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HindustanTimes Wed,20 Aug 2014

Notice to 42 flats for evading property tax

Hamari Jamatia, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 12, 2012
First Published: 00:23 IST(12/10/2012) | Last Updated: 02:23 IST(12/10/2012)

A lot of property owners in the city are making money by giving out rooms on rent. But many house-owners are hiding the fact in order to not pay commercial property tax, which is higher than domestic tax.

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Such wrongful assessment has landed 42 flats of a group housing society in Dwarka Sector 9 in trouble.

The apartments were given on rent but the flat owners were paying less tax by declaring the properties as ‘self-occupied’.

The property tax department of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation has sent notices to the house owners, asking them to file the correct charges or face action for wrongful assessment of property.

Under section 152-A, the corporation can punish owners for ‘willful default in payment of property tax and furnishing wrong information in return of assessment etc’.
If the amount of tax default is more than R10 lakh, the owner can be imprisoned for up to seven years.

“The corporation received a complaint about how owners of flats in a group housing society were paying wrong assessment and sent a team to check on it. The team found the complaint to be correct.

Most of Delhi is occupied by tenants but owners do not declare it at the time of filing taxes,” said a senior official of South Corporation.

Officials of the corporation are now busy hunting for residential properties that have been put up on rent but are still being assessed for taxes based of self occupation. According to them there are thousands of properties that are paying lesser amount of taxes to the corporation.

In order to improve income tax collections, the property tax department is also targeting tenants of properties whose owners are not paying taxes.
 
The department has already started sending property tax payment notices to tenants of big commercial establishments such as malls and commercial centres that are not paying taxes.

Non-payment of conversion charge on north corp’s radar

The North Delhi Corporation has ordered a survey of commercial properties in its jurisdiction. The move corporation wants to identify properties that have not paid conversion and parking charges. Once the survey is completed, action will be taken against those evading payment of taxes.

According to standing committee chairperson Yogender Chandolia, the corporation does not have a comprehensive data. “The civic body can earn a lot of revenue through the collection of conversion and parking charges. But there has not been any conscious effort to compile the data,” Chandolia said.

He said if the parking charges are paid, the corporation will use the money to build parking lots for the markets.

The officials have already met to decide on the course of action. According to them, a lot of traders in the city are operating without obtaining licences from the corporation, due to which it is difficult to ascertain which establishments have paid the charges.

The East Corporation meanwhile, has decided to launch the biggest property-sealing drive in from October 15.

Over 18,500 properties are likely to face action if the owners fail to pay the conversion and parking fee.


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