The state cabinet on Monday approved an amendment to the Meghalaya Professions, Trades, Callings and Employments Taxation Act, 1947 which seeks to decriminalise failure to pay taxes.
According to the amendment, there has to be mandatory registration for payment of professional tax and this will be based on scheduled areas and non-scheduled areas, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma told reporters after the meeting.
In the schedule areas, registration will be done by the district councils while the taxation department will take care of non-schedule areas.
The government has also decided to exclude those with annual income of less than Rs 1.8 lakh from paying professional tax.
Sangma further informed that the amendment also seeks to reduce the slabs from 12 to 4. There will be Rs 1.8 lakh to Rs 3 lakh slab, which will be Rs 500, Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh slab, Rs 1000; Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7.5 lakh slab , Rs 1,500 and above Rs 7.5 lakh, Rs 2,500.
“We have decided to decriminalise this entire procedure. Minor offences like not paying taxes will no longer attract three years of imprisonment,” he said.
“Now the only penalty will be four-fold payment of the dues,” Sangma said while informing that interest will be charged at 12 per cent per annum for those who are paying late.
According to him, the amendment will be applicable from April 1.