Taxation of a non-resident entertainer, sports person etc.

Section 115BBA of the Income Tax Act provides a concessionary tax regime in the case of income of sports persons who are non-citizen and non-resident. The provision covers income received by way of participation in any game or sport, advertising or contribution of article in any newspaper etc. The income of such sportsmen is taxed at the rate of 10% of the gross receipts. The same regime is also available to a non-resident sports association or institution for guarantee money payable to such institution in relation to any game or sport played in India.

Under the Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA’s), there is parity between a non-resident sportsman and a non-resident entertainer. A similar tax regime i.e. taxation on basis of gross receipts rather than net income would simplify the process of taxation in the case of entertainer. The special treatment in respect of entertainer is required because determination of deductible expenses for performance is complicated, especially when the production expenses of an international tour need to be allocated across performances in various countries.

Internationally, similar tax rates exist for both entertainer and sportsperson. International comparisons also reveal that the tax rate ranges between 10% to 30% in case of entertainer and sportsperson. Therefore, rate of 20% on gross receipts is a reasonable rate of tax in case of non-resident, non-citizen entertainer. The tax rate in case of non-resident, noncitizen sportspersons and non-resident sports associations also needs to be raised to 20%.

It is proposed to amend section 115BBA to provide that income arising to a non-citizen, non-resident entertainer (such as theatre, radio or television artists and musicians) from performance in India shall be taxable at the rate of 20% of gross receipts. It is also proposed to increase the taxation rate, in case of non-citizen, non-resident sportsmen and non-resident sports association, from 10% to 20% of the gross receipts.

This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2013 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2013-14 and subsequent assessment years.

Consequential amendment is proposed in section 194E to provide for withholding of tax at the rate of 20% from income payable to non-resident, non-citizen, entertainer, or sportsmen or sports association or institution.

This amendment will take effect from 1st July, 2012.

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