Media industry expects GST rollout to bring reprieve

Industry players are hopeful that the rollout of goods and services tax (GST) is done at the earliest so that the tax regime across the country is simplified in the media and entertainment (M&E) sector.

“Withholding tax in acquisition of TV programmes; placement/carriage fee; agency commission and transponder charges are some of the pressing issues. Other issues such as deductibility of cost of content; dual levy of service tax & VAT on content; carry forward of loss on amalgamation and taxation of foreign telecasting companies are not allowing the industry to flourish as there are a number of ambiguities surrounding these issues,” said KPMG Executive Director , Himanshu Parekh  said while addressing a session at FICCI FRAMES 2015.

As far as the DTH/cable sector is concerned, withholding tax on discount on sale of set top boxes/recharge vouchers (RCV); double levy of tax on installation and activation charges, and double levy of tax on RCV, were the key concerns of the DTH/cable sector, Parekh added.

“The M&E sector is being unnecessarily burdened with additional taxes such as levying of both service tax and VAT on the same product," said Viacom 18 CFO Narayan Prabhat Ranjan.

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