Clubs to implement GST under protest
by Shailendra Awasthi | TOI
Horse racing clubs all over the country have decided to implement the Goods and Services Tax (GST) under protest. The authorities all over have decided to employ the GST on gross betting turnover from Saturday .
Vivek Jain, the head of the Indian racing's umbrella body , the Turf Authorities of India (TAI)'s negotiating team, informed TOI on Friday that: "In absence of clarity in the valuation rules on the contentious issue on what the GST is to be paid on (gross bet or the club's margin) it was decided, for now, to pay the same on face value under protest."
However, it is interesting to note that the overwhelming opinion received by the consultants of all clubs is that totalizator betting tax should be on the margin only . "We are once again trying to seek time with the Finance Minister Arun Jately and to submit one more representation," added Jain. Jain is hopeful about future. "Till we exhaust all options for a review on the tax and study the fall out of the new tax from July1, at all clubs. I remain hopeful a solution will be found, but we must just give it some time."
At the same time the clubs wish to seek an advance ruling from the GST Tribunal on the methodology the tax calculation but the tribunal is yet to be formed. "We now have suggested that for tote betting a lower tax be considered as that is frequented by the common man, the small punter. The government has fixed dual rates for lotteries, so by parallel, the same can be considered for betting at the racecourses," informed Jain.
At present, the Mysore Race Club pays just 4.5% tax while Bangalore Turf Club pays 8%, Royal Western India Turf Club (20% but with bookmakers it is 30%), the Madras Race Club (25%), the Delhi Race Club (20%), the Royal Calcutta Turf Club (currently 5% on win and 10% on other pools) and Hyderabad Race Club (15%).