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India to tax incentives offered by online gaming firms to customers

(Reuters) - Bonuses, referrals and incentives offered by online gaming companies to their customers will be considered as part of winnings and is subject to tax, the Indian government said on Monday.

Online gaming companies will be required to deduct taxes at source if players claim their net winnings, including bonuses or incentives, according to guidelines issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes.

However, bonuses or incentives will not be taxed if they are not claimed or withdrawn, the agency said.

Net winnings will be calculated by subtracting the amount withdrawn by a customer from the sum total of deposits in the account and opening balance at the beginning of the year.

The net winnings of a player on online gaming platforms are currently taxed at 30%.

Online gaming companies will not be required to deduct taxes on winnings withdrawn by a player if the amount is less than 100 rupees ($1.22) a month.

($1 = 81.7800 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Nikunj Ohri in New Delhi; Editing by Anil D'Silva)