Anna Salai: Hub of tax evasion

Arterial Anna Salai, which serves as the nerve centre of Chennai, has the maximum number of high-value property tax evaders. Most of the large properties along the road figure in the city corporation’s tax defaulters’ list.

As many as 15 properties of Anna Salai figure in the top 50 tax arrears list. According to the official data available with Deccan Chronicle, the tax arrears of each of these properties range between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 5 crore.

After Anna Salai, commercial hubs like Parry’s, T. Nagar and Sowcarpet have a history of tax arrears.
Most of the residential areas in central Chennai are now changing into commercial areas and when the property tax rates are revised, there is a hue and cry from the owners, explains a corporation official.

A few of them have filed petitions with several courts saying that the corporation has fixed exorbitant tax amounts and “we are sorting out the cases legally”.

After the recent merger of suburban local bodies, the previous database has been integrated and the old property tax numbers are linked to the new numbers so that a foolproof system can be followed and the revenue officials can track the arrears, he said.

“These are arrears that are kept pending for years and whenever a notice is served, the owners pay a partial amount to prevent further action,” explains a tax-collector in south Chennai.

While collecting arrears from hotels was easier, the task was difficult when it involved clubs and minority institutions, he adds.

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