Delhi: ‘Anomalies in MCD online property tax collection systems’

The United RWAs Joint Action (URJA), an umbrella body for residents’ welfare associations in the city, has pointed out several anomalies in the online property tax collection system while also submitting a memorandum to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), seeking a more inclusive role in the tax collection system.

Atul Goyal, who heads URJA, said around 12 years ago, a scheme was proposed under the Bhagidari project whereby RWAs would help in increasing the property tax collection and, in return, maintenance works such as roads or wall repair, improvement in parks would be carried out by the civic body. However, it was never implemented on ground. “We are not demanding money for RWAs. A portion of tax collection can be used in the same area on the recommendations of RWAs so that residents become a stakeholder,” he said.

Property tax remains one of the main sources of revenue for the MCD. The total property tax collection for 2021-22 was ₹2,032 crore. Data from MCD shows that around 11.50 lakh properties paid the tax during 2021-22. “More than 98% of the tax was deposited online,” an MCD official said, asking not to be named.

Goyal said RWAs have also pointed out several anomalies in the existing tax portal. “The old data on property tax filing is not available in many cases as the old and new tax collection portals are not in sync. For instance, the UPIC (unique property identification code) for old online registered properties should be generated by default and there should be no duplication,” he said.

In its submission to MCD, URJA has raised eight points of concern regarding the portal. The report states that old receipts paid by cheque or at tax camps are not available on the portal. “In the current receipts, the downloaded font size is small and MCD should allow a font size of 12 since in any case you are printing it on an A4 size paper,” Goyal said.

“While making the payment, the option boxes are not highlighted and sometimes people miss and skip a box and options for online and offline payments should be shown clearly,” he said.

Similarly, for the tax payers who want to make payments by cheque, the option does not appear to generate the receipt on the main page. The RWA body has also said during the past two years of the pandemic, most of the payments were made under issuance of a hand receipt (2020-21 & 2021-22), which are not visible on the portal.

The RWA federation has also proposed to integrate the system with power distribution companies for easy identification of properties and consumers and also requested a digital issuance of “no dues certificate” against property tax.

Responding to the memorandum, an MCD spokesperson said that the suggestions are valuable and the corporation will certainly examine each of them and try to incorporate them

Last week, MCD had decided to open help desks and tax collection counters in all its zonal property tax offices. “The property tax help desks and tax collection counters will work from 8am to 8pm every day including, Saturday and Sunday, till June 30. This step has been taken by MCD for the convenience of property tax payers and to help them avoid a last minute rush. It is to be noted that MCD gives a rebate of 15% on property tax for the current fiscal if it is deposited on or before June 30,” the spokesperson said.

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