As of May 9, property holders within Thimphu thromde comprising of 98 institutions and 1,660 individuals are yet to settle their tax dues for 2017.

The thromde collects annual tax in four areas – land, building, garbage collection, and streetlight. Until May 9, a total of 1,660 individuals were yet to pay about Nu 8,864,121 in tax excluding a fine of 24 percent per annum of the tax due.  The taxable amount ranges from Nu 19 to Nu 263,581.

Excluding a fine of 24 percent on the payable tax amount, 98 institutions have yet to pay Nu 12,552,494.

Among the institutions, Yangchenphug Higher Secondary School with two plots of land has the highest outstanding tax amount of Nu 2,233,847 per annum, followed by National Housing Development Corporation Limited with 21 plots amounting to Nu 1,248,493 per annum.

Next is the Supreme Court of Bhutan with Nu 275,763 per annum, followed by the University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan with Nu 269,753 per annum and Motithang Higher Secondary School with Nu 24,856.

Although all individual have dues only for last year, the dues for most institutions are for both 2016 and 2017.

Thimphu Thromde’s head of ICT services, Oma Pati Luitel, said that most of the repeated defaulters are institutions. “Almost 95 percent of the institution defaulters have not even paid for the previous years.”

However, he said that it is difficult to track the repeat offenders as the new thromde database started only in 2015. “As the records were kept in ledgers in the past, it is difficult to track the defaulters. After digitisation started, record keeping has become more efficient.”

According to taxation policy 1992, if a tax is not paid, a fine of 24 percent p.a. of the tax due or fraction thereof would be recovered along with the tax.

It also states that 12 months after the due date, actions such as cancellation of all licenses, suspension of all government services or utilities, and the case sent to court for necessary action could be taken against the defaulter. “Thirty days prior notice will be given before the above action is taken.”

Oma Pati Luitel said that although thromde has not taken any actions until now, with a robust system in place to track the defaulters, actions would be taken as per law.

Karma Cheki