The Income-Tax department has filed an appeal in Bombay High Court against an order of its tribunal allowing Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan to seek tax reliefs for using his membership at Otters Club in suburban Bandra and his BMV Range Rover car for professional reasons.

The appeal came up for hearing on February 14 before Justice J P Devadhar and Justice Mridula Bhatkar who posted the matter for arguments after four weeks.

During the assessment year 2002-2003, the actor had sought deduction of Rs 15 lakhs paid by him as membership fee to Otters Club saying it was for professional use. Assessment officer rejected his claim following which Shahrukh appealed before Commissioner of Income Tax, who also turned down his plea. He then moved the I-T tribunal which ruled in his favour.

The I-T department contended in its appeal that the Tribunal had erred in holding that the onus to prove that the actor had drawn personal benefits from the club’s membership, was on the department.

With regard to tax relief claimed on BMW car, the actor had claimed 50 percent depreciation at Rs 17 lakh which was rejected by the assessment officer. He was of the view that the actor could claim only 20 percent and had ruled that 50 percent was allowed only in the case of commercial vehicles.

Shahrukh then approached the Commissioner of Income Tax by filing an appeal but it was rejected. He then moved the I-T Tribunal which ruled in his favour. Being aggrieved, the I-T department filed an appeal in the High Court.

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