14.07.2023: Clarificatory amendment to GST Act on online gaming in monsoon session: Revenue Secretary Sanjay Malhotra

Revenue Secretary Sanjay Malhotra on Thursday said the central government will bring clarificatory amendments to the GST Act in the monsoon session of Parliament to implement GST Council's decision of imposing 28% tax on online gaming, casino and horse racing. The monsoon session will begin on July 20 and end on August 11, 2023.

“It will be our effort to draft the law and introduce it in Parliament and get it passed in the monsoon session,” he told PTI in an interview.

The implementation takes effect only when state legislatures have also passed amendments in state GST laws, he said, adding, that it will take some time.

“This is a clarificatory amendment. It has been our view that online games for stakes depend on outcomes…whether game of skill or game of chance. The Council has only reiterated and confirmed that view that these games are taxable at 28% on the full face value or the payment which is made to the online gaming platform,” he said.

So in that sense it is not retrospective, he added.

The online gaming companies, however, have been paying tax at lower rates on Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) which works out to be less than 5% which is applicable on food, he said.
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council in its meeting on Tuesday decided to impose a 28% tax on the turnover of online gaming companies, horse racing and casinos.

The tax rate was decided based on the recommendation of a group of ministers that looked at taxing casinos, horse racing and online gaming. The issue before the GoM (group of ministers) was whether to impose a 28% GST on the face value of bets, or gross gaming revenue, or just on platform fees.

The GST Council decided to impose tax on the entire value.

The tax on online gaming companies would be imposed without making any differentiation based on whether the games required skill or were based on chance.
Source: The Economic Times 

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