Rich & famous turn property tax defaulters

Chennai corporation’s property tax defaulters list reads like the who’s who of the metropolis.

There are not just multi-millionaires, corporate hospitals and five-star hotels, even prestigious clubs and minority institutions have failed to be honest tax-payers.

The tax arrears is maximum in prime areas like Chamiers Road, Boat Club and Anna Salai. The top 50 defaulters alone have arrears of over Rs 100 crore.

Though some of the prominent commercial firms have filed litigation against the corporation praying that their buildings were over-assessed, the corporation plans to look into several commercial buildings as it suspects they have been under-assessed for property tax.

Hotels, clubs, malls top tax defaulters’

Five-star hotels, corporate hospitals, prestigious clubs and minority institutions top Chennai corporations’ list of property tax defaulters.

Despite minting money from their customers, these commercial buildings hardly show any interest in paying their taxes.

The tax arrears is maximum in prime areas like Chamiers Road, Boat Club and Anna Salai ranging from Rs 2 crore to Rs 5 crore for individual buildings.

According to official data available with DC, the first 15 defaulters amount to arrears around Rs 75 crore and the total arrears for the city corporation would be above `250 crore.

The massive malls at Anna Salai, Whites Road, Teynampet, and R.K. Salai owe the city civic body above Rs 7 crore.

The corporation is still in the process of streamlining the tax database, particularly from areas like Ambattur, Madhavaram, Alandur and Sholinganallur, recently annexed to the civic body.

There is a shortage of revenue staff and to handle the situation, the corporation has launched walk-in payment facilities at a few nationalised banks. The idea is to encourage tax-payers pay up.

The corporation would soon target major tax evaders, a senior corporation official said. To ensure that tax payment arrear records are maintained during the compilation of properties from newly-annexed areas, the old property tax ID numbers are maintained and this would prevent corporation employees from indulging in any foul play, the official explained.

Recently, the corporation identified about 25,000 companies that have been evading commercial tax and steps are on to ascertain the latest status of these firms.

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