18 Jun 2019 Jonas Lemberg

Kerala assembly passes resolution against uniform GST for lotteries, deadlock in GoM over lottery tax rate


The Kerala legislative assembly passed a unanimous resolution urging the Central Government to withdraw the move to bring uniform Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate on state-run lottery and other state lotteries.

As per news reports, the legislative assembly passed the resolution moved by state Finance Minister Thomas Isaac after a discussion over it on the floor of the House.

“The Centre’s move is to reduce the tax on lotteries run by intermediaries and bring it on par with the state-run lotteries. This will affect thousands of lottery agents and sellers in Kerala.

This move will affect the tax revenue of the state, as well as the Centre,” Isaac said.

Currently, 12% GST is being charged on lotteries sold by state governments directly, while a 28% tax rate is being levied on the face value of lottery tickets authorised by state governments but sold through private lottery distributors.

Private lottery companies have made several representations against this discriminatory and high rate of tax, and claimed that the taxation structure would cripple and destroy their business.

In a related development, it has been reported that the eight member Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, that had been tasked by the GST Council to study the differential tax rates on lotteries, has so far, failed in its efforts to recommend a uniform tax rate for lotteries.

According to media reports, the panel failed to reach a consensus after representatives of West Bengal and Kerala opposed the idea, citing loss to state governments.

The GST Council is slated to discuss the issue on 21st June, although a decision on the issue is unlikely, given the lack of consensus on the issue.

Read more about Kerala State Lotteries – Taxes, prices and prizes.

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