Centre may ask Supreme Court to club all GST-related online gaming cases

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A senior Finance Ministry official has revealed that the government may soon ask the Supreme Court to merge all GST-related online gaming cases, which are before it, under a single principle.

Speaking to Moneycontrol, the official said, “The online gaming cases are pending in the Supreme Court on the taxability issue. The final decision on it will be taken by the Supreme Court and one cannot have multiple interpretations of the same law. So the request is to tag all the cases together”.

“The request is to club these into a single litigation on the principle of it. Some of the earlier major decisions of the Supreme Court are in the name of a company but the list of tagged cases go up to 40-100,” the official added.

It appears to be a practical suggestion as it will further save time and resources of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) as well as of all other stakeholders.

Online gaming companies are disputing the recent tax demand notices handed to them on a retrospective basis after the GST rate was increased to 28% on full face value.

The first-ever tax notice was issued to Gameskraft in 2022, demanding Rs 21,000 crore. The company did receive some relief after the Karnataka High Court quashed the GST notice in May this year. However, the Supreme Court put a stay on Karnataka HC’s ruling in September.

Post that, the DGGI started issuing similar notices to several other online real money gaming companies, demanding varying amounts. Some of the major gaming firms have filed writ petitions against the tax demands across various High Courts. These include Games 24×7, Head Digital Works, Dream Sports, Delta Corp and others. The cumulative amount demanded from all the online gaming firm has reportedly crossed Rs 1.5 lakh crore.