GST evasion of ₹23,000 cr by gaming cos in April 2019-Nov 2022. Read here

Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs has initiated investigations against some gaming companies (including online gaming firms) located in India as well as abroad.

Livemint
Updated12 Dec 2022
The official handle of the GST Network (GSTN) has responded on Twitter.
The official handle of the GST Network (GSTN) has responded on Twitter.

Good and Services Tax (GST) evasion of nearly 23,000 crore by gaming companies in the period between April 2019 and November 2022 is being investigated by the tax officers, said Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary on Monday.

In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, the minister said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached proceeds of crime of more than 1,000 crore in several cases related to cyber and crypto assets frauds wherein online gaming etc have been used for siphoning the proceeds.

About evasion of GST, Chaudhary said Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) formations have initiated investigations against some gaming companies (including online gaming firms) located in India as well as abroad.

"The estimated evasion of GST by these companies works out of 22,936 crore, relating to the period April 2019 to Nov. 2022," he said.

ED is also investigating several cases related to cyber and crypto assets frauds wherein online gaming etc. have been used for siphoning the proceeds.

In these cases, as on December 6, 2022, proceeds of crime of more than 1,000 crore have been attached/seized/freezed under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA). Also, 10 Prosecution Complaints (PCs), including 2 supplementary PCs, have been filed before the Special Court PMLA.

Further, assets amounting to 289.28 crore have been seized under section 37A of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999, the minister said.

To a query on whether the Income Tax Department has issued notices to many gaming companies for non-payment of tax, Chaudhary said the information is not available, since no specific identification code for online gaming entities is available in Income Tax Return.

"The disclosure of information about specific taxpayer is prohibited except as provided under section 138 of the Income Tax Act, 1961," he added. 

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