By beating Shah Rukh Khan to become the highest advance tax payer in Bollywood, Akshay Kumar has once again shown who is the real king of showbiz at the moment. Akki paid a whopping Rs 19 crore as advance tax (till December 2008) and pushed Shah Rukh, who paid Rs 15 crore, to second place.
The year before, Shah Rukh was the undisputed topper when it came to paying advance tax (Rs 31 crore till March 2008), while Akshay had paid Rs 12 crore in comparison. Shah Rukh still has three more months to go (March 2009) to catch up, but right now, the Akshay juggernaut cannot be stopped.
Industry insiders are not surprised, especially in light of the record-breaking run of Akki's Singh is Kinng at the box office last year. Says Manish Porwal, CEO of Percept Talent Management, "We don't need any tax figures to confirm that [Akki's reign at the top].
Shah Rukh paid a lot of tax in 2007 but the figure came down a lot in 2008, while Akshay was at his peak." Another industry insider adds, "It may be that Shah Rukh Khan is paying more taxes on behalf of Red Chillies Entertainment than as an individual, as he has tried to corporatise the functioning of everything he does.
" Since advance tax figures can lead to a background calculation of one's annual income, some express surprise at the honest declaration by Akshay. "I was amazed that Akshay has declared correct figures.
He is paying tax complementary to his earnings, " says trade analyst Rajeev Masand. "Chandni Chowk to China will tell us if he has truly conquered the throne in Bollywood.