Delhi: In another attempt to fill up their depleting coffers, the ruling Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi will rope in citizens to join an ongoing offensive against tax evaders. The motivation here for people could be a hefty sum of prize money, that could reach up to Rs50,000.
It’s simple. According to sources, the Arvind Kejriwal government will be launching an application on the scheme “Bill Banwao, Inaam Pao”, which can be downloaded on your phone, to upload the pictures of bills provided by your shop, restaurant, grocer, with basic details, such the name of the establishment and the TIN mentioned in the bills.
One per cent of those uploading the pictures of their bills will get a reward of double the bill amount through a lucky draw. That means one out 100 people will be rewarded with double the amount mentioned in pictures of invoices that (s)he uploads on the app.
Sources said the initiative will help the government in two ways. First, the prize money and the lucky draw will encourage citizens to ask for proper invoices whenever they buy any product or avail of a service.
Secondly, with several invoices handy, the VAT department would be able to keep a check on specific establishments to ensure they do not manipulate the bills and subsequent taxes they pay the government.
A senior official said that the app is nearly ready and will be launched by this month end. Delhi would be one of the first governments in the country to launch such an app.
“The initiative will help citizens to participate in governance. They will now insist on bills, which will lead to instances of tax evasion going down,” an official said.
The app will also enable citizens to report fake or kachha bills – one of the most common ways adopted by most shops in the city to evade taxes – to the government, so that VAT inspectors can locate and crack down on the particular establishment. However, this one comes without a reward.
Bills given by restaurants have two components, the VAT which goes to the Delhi government and the service tax that goes to the central government, while those provided by shops mostly carry only the VAT.
Value added tax (VAT) accounts for a major source of revenue for the Delhi government. The AAP government has set a target of Rs24,000 crore for the current fiscal year of 2015-16, Rs5,500 crore more than the approximately Rs18,550 crore raised last year.
Dna recently reported that the tax department will be increasing the VAT on jet fuel by five per cent to increase its collections.