According to Pankaj Chaudhary, Minister of State for Finance, tax officers are investigating the GST evasion of nearly Rs 23,000 crore by gaming companies. The minister said the Enforcement Directorate has attached proceeds of crime of more than Rs 1,000 crore in several cases related to cyber and cryptocurrency assets frauds wherein online gaming has been used for siphoning the proceeds.
The estimated evasion of GST by these companies works out of Rs 22,936 crore, between the period of April 2019 to November 2022, Pankaj Chaudhary said. “The disclosure of information about specific taxpayer is prohibited except as provided under section 138 of the Income Tax Act, 1961,” he added.
When asked if the Income Tax Department has issued notices to many gaming companies for non-payment of tax, Chaudhary said the information is not available since no specific identification code for online gaming entities is available in Income Tax Return. Additionally, Chaudhary said that the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) formations have initiated investigations against some gaming companies (including online gaming firms) located in India as well as abroad.
In these cases, the statement said that the proceeds of crime of more than Rs 1,000 crore have been attached/seized/frozen under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA). Also, 10 Prosecution Complaints (PCs), including 2 supplementary PCs, have been filed before the Special Court PMLA. Furthermore, it claimed that the assets amounting to Rs 289.28 crore have been seized under section 37A of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999, the minister said.
Inputs from PTI