BCCI Hit With Massive Tax Bill After Increasing Involvement With Wealthy IPL
The Board of Control for Cricket in India, "which has become the wealthiest and most powerful body in the game over the last decade, has been hit by a demand" for around $433M from India's tax authorities, according to Andy Wilson of the London GUARDIAN. The "huge bill" relates to a change in the status of the BCCI, which is registered as a charitable trust, "arising from its role in the Indian Premier League Twenty20 competition." The BCCI "has been flexing its considerable muscle in recent days, first by slapping down an England proposal" to the Int'l Cricket Council that would have removed India's veto over the use of the decision review system in away series. Then it refused "permission for several English counties to use the Global Cricket School in Pune" (GUARDIAN, 2/5). ESPN's Amol Karhadkar noted the cricket body used to get various tax exemptions on the grounds of promoting cricket as a "charitable activity," since it used to be registered as a charitable trust. Now that the BCCI amended its objectives in June '06, "the government has started considering the BCCI to be earning income through commercial means." The "bone of contention has been the income generated through sale of IPL franchises and through sale of broadcast rights" for the T20 league. While the BCCI claims it distributes a "major portion" of the income generated to its affiliated units, the tax authorities have been reportedly seeking taxes both from the parent body as well as affiliated units" (ESPN, 2/5).