To plug tax evasion, civic body turns to cop records on tenants

South corporation writes to SHOs in the area asking them to supply a list of properties that have been rented out.

The South Municipal Corporation has written to all police stations falling in its area, asking for a list of people who have rented out their property.

The corporation sent out letters to station house officers in South district asking them to supply a list of residential properties that have been rented out, based on records related to verification of tenants.

The letter sent to police stations stated that according to the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957, owner or occupier of each property (built-up or vacant land) within the area of South Municipal Corporation is liable to file the self-assessment property tax return. The payment should be in accordance with the rates prescribed by the corporation.

"Property tax is levied and payable at different rates, depending on covered area, age of property, structure, occupancy and usage of the property. In case the residence is self-occupied, the use factor for calculating property tax is 1 but if the property is rented out, the factor applicable is 2," stated the letter.

"We do not have any authentic record of those properties which have been rented out, as in most cases the landlords do not disclose this in the self-assessment property tax returns, with a view to evade payment of property tax. We have no formal mechanism to find out the same," B N Singh, assessor and collector, South corporation, said.

"It is an established fact that while the property is rented out, police verification of the tenant is done by the respective police stations. Records of such properties are maintained in the police stations concerned. We would like to get a database of such properties, to collect the appropriate tax from owners. Lack of such a database is causing a huge revenue loss to the corporation," Singh said.

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