Haryana’s excise and taxation department issued Rs 1,500 crore GST notice to M/s Probo Media Technologies Private Limited, an online betting company.
In a first of its kind action, Haryana’s excise and taxation department has issued a notice of Rs 1,500 crore to Gurugram-based M/s Probo Media Technologies Private Limited, an online betting company. The notice has accused the company of misclassifying its services. The GST is applicable 100% on the face value of bet and the tax rate on chance of winning in betting, gambling, or horse racing in race club is 28%. However, this firm was paying 18%, thus evading tax of Rs 1,500 crore.
The action taken on secret information by Haryana GST intelligence wing found that the firm was misclassifying its work in order to evade tax. An investigation established that the firm was non-operational at the principal place of business declared by it on the GST portal. The firm’s actual premises was located and it was found to be running mobile application called Probo and also a website/web portal of the same name.
The mobile app and the website allowed users to bet on real life events in sports and non-sports categories. All the bets on the app/website were designed by the firm. “The users on the app or the website place their bets in a binary form, that is a yes or a no. Every time a bet is placed on the platform, it searches for another user who would then accept the bet and place a counter bet. In case the first user wins, the money is deposited into the user’s online wallet and a platform fee/commission is deducted from all winnings and withdrawals,” an official said.
Ashok Kumar Meena, excise and taxation commissioner, Haryana, said, “The company has been issued notice for evading the tax and the action has come following the consistence probe by the GST intelligence wing of the state government. We are using the IT tools in effective manner and on the basis of the IT tools and data analytics, we are generating red flex. In such cases, we are also initiating detailed investigation. If someone is evading the tax, we are taking stern action against such defaulters. Based on the continuous efforts, we managed to achieve one of the highest growth in India in last financial year.”
‘Respond within 30 days’
The notice reads, “If no cause is shown against the action proposed to be taken within 30 (thirty) days of the receipt of this notice or they do not appear before the adjudicating authority when the case is posted for hearing, the case will be decided ex-parte on the basis of evidence available on records. If no mention is made, it would be presumed that they do not wish to be heard.”