DOUBLE TROUBLE- The property tax scam!

Ahmedabad Mirror reported a property tax scam in early 2022. To our surprise, the AMC (Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation) had not reported it until 3 months after. Property taxes are credited to other people’s accounts in this scheme. The situation surfaced when the money paid for advance property tax was credited to other people’s accounts and legitimate taxpayers were not granted refunds. They were asked to pay the property tax again. Imagine having to pay DOUBLE of what you were expected to pay! Some properties are used for both commercial and residential purposes and are therefore charged separately. If the commercial use is discontinued, the person should be eligible for credit the following year. However, in other instances, the credit was transferred to the accounts of other people. In closed properties, similar blunders were discovered. Bizarre, right? This is what Jainik Vakil, Revenue Committee chief had to say about the issue-

The problem might be due to two reasons: one, the entry system is not linked to the main system so the operator can forge the data. Two, as online access can be from anywhere, passwords and usernames can be easily changed

But hold on, what exactly is Property Tax

The amount paid by the landowner to the municipal corporation or local government for his/her area is known as property tax. Every year, the tax must be paid. 

The government levies a property tax on every tangible real estate that an individual possesses. Real estate assets include property, office buildings, and residential residences that are rented out to third parties. House tax is another name for it. 

Why are we obligated to pay property taxes? 

Cleanliness in the region, water supply, local road maintenance, drainage, and other civic facilities are all provided by the local municipal body. Property taxes provide revenue to municipal governments, enabling them to finance these services.

Every property is a taxable asset (But what are taxable assets? A taxable asset is an asset that is subject to taxation by a government agency. Taxable assets include physical assets like real estate and financial assets), and the property tax is an annual sum paid to the government by the property/landowner. This tax could be paid to the local state government or the Municipal Corporation depending on government policy. In this context, “property” refers to any physical real estate under an individual’s control, such as residences, office buildings, and rental premises. Property tax as a concept has been around for centuries and is recognised worldwide, with records of farmers and peasants paying tax on their land reaching back to the Middle Ages. 

By Ananya Ahuja, SYBFM

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