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Matchmakers face service tax prospect

business Updated: Apr 05, 2009 20:27 IST
Highlight Story

Marriages were always known to be taxing, but now even matchmakers are going to be taxed!

The Delhi Service Tax Commissionerate has decided to issue summons to a large number of marriage bureaux and online matchmaking portals in and around the Capital, asking them to pay service tax.

Proceedings are being initiated following complaints of non-payment of taxes by these bureaus and portals.

According to a service tax official, every year an estimated 3 lakh marriages take place in the National Capital Region.

Matchmakers charge up to Rs 5 lakh for a wedding. The services provided by bureaus fall under the business auxiliary services and the department plans to impose a 10.3 per cent tax on such services, the official said. This will result in an outgo of over Rs 14 crore.

Online matrimonial portals, which carry data on bride and bridegrooms, are also liable for tax under the On-Line Information Database Access or Retrieval Service. Major players include shaadi.com, bharmatrimonial.com, jeevansaathi.com and simplymarry.com. There are also some smaller players. While some pay tax, many others don't.

“We have been paying service tax for several years,” said Hitesh Oberoi, chief operating officer, Jeevansathi.com.

Amongst those not paying the tax is online portal gathbandhan.com. According to Nand Kishore, promoter of the portal: “We have launched the website a few months ago. At the moment we are not paying tax, but if we are asked to pay, we will do so.”

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