As the financial year end comes to an end, several authorities have woken up and have started issuing letters and warrants to collect taxes, which the taxpayer has to pay within hours Citizens receiving demand letters from government authorities in March every year is nothing new. However, Powai-based Eden Bungalows Co-operative Housing Society (CHS) got a shock when the tahsildar of that area issued a warrant and asked them to pay Rs3.36 lakh within 48 hours as dues for non-agricultural (NA) tax.According to experts, every year, the authorities, under pressure to “achieve targets” of ‘collection’ take the gullible citizens for a ride and send notices demanding crores of rupees as dues.
Most of the times a ‘compromise’ is reached. The notices are being issued as per the provisions of Section 180 and 181 of the Maharashtra Land Revenue Code and warrant of attachment related provisions are initiated as per the provisions of Maharashtra Land Revenue Code 1966, Section 168 to 173, 174, 179 and 184. In case of Eden Bungalows CHS, the notice is issued with an increased rate as well. The rate has been increased by 19 times to Rs9 per square metre from 48 paise a metre. That too, without informing the society about the changes in tax rates, said Eden Bungalows CHS in its reply.According to the petition, the builders (Hiranandani Developers) did not provide any copies of communication between the developer and government authorities. “The only act that has been done with lightning speed by the builder’s office is accompanying the government official to individual societies to deliver the 48 hours’ notice. My clients have reasons to believe that (Transfer of Development Rights or TDR) worth crores of rupees is being misused by the builder which legally belongs to the co-operative societies,” a reply from the society says.Eden Bungalows CHS had also appealed the municipal commissioner, not to approve any TDR of any nature whatsoever for the society without its written consent. The society has also requested the police to file a first information report (FIR) against Hiranandani Developers for failing to execute the conveyance within four months from the date of formation of the society.