GST impact on Entertainment industry: Entertainment is a big part of our lives. Most of us who work hard through the entire week want to go out, watch movies or visit some new places to relax on our days off. Here we will discuss the impact of GST rates on the entertainment industry and whether or not it has become expensive under GST.
Under the VAT Regime
Earlier, the entertainment tax was levied by states and the rates ranged from 0 to 110%, with an average of 30%.
A list of the entertainment tax generally charged by states:
Buying Food at these Places
Most of these entertainment places (movie halls, amusement parks etc.) usually give out contracts to private players to supply food.
The service tax earlier (pre-GST) was 15%, and the entertainment industry enjoyed an abatement of 60% on service tax, i.e., only 40% of the 15% service tax had to be paid. So, the total tax under the VAT regime was:
Impact of GST Rates
The table below shows the final rates that will apply to the entertainment industry post-July, 2017:
For End Consumers
Let us understand the impact of GST on the end consumer using movie halls as an example. In movie theaters (multiplexes), food and beverages were taxed at a VAT of 20.5% and an average of 30% tax was levied on tickets, depending on the state.
Movie tickets will now attract GST at 28%. As food and beverages fall under the supply of food/drinks in outdoor catering, they will attract 18% GST. Thus, the GST rates for the entertainment industry are lower than rates of VAT and Service Tax.
GST, thus, will have a mixed effect on the entertainment industry, depending on the states. For states with a high entertainment tax, GST will be beneficial as it will reduce the prices for the end consumers. However, GST will have a negative effect on states which already have a low entertainment tax.
As we see above, the GST impact on ticket prices will differ from state to state.
For Entertainment Industry Owners
Like the end consumers, even the entertainment industry will see a varied impact of GST implementation. Movie theaters and amusement parks may see either a positive or a negative impact depending on the state they are in.
Availability of ITC
ITC will now be available on the services component of activities like catering, renting of premises for movie halls, security costs which were not available under the pre-GST regime. So, the input GST paid when renting a premise can be adjusted with the output GST from selling tickets.
Thus, the tax burden on the owners of theaters, amusements parks etc. is set to reduce in the coming days.
Additional Tax by Municipalities
Municipal bodies have so far not had any share in entertainment taxes collected by states. However, there are reports that some states such as Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Gujarat might ask their local bodies to charge entertainment tax. If local taxes become applicable, then the operating margins and profits, as calculated above, will be affected.
The impact of GST on the entertainment industry can be both positive and negative, depending on the state. Owners of movie halls, parks etc. stand to gain under GST, thanks to the provision of input tax credit. However, the effect of any additional local taxes (if levied) needs to be seen.
(The author is Founder & CEO, ClearTax.com)