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Film industry to fast against service tax on January 7
December, 31st 2012

Movie-goers may want to mark January 7 on their calendar as the theatres in the city are likely to remain shut. Theatre owners have been requested to remain closed as a mark of support to the film fraternity's day-long fast demanding repeal of service tax by the Centre.

The Tamil film fraternity will go on a fast protesting against their inclusion in the service has announced that they will go on a fast protesting against the negative-list based

service tax that was introduced from July 1. Though producers, distributors and exhibitors were kept out of the tax ambit, actors, directors, photographers and choreographers were included. The film fraternity says this move does not help the industry in anyway because the tax is anyway passed on to people who belong in the exempted category - producers, distributors and exhibitors. "The actor who has to pay the service tax will ask the producer to include it in his salary," says R Sarathkumar, actor and the president of the South Indian Film Artistes Association. "The producer will then pass on the excess cost to the distributor who in-turn will pass it to the exhibitor. There the line gets stuck as he can't charge his movie goers, because tickets prices are controlled by the state government," he said.

According to the new service tax rule, tax has to be paid immediately after the film is completed. "Many completed films do not get released and the tax burden is massive ," says Sarathkumar.

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