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Now, marriage gardens under tax scanner

Udaipur : The commercial tax department has issued notices to various marriage gardens (Vatikas) in the city for assessment of tax under the Finance Act 2007. Some 87 marriage gardens are functioning in the urban periphery, as per the municipal corporation records, however only 25 are registered with the sale tax department. The department had held surveys during the peak of the recently ended wedding season to authenticate the functioning of the gardens as most of them claimed to be non-functional whenever they were questioned on tax evasion.
The surveys were made simultaneously in all the cities and towns across the state.

“ First it would be assessed that how many gardens are there which have annual turnover in excess of Rs. 10 lakh and how many such outlets are registered and are paying taxes” said an officer at the commercial tax department.
Afterwards, a process would be undertaken for getting the vatikas registered and tax liability would be assessed against them. The action is expected to stretch to several days in the city. According to the sources, the department can leive luxury tax of 10 percent of the booking amount each garden has charged from its clients. Since, the municipal corporation has not made any classification of marriage gardens respective of their location, area and facilities available, therefore, there is no prescribed rent parameters for the vatikas and hence the owners get their way in charging the people for any booking.

On an average it costs somewhere between 1.25 lakh to 2 lakh rupees for a marriage ceremony to be organized in a medium sized Vatika depending on its locality and facilities. According to the municipal records some 87 vatikas are functional in the city area though only 25 are registered with the department and 54 have the license to hold events. The vatikas included in the list to have been served notice by the department includes Amrit, Raj and Shyam Vatika at Saheliyon ki Bari, Banera castle, Ceremony resort and Ashoka palace at 100 feet road, Jheel darshan at Bari road, Devika palace and Darshan Vatika at Sajjangarh, Marvel water park at Goverdhan Vilas etc.

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