Goa casinos under investigation

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Ten casinos in the Indian city have been placed under investigation over claims of tax evasion.

India.- The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) of India issued notices to 10 of the biggest casinos in Goa for evading service tax. The notices claim that the casinos have to pay the taxes on their licence fees.

The intelligence arm of the department gave notice to the casinos asking them to pay taxes on fees from the years 2014 through 2016. Casinos are required to pay a 15 per cent tax on licence fees to the state government in order to stay in business.

Abhishek A Rastogi, Partner at Khaitan & Co, who filed a writ petition in this regard with the Goa bench of the Bombay High Court, said: “Demanding tax on statutory licence fees is absurd. It’s like demanding tax on passport fees paid to the government. Based on a circular, the DRI has initiated an investigation for applicability of service tax.”

M S Mani, Partner at Deloitte India added: “Many casinos have paid service tax on a reverse charge basis and hence should not be expected to pay any other indirect tax. Further, since entertainment tax has been subsumed in GST, similar issues may not arise in future.”