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Atleast 620 major tax defaulters in Surat have not cleared their taxes in excess of Rs 2 lakh

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At present in Surat, there are more than 19 lakh property taxpayers, and this year’s demand for property taxes is Rs 1,385 crore against which till date the recovery is Rs 982 crore.

The figure of tax defaulters may look very small when compared to the total number of properties in Diamond City. However, there are at least 620 major tax defaulters in Surat who have not cleared their taxes in excess of Rs 2 lakh. And more than 100 have not paid their dues which are in excess of Rs 5 lakh. 

At present in Surat, there are more than 19 lakh property taxpayers, and this year’s demand for property taxes is Rs 1,385 crore against which till date the recovery is Rs 982 crore. In the year 2018-19, against the demand of Rs 1,234 crore, the recovery of Rs 920 crore was made on the same date. This recovery at present amounts to 70.92% for the current year. 

“We generally have more than 90% recovery ratio against the current years demand. It is the tax defaulters from the past few years that create the issues.” said a senior official from the recovery department of Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC). “Majority of the people are regular taxpayers and at least 12-20% pay up their taxes in advance too. However, it is this small number of defaulters that troubles the SMC.” he added. 

A look at the figures of the defaulters suggests that a large number comes from the central zone consisting of old parts of the city. Out of 620 defaulters, 179 are from the central zone and 112 are from Udhna zone. These taxpayers have their taxes due for more than three years. 

“In central zone, we have number of disputed properties where property owners and tenants are at loggerheads. So no one pays taxes. We also have some old railway properties where taxes are overdue from years which brings our recovery ratio down,” said M Y Bham, deputy accountant of SMC. “In Udhna zone too, there are some big disputed properties where taxes are not paid. These properties include old closed dying mills in Pandesara and big properties like Baroda Rayon.” 

The SMC this year has issued more than 1.5 lakh demand notices to commercial and residential properties of the city.

According to the SMC, a normal taxpayer who owns a house always pays his taxes regularly, but it is those big industrial and corporate type owners that do not pay up in time. 

Source: TNN

(Note: The story has been published without modifications to the text. Only the headline and intro have been changed.)

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