Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Interesting case of Bollywood actress.

MUMBAI: Bollywood actress Rani Mukerji believes in numerology when it comes to accepting or making payments. The amounts paid or received are mostly divisible by three, a reply by her accountant to the income tax showed.

This reply is part of the documents filed by the actor in the Bombay high court. Rani has challenged Income Tax Appellate Tribunal's addition of nine lakh rupees to her income received for her 2001 film Bas Itna Sa Khwaab Hain. HC on July 1 admitted Rani's appeal and will decide if the addition is based on presumptions.

A diary found by the income tax during a search at her residence on September 26, 2000 show two entries of Rs 9 lakhs and Rs 1 lakh for her role in the Anil Kapoor starrer `Nayak'. When the assessing officer sought an explanation, her accountant said, ``Family of Rani Mukerji believes in numerology. This must have been seen from the record that most of the payments and receipts are always divisible by 3. Thus, they accept amounts in 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 21, 36 etc and also make payments in the same manner.''

Rani entered into contract with Surya Movies for Rs 51 lakhs for ``Nayak''. On June 7, 2000 she received a signing amount of Rs 10 lakhs. ``But as they believe in numerology they received Rs 9 lakhs and Rs 1 lakh on the same day and therefore two separate entries in the diary." The department also seized cash and jewellery during the searches. The AO held that "theory of numerology is an afterthought" and showed examples where Rani has received payments such as Rs 95000/- for ``Hello Brother' and Rs 1,51,000/- for Hadd Kar Di Aapne. The assessing officer made an addition of Rs 10 lakhs to her income received for Nayak. But the commissioner whom she appealed rejected the department plea and the tribunal also agreed with the commissioner.

In the Bas Itna Sa Khwaab Hain movie starring Abhishek Bachchan, Rani had shown Rs 27 lakh as remuneration received. The diary showed that she asked Rs 48 lakhs as remuneration and received contract amount of Rs 36 lakhs. Assessing Officer questioned why the amount was not changed in the diary if there was a reduction and added Rs 21 lakhs to her income. Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) in June 23, 2008 also confirmed addition of Rs 21 lakhs.

Rani's appeal before ITAT said Rose Movies Combine on May 18, 2001 had sought to reduce the remuneration to Rs 27 lakhs due to a crisis in the film industry. But ITAT's order stated there is no date mentioned in the letter and reply requesting for reduction of remuneration and `` the same has been accepted, seems totally unnatural as films stars are known to haggle for money to the last pie." It observed that when her father was so meticulous in maintaining the amounts as well as the dates ``there is no explanation why the amount of Rs 36 lakhs was not changed to Rs 27 lakhs.

ITAT added nine lakh rupees to her income but did not agree an addition of 21 lakhs. ITAT in its January 7, 2010 order said it does not agree that the remuneration should be Rs 48 lakhs because the figure of Rs 36 lakhs itself is noted in the diary against contract amount and the agreement is also of Rs 36 lakhs. Rani has challenged this in the HC.

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