Sunburn suspected of 90% tax evasion in Goa

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 28 December 2012 15:03 IST

Goa government has tightened its noose around Sunburn, Asia’s biggest music festival, after media report pointed out at a tax evasion of almost 90 per cent by the organizers.

HCN TV channel exposed the evasion story recently, after which the Commissionerate of Commercial Taxes has personally started monitoring the sale of tickets.

Commissioner of Commercial Taxes S G Korgaonkar said he has deployed a team of officers at the ticket counters, monitoring its sale.

Goa government charges 15 per cent entertainment tax on the sale of tickets for any such event taking place in the state.

Shailendra Singh, managing director of Percept, had told a reputed daily like Economic Times that last year’s Sunburn event had pulled a crowd of nearly one lakh music lovers.

With an average ticket for all three days priced at Rs 8000 last year, even a crowd of 90,000 must have earned a revenue of Rs 72 crore.

The organizers had to thus pay entertainment tax of 10.80 crore to the government.

However, in reality, Percept paid only Rs 1.16 crore towards entertainment tax last year, confirmed Korgaonkar.

The revenue shortfall was Rs 9.64 crore.

This year, the average price of three-day ticket is Rs 8855. The organizers expect around 2.5 lakh people to attend the three-day fiesta at Candolim.

The sale of tickets to 2.5 lakh would accrue a revenue of Rs 221 crore. The entertainment tax thus would be not less than Rs 33.22 crore.

Even if the crowd does not swell beyond one lakh, the ticket revenue would be around Rs 88.55 crore. Goa should thus get tax revenue of at least Rs 13.28 crore.

After HCN exposed the story, the Commissioner of Commercial Taxes has increased the number of officers deployed at the venue, with an instruction to strictly monitor the sale of tickets.

In fact the Commissionerate is shocked that the Sunburn organizers have deprived the government of almost 90 per cent tax revenue.

The state is presently struggling to raise revenue through alternate methods after a severe setback it has received with mining being stopped completely.

“If required, we will deploy more officers from the second day”, Korgaonkar said.

The three-day Sunburn has already started from 27 December. The crowd is expected to go on swelling from the second day.

Though the seasonal ticket price for all three days is Rs 8855, the actual per-day ticket prices are much higher – Rs 3450 on the first day, Rs 4600 on the second day and Rs 6900 on the third day.

If these prices are monitored properly, the actual tax revenue would go much higher. 


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