by the department asking her to pay dues over Rs 1.23 crore for the assessment year 2012-13 under the Maharashtra Value Added Tax Act (MVAT) Act.
She also challenged the assessment and demanded dues for three subsequent years.
On Thursday when two fresh petitions, filed by her now, came up before the HC challenging the 2012-13 and 2013-14 assessment orders, the bench of Justices Nitin Jamdar and Abhay Ahuja gave the department two weeks to respond and posted it for hearing on February 6.
Additional government pleader Jyoti Chavan for the State and the authorities under the MVAT Act sought time to file a reply.
Her petition sought to argue that she has “not sold ‘copy right’ and hence sale tax on it cannot be levied’’ and sought quashing of the assessment order.
One of her petitions said she was challenging the assessment order dated March 31, 2021, under MVAT Act passed by the Deputy Commissioner of State Tax –the assessing officer—for April 1, 2012, to March 31, 2013, by raising a demand of Rs 1.23 crore which includes sales tax at Rs 61 lakh and remaining as interest.
“The only reason for the aforesaid demand is that the assessing officer levies sales tax on services rendered by the petitioner against a consideration of Rs 12.3 crore,’’ her petition said.
The assessment officer concluded his findings by saying, “receipts of Anushka Sharma are not only on account of services but also for transfer of performers rights under the Copyright Act”.
The petition says, “sales tax can be levied only if it is established that “performer’s rights are ‘copyrights’…and therefore are ‘sales’…under the MVAT Act’’ and such rights are liable of being transferred.
“Unless it is established that there is a sale of goods (tangible or intangible), sales tax cannot be levied,” was her plea adding that the “performer’s rights are not copyrights and not capable of being transferred to any other person.’’
She had in 2012-13 performed for movies and various events “like Bollywood Nights, IIFA awards, GIMA, etc’’ and received Rs 75 lakh for movies, over Rs 10 crore as endorsement fees and almost Rs 1.5 crore for various awards and her case is that the assessing officer has “erroneously levied sales tax on the consideration received for endorsements and awards.’’
Her total dues the department said were several crores. She had earlier filed petitions through her taxation consultant and the HC had asked why, as the affected party, should she not file the petitions.


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