Government collects over Nu 600 M in property taxes

The new property tax system has collected over Nu 600 M in property taxes so far this year, an increase of over Nu 555 M compared to the collection made under the old property tax rates last year. The finance ministry attributes this substantial increase in property tax revenue to the introduction of the new value-based property tax this year.

The Department of Revenue and Customs started collecting property taxes in January this year using their new online property tax system. Issues with the new system meant the tax collection period was extended twice.

According to the National Land Commission’s records, there are close to 200,000 property owners in the country. More than 13,000 property owners have yet to pay their property tax.

According to the revenue and customs department, late filers will be penalised on a case-by-case basis. Exemptions on late fee payments will only be given to those with pending land registration certificate issues.

Under the Property Tax Act of Bhutan 2022, cultivated dry land is given a 50% concession, a 90% concession for wetlands, a 50% concession for self-occupied traditional houses, a 70% concession on traditional houses in protected areas, and a 90% concession for highland communities.

This year, more than 43,000 taxpayers availed themselves of the 50% concession for cultivated dry land, and a little over 94,000 plots availed of the wetland concession.

The total amount availed as concessions was recorded at around Nu 31 M.

With the new system, landowners in core Thimphu town pay more than Nu 26,500 per 10 decimal plot, up from a little over Nu 2,100 for the same plot size until last year.

Similarly, land tax on an acre of Kamzhing in rural areas of Samtse increased from Nu 12 to around Nu 780 after the 50% concession on cultivated dry land.

 Samten Dolkar

Edited by Sherub Dorji

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