CBDT asks the winners of online games to pay taxes, file updated ITR

Tax evasion in the gaming industry has come under the radar of the tax department. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has urged the winners of online games to file updated income tax returns (ITR-U), disclose their incomes and pay the applicable taxes.

Nitin Gupta, chairman of CBDT, on Thursday, stated that one gaming portal has distributed Rs 58,000 crore in the last three years as the gross winning amount, according to a report by The Financial Express (FE). It has over 8 million users.

The winners will have to pay 30 per cent tax along with interest without any rebates. They will also have to pay an additional 25-30 per cent on both the tax and the interest due.

The winners might be subjected to hefty penalties if they fail to pay tax dues by the deadline. The last date to file the ITR-U is generally after 24 months after the end of the relevant assessment year. For FY22, the last date to file the ITR-U stands on March 31, 2024.

“ITR-U should be utilised by the winners of such games from other gaming portals also, as it would be an efficient provision for them to come forward and pay taxes rather than face the consequences of penalty,” Gupta was quoted as saying by FE.

On February 15, the CBDT raided a business group engaged in gaming. They searched and seized operations of the group in 29 locations spread over Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Pune, Kolkata and Surat.

According to Gupta, 100,000 ITR-Us have been filed since the scheme was introduced in Budget 2022. The additional taxes paid have been to the tune of Rs 28 crore. It is beneficial for the people who may have unknowingly or knowingly not paid taxes on dues from activities like gaming, betting, lottery etc.

Under the new rules, 10 per cent tax deducted at source (TDS) liability on the banks for the loans waived.

The banks have, however, flagged the concerns related to the implementation of the new TDS provisions on loans waived and have sought help from the government.

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