Taxation issues threaten to put BCCI and ICC on collision course

Ajit Vijaykumar 17:14 09/08/2019
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ICC chairman Shashank Manohar (r).

The Indian cricket board and the world body seem to be on a collision course over the issue of tax.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will seek legal advice from English law experts after receiving intimation from the International Cricket Council (ICC) that the country stands to lose a share of its annual revenue from the world body for the loss caused by failure to get tax exemption for the 2016 World T20 in India.

Taxation has become a bone of contention between the two bodies with the ICC seeking to recover the 10 per cent tax that broadcaster Star had to pay to tax authorities in India and which was thus reduced from the amount it paid to the ICC. The BCCI, on the other hand, insists it was only following existing taxation rules in India.

According to reports, India’s share of ICC’s revenue stands at $405 million over eight years and that could be reduced by $40.5m.

Not only that, there is a threat of India losing hosting rights to the 2021 World T20 and the 2023 World Cup if tax relief isn’t guaranteed.

What is making the situation peculiar is that the ICC is led by Shashank Manohar, who was the BCCI chief until 2016.

The Indo-Asian News Service quoted a BCCI official as saying that the board will follow the rule of the land, and even dared the ICC to take the tournament out of India.

“We will abide by what the tax department and the ministry decides on this. We would love for the World Cup to take place here (India), but if the ICC wants to play hard ball, they must be ready for everything,” an unnamed official was quoted as saying.

“If they want to take the ICC tournament out of India, it’s fine. Let BCCI then take the revenue out of the ICC and see who loses more.”

The Indian board is still smarting from the ICC’s decision to slash it’s revenue share from $570 million to $293 million before finally settling on $405m after hectic negotiations in 2017.

The ICC, under Manohar, had enforced a restructure that has resulted in more funds to other member boards.

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