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Over 70 GST notices issued to online gaming firms, ₹1.1 tn due

New Delhi: Online gaming companies have been issued 71 show cause notices relating to Goods and Services Tax (GST) in FY23 and in the current financial year up to October, minister of state for finance Pankaj Chaudhary informed the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

The minister said in a written reply that the notices involved GST dues of 1.12 trillion.

However, since these notices are pending adjudication, the respective GST demand is not yet determined under the provisions of Central GST Act, the minister said.

Mint had reported on 26 October that the GST authorities had issued show cause notices to online gaming platforms and casinos regarding their alleged short payment of tax to the tune of 1 trillion but that the recovery would depend on how the Supreme Court will decide on a dispute on this matter.

The apex court has now stayed a favourable order a gaming company had received from the Karnataka High Court.

While the levy of 28% GST on online gaming companies, casinos and horse racing clubs is under dispute for the period up to end of September, the government has amended tax laws to make sure that the highest GST slab applies to these sectors with effect from 1 October.

At the end of March 2024, the GST Council intends to review the implementation of the revamped tax regime.

Chaudhary also informed Parliament that there has been a steady rise in the detection of GST evasion in the last five years.

In the current financial year, the amount of tax evasion detected is about 1.5 trillion. Of this, over 18,541 crore has been recovered and 154 people have been arrested, the minister said.

In FY23, the authorities had detected tax evasion of about 1.3 trillion. Of this, 33,226 crore has been recovered. In the last financial year, 190 people were arrested. In FY21, 460 people were arrested, the largest number in the last five years. In that year, over 49,300 crore of tax evasion was detected, the minister said.

The rise in the detection of alleged tax evasion comes in the context of a gradual scaling up of data analytics, greater reporting requirements placed on businesses and extensive use of technology. With data from various sources, the authorities are able to detect information mismatches and under-reporting of taxes.

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Published: 05 Dec 2023, 09:59 PM IST

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