Bombay High Court finally comes out and backed the Casinos in Goa, demanding an answer from the union territory on the surging casino service fees demanded by them. The Goa’s indirect tax department issued a service tax on the license fees to the casinos, previously this year.
This led to the dissatisfaction among the casino owners and along with operators protested that Goa’s indirect tax department neither has the authority to ask for any service tax on their license fees nor is any legal body to demand the tax. This led to a feud between the parties, casino owners and operators versus Goa’s indirect tax department. Looking into the case, Bombay High Court backed the casino owners saying that by which authority did Goa’s indirect tax department has issued the service tax? Demanding an immediate answer for their actions, the Bombay High Court may take serious steps against the tax department state multiple local media houses.
The tax department issued 10 notices to the largest casinos in Goa in January charging them with a tax on the license fees of their casinos for the three year tenure from 2014 to 2016.
The casino owners replied back by filing a case with High Court bench in Goa against the department, claiming what authority does it has to charge the service tax. Attorney Abhishek Rastogi filed a writ petition as the service fee was not only implemented but also argued it to be nothing short of a statutory levy, taking money to pay off a tax or to aid in the war, unlike any service fee implemented by any state governments. Speaking of which Rastogi said, “Asking for this service tax is completely illogical as it is like to ask for a service tax on passport renewal fees paid to the government. Based on all the information provided to the High Court, the DRI has started an investigation for the eligibility of this service tax and soon the truth will be out. This tax issue should be solved with reasoning by the GST council of India, as they have been solved similar cases before. ”
Similar incident was noticed in Delhi, when the owner of the liquor companies filed a case in the Delhi High Court. The Delhi High Court received a complaint by liquor companies who were demanding a similar service tax for liquor licenses.