India’s Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council may be close to introducing a 28% tax rate on the country’s entire gambling industry. While there was hope that cooler heads might prevail, this now doesn’t appear to be the case. India’s Parliament House. The government is considering a proposal to introduce a flat 28% tax on casino purchases. (Image: The GST Council will push forward with the rate once a panel of parliamentary ministers signs off on the measure. That panel specifically discusses goods and services taxes, and is going to determine how to apply the rate.
At the heart of the ministers’ discussion is what will qualify for the tax. There’s one side that it wants to charge the full amount on all purchases a gambler makes at a casino, including food, drinks and more. The other side wants it to apply just to gambling. The ministers will present their results by July 15. Out of Control Taxation
Under the current tax structure, casinos, horse racing tracks, and online games (provided there is no gambling) pay a tax rate of 18%. The online betting and gambling segments pay 28%.
However, ministers decided that charging 28% across the board was a logical conclusion. So last week, the GST Council deferred the proposal, giving the political figures time to figure out their next move.
The tax would apply to the amount of chips a gambler purchases. However, because they can also use those chips to purchase food and beverages, the panel says that’s enough for those purchases to qualify under the gambling umbrella.
Currently, most restaurants charge 18% GST, while a small handful, based on their menu, charge 5%. However, complicating the process for the restaurants and the new casino tax rate is the input tax credit (ITC). Some restaurants receive the credit, but only if they charge the 18% rate.
Mauvin Godinho, a minister from Goa and a member of the panel, raised concerns in a recent meeting of the panel. As a result, the ministers now have to regroup and reevaluate the next step.
The proposal would see the inclusion of the GST […]