As the country awaits the formal rollout of the biggest tax reform, GST, from June 30 midnight, sports enthusiasts would find it an expensive proposition to enjoy their pet sporting events at stadiums since the new indirect tax regime would attract a considerable amount of taxes on match tickets.
BCCI's showpiece IPL event which is the most sought after sports league in terms of viewership shall attract up to 28 per cent tax under GST regime. All other events organised by recognised sports bodies like the Indian cricket board or the hockey federation will attract 18 per cent on tickets. Meanwhile, tickets priced below Rs 250 are exempt from GST. However, the number of tickets in this price range is very limited so it doesn't have much significance in terms of total business sense.
All sports events organised by recognised sports federations were to attract 28 percent GST, but a meeting held on Thursday decided to peg it down to 18 percent for "recognized sporting meets". If it wasn't for the last-minute revision by the GST Council, then Tests, One-dayers and T20Is conducted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India and events by other recognised sports bodies would have been taxed at 28%.
Exemption for recognized sports events has been the practice as they are conducted by recognised bodies like BCCI. They are involved in the promotion of sports and the playing teams represent their countries. For instance, Karnataka had long waived 10% entertainment tax for cricket matches and levied it only on IPL-like events. "From July 1, 18% GST on sports tickets will come as a big blow to spectators planning to cheer for India," Vinay, also a managing committee member of the Karnataka State Cricket Association said.