200 luxury tax evaders forced to pay up

200 luxury tax evaders forced to pay up

200 luxury tax evaders forced to pay up

 A total of 200 banquet halls, budget hotels, spas and gyms have been caught evading payment of luxury tax to the Delhi government which is desperately trying to ramp up revenue collection this fiscal.

“The tax evaders were not listed with our department. We added them to our list after undertaking an elaborate survey involving police and civic authorities,” said Neeraj Semwal, commissioner, excise and entertainment and luxury tax.

The exercise of catching luxury tax evaders with 20 field teams is inconclusive and we hope to expand our net further, he said.

Officials in the luxury tax department said the special drive to widen the net is gradually taking this year’s luxury tax collection past the total collection last year.

“In 2013-14, Rs 306 crore luxury tax was collected. In the current financial year, we collected Rs 292 crore by the first week of March,” said a senior official.

A luxury tax of three per cent is supposed to be collected and deposited with the government by all gyms and spas.

All hotels which charge Rs 750-1,000 per room per day and banquet halls with annual turnover of over Rs 5 lakh are supposed to pay luxury tax of three per cent. Five star hotels and others which charge more than Rs 1,000 per room per day are supposed to pay 10 per cent luxury tax.

An official said the department’s records on the number of potential luxury tax payers are being updated regularly after getting details from area police deputy commissioners and checking the balance sheets of outlets.

“Our experience shows that some outlets tend to hold back information about their turnover to avoid coming into the luxury tax net,” he said.

The collection of excise tax in the last month of the financial year have also started to look up with the department collecting Rs 3,130 crore till the first week of March as against a target of Rs 3,550 crore, said an official.“We hope to meet the target by the end of this month,” he said.

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