How GST would affect the Media and Entertainment Industry
GST and its impact on consumers
The finance ministry released the recently released draft of goods and sales tax. And, based on the current scheme of affairs, consumers are expected to pay a service charge tax of around 14.5-15% for all broadcast services like Television that includes Cable and DTH also films and digital content. Besides this, an entertainment tax of around 8-12% is further levied increasing the average tax to as much as 25%
However, once GST comes into play, consumers would have to pay a single tax between that can be anything between 18-20%. Hence, the overall tax burden on consumers is set to reduce.
GST and its impact on Multiplexes and Film Production Houses
GST bill would introduce a nationwide goods and services tax through which multiplexes would be able to evade 27% tax on ticket sale as well as levy on food and beverage revenue. It further states that, Multiplexes would pay a GST tax to the federal government as well.
This could mean a hike of 4-5% on the company’s margin, which used to range between 14 to 18% for the past five years
On the contrary, as per the current laws, film producers are expected to pay exorbitant amounts of money in the form of service tax for processes like theatrical rights, satellite rights, etc.
As soon as GST comes into play, all taxes would come under the same category. The bill would also benefit multiplexes that are currently dealing with tax processes from different states of the country. This means that the tax rates would go down and the profits for companies would shoot up. Also, the hassles of dealing with several state Governments with varied rules would be solved for good.
To conclude, the proposed GST module sounds flawless on paper, but in actuality, its efficiency is still unknown. Also, a major fear with the GST module is that it would allow local municipalities to decide the tax rate on movies. But on a general note, the bill would most likely do a lot more good than harm, as it would basically empower both the centre and the states to levy GST.
This can’t be done now as the centre cannot impose any sort of tax on goods beyond the manufacturing process, while the state cannot tax services. GST would include central excise duty, additional excise duty, service tax, countervailing or customs, etc. as well as State level indirect taxes like VAT/sales tax, entertainment tax, luxury tax, octroi, entry tax, etc.
Once the bill is rolled-out, there will only be a single national level GST and a state level GST spanning the entire value chain for all goods and services with some exceptions.