To curb tax evasion practices in astrology in the city, a professional test, fixed registration fee and making cheques the only mode of payments for the service availed must be a mandatory for every astrologer. This has been proposed by the district administration's Grievances Redressal Committee.
Astrology which has become a full-fledged business for thousands of city residents and immigrants, who not only charge arbitrarily, but in a scenario where there is no account of their annual income, they are duping the income tax department worth lakhs of rupees by evading taxes every year.
Committes executive member Satish Thaman along with other panelists said, “In a scenario where there are no regulations in place to keep a track of the astrologers' activity, majority of them are cheating the city residents by charging hefty money while promising them of bringing good luck in their life. Not only they misguide the residents with illogical predictions but also cause losses worth lakhs of rupees to the state exchequer by evading taxes.”
“District administration should make a provision where the registration of only qualified or experienced astrologers should be a mandatory while rest of them shall be apprehended. Secondly, the payments of the services availed should be made only through cheques so that tax evasion practices can be curbed. As over 8,000 astrologers operate in the city, a separate cell should be formed where qualified astrologers can keep a regular check and detect any tax evasion practices in astrology,” the panelists said.
It is pertinent to mention here that HT had in May highlighted the tax evasion practices by astrologers in the city. Taking due notice of the report, the Grievances Redressal Committee suggested some regulatory changes in the astrology profession. Thaman also added that the committee will pursue the matter with the district administration soon.