Months after GST roll-out, Mcleodganj firms charge VAT

DHARAMSHALA: With hotels, restaurants and even MC parking fee receipts mentioning VAT (value added tax), Mcleodganj is still to implement GST (Goods and Services Tax). The popular tourist destination draws thousands of people from across the world every year.

Confused by the outdated description of taxes, foreign tourists have lodged complaints with authorities, asking them to remove this tag from menu cards. Many entrepreneurs in the region still mention their TIN (Tax Identification Number) on reception counters despite these having been replaced by GST.

“I visited the Tibetan restaurant near the main temple of Dalai Lama. It still mentions VAT and service tax extra on menu cards. We did not have dinner at the place as we did not want to get involved in an altercation but authorities should consider the fact that most people here are outsiders,” said John Chodwiack, a European tourist.

According to tourists, they had to pay more by way of taxes before the introduction of GST. “Tourists had to pay around 21% taxes on stay and food earlier. But GST has brought it down to 5%. Many tourism companies abide by this but there might be a few who do not,” said Yogesh Kumar, a taxation lawyer.

The municipal corporation, which is implementing the smart city project in the hill town, also mentions VAT in the parking fee receipt. Authorities concerned said VAT was never charged on parking in the first place and this amounted to violation of norms.

“It is the customer who has to complain. We will go and check. Under GST, we have to seek permission before going for inspection, which is an online process. Hotels and restaurants just tell us about their annual turnover and our duty is to calculate their exact tax,” said Rajeev Sharma, a taxation officer from the region.

Source- Times of India.

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