More people paying property tax online in Chennai

As of October last year, only around 35% of the taxpayers paid property taxes online while the remaining collections were through tax collectors. 
People can pay property tax using a mobile application. (Photo | Ashwin Prasath, EPS)
People can pay property tax using a mobile application. (Photo | Ashwin Prasath, EPS)

CHENNAI:   According to corporation numbers, small taxpayers who use online platforms to pay property taxes have picked up over the last few months. At present, around 60% of the taxpayers pay online. In terms of the total value of the tax collected, around half were made through online mode, said senior corporation officials.

As of October last year, only around 35% of the taxpayers paid property taxes online while the remaining collections were through tax collectors. “I think our (property tax collection) drives, mainly the SMS drives have paid off and we are also coming up with new ideas to further increase collection,” said a senior corporation official.

While the smaller taxpayers are increasingly turning online, tax collectors said that there were still a large number of people who were hesitant to pay online. “Even last week, a taxpayer came to us saying he’d paid `32,000 online. The amount did not reflect in our system and neither was it routed back to his account even after seven days. These discrepancies spoil people’s trust in online payments, especially in case of larger bill values,” said a tax collector.

The civic body is now also looking into the possibility of launching a subscription option for the payment of property tax where property owners can subscribe for automatic deduction of the payable amount from their accounts as and when bills are generated. This would avoid penalties and interests for those who simply cannot take the time to make the payment, said officials.

Corporation officials said that the number of properties that were now paying tax has also gone up. While on average, they collect taxes from 6-7 lakh of the total 13 lakh properties in the city, it expects to collect taxes from nine lakh properties this half year. “We have already covered six lakh properties and there is still a time of around three months so we expect to get to nine lakh properties by then,” said a corporation official.

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