After the introduction of GST on the midnight of 1st July 2017, there is much upheaval in all the sectors. For some, GST is a boon while for others, it is a bane. It seems like the government is not even sparing any thoughts to put taxes on the religious sentiments of its people.
A hundred and seventy-one temples in Andhra Pradesh with an income of above Rs 20 lakh have come under the clutches of GST. The temple’s income, in the form of donations from ardent devotees, has come under the horizon of the latest tax regime.
Out of the 23,834 temples in the state, 45 temples come under the income girder of Rs 1 crore, 63 temples under the income of up to Rs 25 crore and seven temples with more than Rs 25 crore annual income, including the country’s richest Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams.
This comes under much scrutiny as temples are the only religious institutions that are taxed, and many devotees hoped that GST would cut out our temples just like any other religious institution. However, that does not seem like the case.
By: Anamika Bhaumik