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Organisers resolve Indian GP tax threat

NEWS STORY
14/09/2011

Organisers of the forthcoming Indian Grand Prix have agreed to pay any customs duties and taxes due thereby allaying fears that teams might boycott the event.

In the Monza paddock, opinion as to how real the threat of a boycott really was varied, though nobody in F1 is particularly fond of paying out money.

The row centred on legislation which would force teams to pay a tax bill for a portion of their income a situation that has arisen because the Indian government regards F1 as entertainment not sport. (No comment - Ed).

McLaren boss and FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh, while admitting there was an issue, tried hard to play down the threat of a boycott of the latest addition to the calendar but admitting that "you don't go somewhere if you're going to be penalised".

Now, the threat of a boycott appears to have been averted with race organiser Jaypee Sports International (JPSI) offering to pay any outstanding customs duties and taxes.

In a statement announcing that a deal had been agreed, Jaypee claims that it "has full support from the government, the sports ministry and the customs department for the F1 event".

It is believed that the final duty payable will be in the region of £1m.

However, in a separate issue, one of the conditions for approval of the event is believed to be that JPSI makes a "contribution" of £1.32m each year to the National Sports Development Fund for the duration of the contract (2011 to 2015), extendable by five years, and to help set up sports academies.

Then again, in F1's case shouldn't that be the National Entertainment Development Fund and entertainment academies?

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