OUR STAFF REPORTER LAHORE - The Regional Tax Office (RTO) Lahore has claimed to collect over Rs20 million during the last six months from unregistered restaurants located in main commercial areas of the capital city through effective revenue monitoring following the 'u/s 40B action against the restaurants. According to a press release, the Regional Tax Office (RTO) has devised and implemented a multi-pronged strategy for hotels and restaurants since these are among the most profitable businesses in Lahore. Profitability in this sector has been immune to factors like economic slowdown, power outages and rising prices, which have adversely affected most of the other sectors of the economy. With this perspective, RTO, Lahore, in October 2010 evolved a comprehensive strategy to tap the revenue potential of this flourishing sector. The various components of this effective and hitherto successful strategy have yielded very promising results, press release added. RTO, Lahore has under taken extensive survey of major roads of the city to unearth unregistered hotels and restaurants. During the course of this exercise, application forms for registration under Income Tax and Sales Tax were provided to the unregistered hotels and restaurants. As a result of this effort, 55 hotels and restaurants have been registered in Income Tax and 25 businesses have been registered in Sales Tax. The list includes some prominent outlets at MM Alam Road, Gulberg, Lahore. This exercise has been very meticulously documented to extract maximum benefit from it. Moreover, RTO has collected relevant third party information from Excise & Taxation Department, Social Security Department, District Government of Lahore, Sheikhupura, Okara, Kasur and Nankana Sahib, banks, LESCO, SNGPL and numerous trade association for initiating appropriate action against non-filers and unregistered hotels & restaurants. 269 returns of Sales Tax & FED and 35 returns of Income Tax involving revenue of Rs14.5m have been enforced during this campaign.In order to detect suppression of sales, comparison of turnover declared in Income Tax and Sales Tax has been carried out across the sector. In the process, demand of Rs.20 (M) has been raised against three major hotels & restaurants. Currently recovery is underway in these cases. Due to the success of this strategy RTO is committed to pursue all avenues of revenue enhancement from this major sector and persistent follow-up is going to yield more success in coming days. Persuasion, tax education and strict enforcement of tax laws are the hallmark of the comprehensive strategy adopted.