The Telangana Police and Road Transport Officials have seized 11 imported high-end vehicles on 15th August. The price of the vehicles ranges between Rs 4 crore and Rs 10 crore and the list includes Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, Maserati and more.
The enforcement officials seized these vehicles on Sunday after a surprise check in Hyderabad, Telangana, According to the officials, the owners of these high-end imported vehicles have not paid the lifetime tax required for the registration of the vehicle.
The surprise check happened when all the car owners were out on a Sunday morning drive. They were held near Rajiv Gandhi International Airport of Hyderabad on Independence Day. There were 15 cars in total in the group out of which, only four had paid the taxes. The government authorities seized the other 11 cars that were defaulting on taxes.
These 11 vehicles were registered in Puducherry, where the lifetime taxes is almost negligible compared to Telangana. The maximum road tax one needs to pay in Puducherry is around Rs 14,000 per year while in states like Maharashtra, the upper cap is around Rs 20 lakh. Due to the different laws in different states, owners of high-end vehicles get them registered where they have to pay fewer taxes.
Papa Rao, enforcement officer, transport department, Telangana said to TOI,
“In Telangana, 13% of invoice value has to be paid as a luxury tax and for a Rs 4 crore luxury car, it could come to Rs 50 lakh. Therefore, many of these cars have been registered elsewhere and were plying here,”
Owners did not know how to pay taxes
After the seizure of the vehicles, the owners of these cars wrote in an affidavit that they did not know how to pay taxes for owning these cars. After securing affidavits from the owners, the enforcement authorities released the vehicles to the owners.
However, the owners will have to pay the taxes to ply these vehicles on public roads in the future. The authorities have said that two owners have already turned up in their office to pay the due taxes. The officials also said that many of the owners were knowingly evading tax and have ill intentions.
This comes only a few days after actors Vijay and Dhanush were directed by the High Court to pay full taxes for their Rolls Royce sedans. Both the actors had sought exemption from paying the full tax amount.
There are many who evade taxes by registering the vehicles in the neighbouring state where the taxes are much lower. Puducherry is popular in the Southern part of the country. Whereas, in the Northern part of India, people who want to evade taxes get their vehicles registered in Himachal Pradesh, which asks for a much lower amount for road tax.