BENGALURU: Owners of high-end luxury cars in the city are resorting to new tactics to evade road tax and are duping the Transport Department of crores of rupees.
The list of such tax defaulters features socialites, filmmakers, authors and highly-paid employees of IT firms. They either have temporary numbers or use fake documents to register their vehicles in states where the road tax is less.
Transport Commissioner Rame Gowda said, “Every time we carry out an enforcement drive, we come across many luxury vehicle owners who have not paid their taxes in Karnataka. Since April, we have booked around 2 lakh vehicles for different violations, of which around 3 per cent are luxury cars evading taxes.”
During a recent drive, the road transport officials intercepted a Jaguar and an Audi registered in Haryana and Puducherry respectively. Both the vehicles had been on the road for more than a year. A Mercedes Benz, which had the registration plate of another vehicle, was also intercepted.
Narendra Holkar, Joint Commissioner, Transport Department, said, “The owners of such vehicles are trying new ideas to evade taxes. On December 18, we booked a Porsche Cayenne that had temporary registration done twice.”
The owner got the car registered at the Jayanagar RTO in November. Temporary registration is valid for only one month. So in December, the owner got another temporary registration at the Electronic City RTO by furnishing fake documents.
However, once the vehicle was seized by the RTO officials, the owner paid Rs 28 lakh as registration fee and Rs 28,000 as penalty to get his car back.
On December 23, a car owner was caught using a new model of Toyota Innova, which is yet to be launched in the country. The owner used duct-tape and stickers to conceal its real identity to evade import duty and was using a temporary number.
Holkar said the most common way of evading tax is to get registration done from Pondicherry using fake documents. According to the norms, a new car should get Karnataka registration within a month. Once the owner of a vehicle pays his tax in Karnataka, he gets 12 months’ time to acquire a no-objection certificate from the state where the vehicle was registered earlier. During the transfer, the owner can also apply for a refund of the tax paid, which is returned by the state after some deductions.
Arjun Janya Jaguar - Rs 10.25 lakh (as on November 2) Bullet Prakash Toyota Fortuner- Rs 5.35 lakh (as on November 3) Amisha Sethi Jaguar - Rs 15 lakh (as on December 8)
Since April, we have booked around 2 lakh vehicles for different violations, of which around 3 per cent are luxury cars evading taxes. Rame Gowda, Transport Commissioner