ED investigating gaming companies GST evasion worth ₹23,000 crore

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Amidst all the scams and siphoning of money to evade GST and other taxes in India, gaming companies have been found evading Goods and Services Tax (GST) worth INR 23,000 crore between the period April 2019 and November 2022. The information was disclosed by Pankaj Chaudhary, Minister of State for Finance. He further added that the cases are being investigated by tax officers.

In a response to the question that was asked at the Lok Sabha, the minister mentioned that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has booked several cases with proceeds of crime of more than INR 1,000 crore. All these cases are related to cyber and crypto assets frauds where online gaming companies and others are siphoning the proceeds to evade GST.

Although no identifiers are available regarding what online and other gaming companies are being targeted, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has formed investigations where the total sum of money involved in the GST evasion is INR 22,936 crore or simply put, almost INR 23,000 crores. The list includes gaming companies and firms in India and abroad.

ED investigating gaming companies GST evasion worth ₹23,000 crore

As mentioned by the minister, the ED is investigating all such instances. As of December 6, 2022, more than INR 1,000 crores have been frozen or seized under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. There are 2 supplementary PCs and a total of 10 prosecution complaints that are being investigated before the Special Court PMLA.

According to Mint, a sum of INR 289.28 crore has been seized from unnamed parties involved under section 37A of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999. Furthermore, the Income Tax Department has sent out notices to various gaming companies for non-payment of taxes. For context, the disclosure of information about specific taxpayers is prohibited except as provided under section 138 of the IT Act, 1961.

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