GST impact: Cinema halls across Tamil Nadu close to protest double taxation

Theaters across Tamil Nadu goes on indefinite strike to protest 30% entertainment tax in addition to 28% GST. Earlier, online booking of tickets was suspended for this weekend to protest lack of clarity on if state government would levy entertainment tax apart from the GST.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 3, 2017 2:53 pm
GST, GST rollout, chennai theaters closed, movie hall closed, tamil nadu entertainment tax, tamil film industry, movie strike, indian express news, india news The Tamil Nadu government had earlier notified that municipalities would not levy tax on top of GST.

Cinema theatres across Tamil Nadu cancelled screening of movies and shut down on Monday in protest against the imposition of 30 per cent of entertainment tax in addition to 28 per cent GST (Goods and Services tax). Under the GST regime, the movie industry will have to pay 58 per cent tax that will also increase the rate of the tickets for the audience.

Abirami Ramanathan, president of Tamil Film Chamber of Commerce, told PTI that all shows will be cancelled from July 3. He said the state government had earlier notified that municipalities would not levy tax on top of GST.

According to the PTI report, Ramanathan said, “If we screen movies, we have to pay local body taxes immediately as it came into force from yesterday. We are closing since there is no other way out. We cannot increase prices for big ticket movies. We have requested the government to fix a threshold within which we should be allowed to either increase or cut down ticket prices as per the need.”

Read | GST rollout: What is GST Act 2017?

“The state government needs to clarify how much tax will be levied on theatres after GST rollout. We request the state government to sort out the confusion immediately,” he added.

A closed ticket counter in Tamil Nadu. (ANI photo)

Over the weekend, multiplexes had also suspended online booking facilities demanding clarity if the state government would levy entertainment tax apart from the GST. “Some 10 lakh families are depended on our sector. If entertainment tax is levied by the state on top of GST, theatre owners will end up paying up to 53 per cent of the ticket rate as tax,” the cinema body chief said.

According to IANS, filmmakers in Tamil Nadu have urged the chamber to revoke its decision. “The critical decision was taken (by the chamber) without the consent of other organisations. In fact, we were not even informed and their move came as a shocker. We have urged them to revoke their decision and give us time to discuss the taxation issue with the government,” actor Vishal Krishna, president of the Tamil Film Producers’ Council, told the agency.

The agency quoted filmmakers R  Kannan and said, “I have borrowed money and produced ‘Ivan Thanthiran’. How am I going to repay if theatres are closed? This is like killing a newborn. My film has just released and this move will kill my film. I really don’t know what I should do now.”

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    chakradhar bandaru
    Jul 6, 2017 at 7:12 am
    Isn't this kind of new avaar of vat tax . The tax of 30 added to the product already paid standard one nation one tax 28 . This is called taxing after taxing once . VAT was itself a dumb thing. That even officials knew was not legit . I thought vat was worse. But, This case of Tamil film industry is woresest of the taxing system . I have yet seen .
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      raj
      Jul 5, 2017 at 11:09 pm
      even after minting in crores , these people unwilling to pay govt , so sad !!! TN CM DID SPLENDID JOB!!!
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        Srinivasan
        Jul 4, 2017 at 2:58 pm
        why such a mis-leading headline? is the GST 58 ? the TN govt has levied a muni l tax of 30 over and above what the GST is charging? If you are telling the truth, should not the headline read: "Local Taxes impact: Cinema halls closed" OOPS, sorry. iam asking MSM to tell the truth. MSM and truth are poles apart.
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          Str8edge
          Jul 4, 2017 at 11:18 am
          It is a protest against muni l tax of 30 that is levied by the state over GST of 28/18 which other states have let go. They expect the state government to let go of this additional tax. Not a protest against GST. If what you are saying is true, why aren't other state theaters not taking part in the strike?
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            Str8edge
            Jul 4, 2017 at 11:14 am
            It is a protest against muni l tax of 30 that is levied by the state over GST of 28 . They expect the state government to let go of this additional tax. Not a protest against GST. If what you are saying is true, why aren't other state theaters not taking part in the strike?
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              Ram Rave
              Jul 3, 2017 at 8:19 pm
              bollywood and cricket should be tax upto 75 to be shared by viewer/audiance, players, actors, producers, BCCI, etc
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                sree
                Jul 3, 2017 at 8:16 pm
                What is the GSTN doing why they do not have the power to eliminate it if it is wrong
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                  B
                  Jul 3, 2017 at 5:27 pm
                  The state government is sleeping on this issue. Nothing to do with GST They 're expecting bribes from various producers to make only them tax exempt! That's all that is going on.
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