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Gyms, clubs fail to register for new luxury tax
September, 14th 2012

Bringing high-end gyms, spas, health clubs and banquet halls under the tax net is turning out to be a tall order. At the close of the 30-day deadline for owners of these facilities to register with the Delhi government just about 84 applications have been received by the excise department.

The department of excise has now started identifying and issuing notices to evaders who will now have to pay the tax, a penalty equivalent to the tax amount along with the interest.

The Delhi government has set an ambitious target of Rs 10 crores for the current fiscal period from collection of the tax from these facilities. However, with owners reluctant to come forward and register, there are speculations that meeting this target will be tough since there are just six months left to get the tax evaders into the loop.

Through an amendment the Delhi government decided to bring gyms, spas, health clubs and banquet halls under the gamut of the Luxury Tax Act. It was decided to bring all facilities with an annual turnover of Rs 5 lakhs and above under tax net. The levy was fixed at 3% of the annual turnover. The amendment Bill was passed in the Delhi budget session and the amendments were notified in August.

It was mandatory for facilities notified under the amendment to register with the state within 30 days of the law coming into effect.

A public notice was issued calling upon owners of gyms, spas, health clubs and banquet halls to come forward and register and pay up the tax amount. The deadline ended on September 9. According to senior officials some of these applications are from outlets of renowned chains.

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