Hyderabad: The Hyderabad Race Club says its punters are among those paying the highest rate of GST at 28 per cent and a cess of 12 per cent.
Punters quoted a Supreme Court ruling that held that horse racing is a game of skill and should be exempt from tax.
Captain L. Panduranga Reddy (retd), president of Voice of Horse Race Wagers Association, explained: “Horse racing is taxed 28 per cent as per the revised GST, and state lotteries are taxed 12 per cent. As per the Supreme Court declaration, horse racing is a game of skill and does not involve betting. This being the case, how can the GST Council impose 28 per cent tax?”
He said that in addition to that, race clubs are charging 12 per cent. “It should be noted that the stock exchange is a gamble as well, but investors don’t pay any service tax, even if they make profits as tax is being collected from stock exchange companies. Similarly GST should be collected from race clubs and not from punters,” he said.
“With high tax being imposed, punters are going in for illegal betting and this will bring down the revenue of the government,” pointed out Mr V. Govind Reddy, another member of the association.
The racing fraternity wants the GST Council to set up a panel that will hold discussions with race-goers, race/ turf clubs and others and arrive at a mutually agreeable tax slab.
A few members suggested that the board should avoid middlemen including mutawallis and collect rents directly.
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