The Delhi government unearthed a tax evasion scam worth crores where traders have been stocking imported goods in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh before sale in the Capital to avoid VAT.
VAT or value-added tax is a major source of revenue for Delhi. The AAP government set a target of Rs 24,000 crore for 2015-16, and to achieve this, the VAT department has been carrying out numerous raids to identify defaulters.
Following an extensive survey, the department of trade and taxes conducted an inter-state operation to crack down on evasion. It was found that over 100 medium-size traders with an average turnover of Rs 200-600 crore per year had not paid taxes to the Delhi government for quite some time, despite selling goods in the Capital, said sources.
The value of the evaded portion of tax is yet to be ascertained, and records are being checked to see if they paid taxes to states where goods were stored.
“We have done our investigation and have found that these traders, a majority of who deal in grocery products, dry fruits, etc., have neither paid taxes to us nor to the neighbouring states such as Haryana or Uttar Pradesh. They have stocked their goods in the neighbouring states. We are verifying their records and will impose a heavy penalty on them, which will be equivalent to the tax that they need to pay,” said a senior Delhi government official.
Senior Delhi government officials said a team was sent to carry out a thorough investigation and videographers were also sent along to ensure that everything is recorded.
“Considering Delhi doesn’t really have border check posts where each and every truck is checked, it was quite easy for these traders to transport their goods from one place to another whenever required,” added the official.
Officials further said a scheme is in the works to reward informers as well as encourage people to ask for bills.