Danny Denzongpa’s Range Rover among 450 luxury cars seized for tax evasion in a month

Danny Denzongpa's Range Rover among 450 luxury cars seized for tax evasion in a month
Danny Denzongpa’s Range Rover (left) was among the high-end vehicles that were seized by RTO officials

A Range Rover belonging to actor Danny Denzongpa is among the 450 luxury vehicles that have been seized or served notices by the Regional Transport Office (RTO) for evading road tax in Maharashtra.

The crackdown on tax evaders started as a part of a special drive initiated by Transport Commissioner Praveen Gedam.

The drive started from January 14, when special flying squads were created to scan the number plates of high-end luxury in the state. Since then, a record 450 vehicles have been seized, of which over 400 are from the Mumbai region.

All vehicles registered in a state other than Maharashtra are being pulled over and investigated. The vehicles include Ferrari, Porsche, Range Rover, Audi, BMW, Mercedes among others, with prices ranging from Rs 40 lakh to Rs 2 crore.

Registering vehicles in Maharashtra is an expensive affair as the state levies between 11 to 13 percent tax on luxury vehicles, one of the highest the country. Those registering their vehicles within Mumbai have to bear an additional Octroi tax.

As a result, many who purchase these expensive vehicles choose to register their cars in other states which have lower tax rates. For example, states like Jharkhand levy a maximum tax of Rs 25,000 for registering vehicles, making it an ideal choice for tax evaders.

Apart from Jharkhand, a majority of the cars that were seized were registered in states like Sikkim, Daman & Diu, Pondicherry etc, which also have lower tax rates.

In case of Denzongpa’s Range Rover, which was registered in Sikkim, the Andheri RTO released the vehicle after a payment of Rs 24.23 lakh towards the actual tax and Rs 5.33 lakh as interest was paid.

According to Commissioner Gedam, around Rs 2.5 crore in fines has been collected so far, which will add to the revenue of Maharashtra government. The department is expecting to total fine to go well over Rs 10 crore.

Meanwhile, Deputy Transport Commissioner Pradeep Shinde has urged citizens to alert the department about such vehicles and assured that the drive is only targeted at those who have evaded road tax.

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