Non-Kannada film tickets cheaper from this weekend

Non-Kannada film tickets cheaper from this weekend

Tickets for non-Kannada films will be cheaper by 4% to 5% from July 1, once the Goods and Services Tax (GST) kicks in.

On the other hand, tickets for films in Kannada and Karnataka's regional languages (Tulu, Kodava, Byari and Konkani) will be dearer by 18% or 28%. Under the new regime, tickets priced at Rs 100 or less are taxed at 18%, while those priced at more than Rs 100 are taxed at 28%.

Under the GST, the maximum tax on tickets is 28%. Currently, non-Kannada films pay 32%. This means the tax on them decreases by 4%, resulting in lower ticket prices.

The GST Council can’t regulate ticket prices as it is left to the discretion of theatre owners. It can levy either 18% or 28%, based on ticket prices, regardless of categories such as dress circle and balcony. The new tax structure will not affect producers, distributors, exhibitors and theatre owners.

Finally, the audience will have to bear the additional burden, said K Raman, Joint  Commissioner (Minor Act), Commercial Taxes Department.

Meanwhile, theatres without GST Council registration face closure. Under the new system, theatres with more than Rs 20 lakh in annual transactions should register. Theatres with a turnover of less than Rs 20 lakh are excluded from GST Council registration. About 400 theatres across the state are yet to get GST registration.

Some have less than Rs 20 lakh in transactions, while others are run on rent or lease. A few are partnerships. In the case of multiplexes, a single registration for multiple screens will do. “The government has given two months to the film industry to adopt the new system. Theatres without GST Council registration may not stop screening films immediately,” Vivek Mallya, an expert on GST, told DH.

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