Thiruvananthapuram corporation has identified over 700 defaulters who owe corporation tax dues above Rs 1 lakh. The cumulative dues from these defaulters have been estimated at Rs 44 crore.
In the past two months, the corporation managed to collect around Rs 17 crore following the updation of tax database in all the wards.
The revenue wing has issued the first round of demand notice to all the defaulters with dues above Rs 1 lakh. An amount of Rs 3 crore has so far been received by the corporation from some of the defaulters. The revenue officials said the collection of dues is expected to increase in the next two months and a major chunk of dues would be cleared by March.
This has been made possible mainly by the efforts of zonal offices to update and publish the actual tax dues. Earlier, people were reluctant to make use of online system since it would reflect dues from the previous fiscals although it would have been paid. Once the data base was updated, only the actual dues of respective fiscals were reflected on the accounts and many residents opted for online payment which also enabled them to generate receipts online and store it in digital format.
Corporation officials said that the total collection of property tax through online payments has increased significantly which also resulted in a peak in collection for the fiscal 2020-21. With Covid lockdown affecting direct payment of property tax in 2020-21, online payment has increased especially after the city corporation published the updated data base and actual dues for each ward.
In 2020-21, the total demand of the city corporation in property tax was Rs 96.8 crore and it was able to collect Rs 75.8 crores which is the highest collection of property tax since 2016-17. The corporation has not crossed Rs 70 crore in collection in the past five fiscals.
The signs of significant hike in online payment of tax were evident from November 2021. The month had recorded a collection of Rs 9.75 crore, which is more than double the amount corporation had collected in the same month in 2020. The huge inflow of tax was recorded in a month when there was no field-level collection since all the officials were occupied with tax data updation. In December, an amount of Rs 7 crore was received.
The corporation officials said that with actual dues being clearly reflected on the official website of city corporation for each ward, many people made optimum use of online payment.
A good percentage of tax payments in previous two months happened via online. The revenue officials are now hoping for a record collection in 2021-22. Usually, the collection picks up in February and March; however this year, there has been significant inflow since November and in the next three months if the collection exceeds Rs 40 crore, the corporation could record nearly 90% of actual demand.