Taxmen raid Kullu Manali Hotels to check tax evasion

Kullu: Setting out to haul up tax evasion, excise and taxation officials after conducting raids on many hotels in Kullu-Manali have collected about Rs 9 lakhs taxes that the hotels were made to cough up against unpaid luxury taxes.

Ramesh Sharma, Excise and Taxation Commissioner Kullu to Hill Post disclosed, ““ We are keeping a close watch on tax evasion, especially from the hospitality industry a lot of tourists visit the Kullu Manali valley in the summers. In the last few days, from raids undertaken we have collected about Rs 9,00,000/- Lakhs from hotels in the valley.”

In the previous week the taxmen collected Rs 7,50,000/- taxes from the erring hotels.

Tourism is an important industry in Himachal Pradesh and the government imposes a luxury tax on hotels against all the room bookings that are made on a monthly basis. Despite a growing tourism trade, over the years the tax authorities have not been recording a rise in tax collections from the hospitality industry.

A theater artist, a script writer and a TV anchor, news is something that grips Renuka. She lives in Kullu.

1 Comment

  • This is peanuts. There is massive evasion of Luxury Tax in both Manali and Shimla. Govt. had carried out a survey sometime around 2006 and had found that Manali and Shimla hotels were declaring occupancy of barely 20% for tax purposes ! We discovered that only three hotels in Shimla were paying their due taxes: Wildflower Hall, Chalets Naldehra and Cecil ! A proposal had been prepared to change the system of assessment: instead of self declaration (which was not honest and also promoted inspector raj and attendant corruption) the new template would fix a lump sum annual tax for each hotel based on room rent and assumption of a reasonable occupancy rate for the area/location/zone. Discussions had been initiated with the stake-holders. I would be interested in knowing how this played out.

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