In January this year, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council of India, the government body concerning the newly formed GST, had decided to consider tweaking the current tax on Lotteries in the 10th January meeting. However, the meeting didn’t result in any firm decision on the issue and an 8-member Group of Ministers (GoM) was created by the Council for advice in the matter.
The latest development, in a series of developments concerning the lottery industry, is that the GoM which was formed, recommended a uniform tax rate for lotteries, which is currently facing 28% GST on the face value of a lottery ticket sold by private players.
The GoM panel includes Maharashtra Finance Minister (FM) Sudhir Mungantiwar, West Bengal FM Amit Mitra, Kerala FM Thomas Issac, Assam FM Himanta Biswa Sarma, Punjab FM Manpreet Singh Badal, Goa Panchayat Minister Mauvin Godinho, Karnataka FM Krishna Byre Gowda and Arunachal Pradesh Tax and Excise Minister Jarkar Gamlin.
The GoM, after analysing the current tax structure on lotteries, overall scenario of the industry, evasion of GST by private players and other such factors surmised that a uniform tax rate is the best possible solution and a huge update to the current tax structure.
The present scenario is such that lottery tickets sold directly by the State Governments attract a 12% GST on its face value while private distributors selling lottery tickets sees a 28% tax levied on it. This huge tax has faced a lot of backlash and protests from many stakeholders in the industry.
GST Council also had video conference yesterday and were to decide on the taxation of lotteries and real estate but were delayed in its decision due to some difference of opinions put forth by various State Government representatives. The Council is now expected to meet on Sunday, 24th February.
The basic argument from stakeholders in the lottery industry is that a dual tax rate goes against the principles with which GST itself was created. The argument makes sense because GST was touted to be a ‘One Tax For All’ kind of a structure but hasn’t seen it achieve that yet. Hopefully, the Council will take a final decision on the issue on Sunday. Keep reading GutshotMagazine.com for more such updates and for general gaming/gambling news from around the world.
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