GST Dept issues advisory to offshore gaming firms on registration and return filing

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The GST Department on Tuesday issued an advisory to offshore online real money firms in relation to registration under the GST Laws. As a background, it must be noted that the offshore gaming firms have been mandated to register and remit tax under the GST Laws with effect from 1 October 2023. The government has also notified principal commissioner, Bengaluru West as the authority for issuing GST registrations to these offshore gaming entities.

The department on Tuesday noted that the corresponding changes to online registration form Reg-10 is under process and till then the online gaming firms are directed to provide requisite information as pdf uploads at the time of registration.

The department also noted that persons engaged in the supply of Online Money Gaming are required to furnish the details of such supplies in Table 5D and 5E of return Form GSTR-5A.

However, the functionality in Form GSTR-5A is not yet operational and the department has advised the offshore online gaming firms to furnish the details of such supplies in the existing Tables 5 and 5A of the return Form GSTR-5A itself for the time.

The specific emphasis on the offshore gaming firms arose from the fact that offshore gaming firms were often found violating the tax laws and been involved in money laundering.

As a consequence of new GST regime, offshore betting platforms Bet365, Betway and many illegal offshore platforms have stopped their services in the country. Betway parent Super Group said the new rules make the Indian market as no longer commercially viable for the business.

Betting and gambling is illegal in the country and tax authorities have claimed that taxing does not mean accepting them as legal. These betting firms till now operated through maze of corporate structures and the new GST regime made their officials vulnerable to proceedings under the tax laws and also under general laws that prohibit betting and gambling.