For Punjab Development Tax, online registration must, can be paid quarterly | punjab | top | Hindustan Times
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For Punjab Development Tax, online registration must, can be paid quarterly

12 lakh income tax payees liable to deposit the new tax, portal to be functional in a fortnight

punjab Updated: May 24, 2018 15:18 IST
Navneet Sharma
Navneet Sharma
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
(For representation)

The Punjab government has decided to make online registration mandatory for payment of development tax of ₹200 per month levied on all income tax payers in the state.

The development tax portal, being developed by the department of government reforms, will go online in next two weeks.

While professionals and self-employed persons will have to register themselves on the portal, the registration of income tax payees who work in private establishments and government offices or undertakings will carried out through their employers who also have to get registered.

The state has about 12 lakh income tax assessees who have a monthly income of ₹30,000 or above and are liable to pay the tax – which is popularly referred to as ‘professional tax’ – imposed by the Congress government from this year.

“The registration and the tax payment process has been kept simple. Once a professional or self-employed person registers online on our portal, he will get a unique number that can used to generate the tax challan for depositing the tax in half-a-dozen banks linked with the state treasury,” said excise and taxation commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh.

He added, “If a person is employed with a firm or an institution, the employer will have to register on the portal, make deduction, deposit the tax and file the annual tax return statement.”

Similarly, professionals and self-employed persons will be required to deduct tax of their employees, if any. The government has decided to initially allow payment of tax quarterly, but may give taxpayers the option of depositing the tax in one go at a later stage. The excise and taxation department notification on guidelines and procedures is expected to be issued in three working days.

Finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal had, in his budgetary proposals for 2018-19 on March 24, proposed the new tax of ₹2,400 per annum on income tax payers engaged in “professions, trades, callings and employments”.

The tax, which is already being collected by states such as Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu since the past four decades, is expected to yield about ₹150 crore for the fund-starved state government. The new tax, according to the finance minister, was needed to gain access to cheaper loans from international funding agencies such as Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The Punjab State Development Tax Act, 2018, which was notified by the state government on April 19, extends to the entire state and offices of the Punjab government and its organisations situated in the state capital (Chandigarh). However, taxation experts are not sure about its legal validity in Chandigarh since tax laws have territorial jurisdiction. The government has included penal provisions to deal with tax evasion.

“Tax liability has started the day the Act was notified, but penal provisions will not come into effect before sufficient time is given to people to register and deposit the tax,” said a taxation official. Persons exclusively engaged in agricultural activity and senior citizens are exempt from development tax.