PMC may file police complaints if taxpayers’ cheques bounce

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Civic body to get tough to reach target of Rs 2,200 cr

PUNE: In order to increase property tax revenue, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has taken a decision to file a police complaint against taxpayers whose cheques bounce. 

This decision was taken during a recent meeting attended by officials from the Property Tax Department. It has been decided to collect maximum revenue through collection of property tax. This year, the civic body has set a target to collect Rs 2,200 crore as property tax.

While speaking to Sakal Times, Vilas Kanade, Head of Property Tax Department, said, “On Thursday, we took a meeting of all property tax officials and issued an instruction to file a case against taxpayers whose cheques bounce. Earlier, we did not file a police complaint in such cases. Now, the department sought legal opinion about filing such cases. PMC’s Legal Department has given the nod for filing a police complaint and the court case against erring taxpayers.”

Kanade said, “In cheque bounce case, we can file police complaint as well as court case. We have decided to use both options depending on the nature of cheque bounce case.” 

According to officials, each year 2,500 to 3,000 cases of check bounce are reported. However, earlier the department did not take any serious cognisance of such cases.

Now, the department is serious about cheque bouncing as they want to achieve a target of Rs 2,200 crore for the year 2019-20. 

Last year, it was Rs 1,800 crore. However, the PMC was able to collect only Rs 1,195 crore as tax throughout the year,” said the official.

Last year, there were 1.74 lakh taxpayers who paid tax through cheques and demand drafts (DDs). 

This year, 55,839 taxpayers have paid their tax through cheques and DDs. This year, the civic body has collected Rs 300 crore property tax from April 1 till date.

The city has 9.50 lakh properties including those in 11 newly-merged villages. Out of that, nearly 12.5 per cent are commercial and more than 12.5 per cent is residential ones. Nearly 3.5 per cent properties are open plot while 2 per cent of properties is a mix of the commercial and residential establishment.

Last year, out of total Rs 1,195 crore of collection, corporation got Rs 625.29 crore (1.74 lakh taxpayers)) from cheques and DDs. In an online transaction, the amount was 403.70 crore (3.57 lakh) and corporation collected  Rs 166.74 crore (2.54 lakh) tax in cash. 

Normally, the corporation prepares and distributes property tax bills in the month of April every year. The civic body sets May 31 deadline to pay bills in which it offers 5-10 per cent discount on the bill. After the month of July, the civic body starts applying 2 per cent fine for late payment on bills. 

Corporation has given multiple options such as to pay tax in Citizen Facilitation Centre (CFC) and in banks through cheques, cash and DDs. Besides that, it has also provided an online option to pay tax. PMC has also introduced the doorstep option to pay property tax. 

However, it has received a very poor response.

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