Kerala Govt to take action against tax evaders

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Thiruvananthapuram, Apr 22 (UNI) Claiming that about 40 to 50 per cent of the tax due to Kerala is being evaded, Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac today said the government would take stringent measures to check the evasion and also adopt scientific methods to accelerate tax collection in the state.

Talking to reporters here, he said the review meetings of Commercial Taxes Department would be held regularly to chalk out strategies on how to realise tax and check tax evasion by the traders.

Dr Isaac said though the state had recorded 52 per cent hike in tax revenue during 2006-07, it had come down to just 14 per cent in the last year, because of the loopholes in the VAT system.

Pointing out that bringing back the entry tax system was an alternative to improve tax collection, he said the government would submit a proposal in this regard to the President and sought the cooperation of the Opposition to get his consent in this regard.

Stating that about 30,000 tax cases were pending for disposal, he said the government would give time to the traders to settle it before the Tax Department (TD).

Besides vacating all government stays issued before 2005 on tax disputes, he said steps would be taken to dispose 15,000 tax cases pending before the TD in six months and, if necessary, sufficient number of staff would be appointed through redeployment.

The TD would not hesitate to conduct raids in business houses, if anomalies were found in their tax returns, he warned.

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