An award for informers who help check tax evasion and inclusion of exhibition organisers in the VAT net are some of the strategies devised by the Delhi government to boost its revenue in the current financial year, officials said.
The informer award would go to people who help the government catch VAT evaders – a scheme modelled on a similar scheme run by the income tax department.
Officials of the VAT department said organisers of exhibitions like photo, garment and design in five star hotels and elsewhere are supposed to apply for a temporary transaction identification number.
“Many organisers do not follow the rule and this results in loss of revenue for the government,” said an official, adding that the VAT department is going to encourage visitors to these exhibitions to help them track down tax evaders.
Sources said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who himself has served in the income tax department before jumping into politics, was keen on starting an informer award scheme that is popular in the income tax department.
The informer award would be in addition to the WhatsApp based scheme for buyers who upload their bills for verification of VAT payment by the seller. Officials claim the “Bill Banvao, Inaam Pao” scheme has resulted in a drop in tax evasion.
The app based scheme is in addition to a survey being planned in markets and business areas to list all traders for boosting VAT collection and expanding the tax payers’ net beyond the existing 3.25 lakh.
A trader with an annual turnover of Rs 20 lakh and more is eligible for paying VAT. Officials suspect that many traders do not pay VAT and the number of eligible tax payers in the city should be around 10 lakh.
The Delhi government is heavily dependent on VAT for its revenue. Around 67 per cent of total revenue comes from VAT. The Aam Aadmi Party government’s developmental activities depend mainly on the buoyancy of tax revenue from VAT.
For 2016-17, the Delhi government has a VAT collection target of Rs 24,500 crore. The government expects to collect Rs 5,200 crore (14% of tax revenue) from excise tax, Rs 4,000 crore from stamps and registration fees (11%), Rs 1,950 crore from tax on motor vehicles (5%) and Rs 875 crore from luxury and entertainment tax (3%).