Bengaluru: It’s time of the year when tax payers desperately look for medical bills worth 15k rupees to submit before their companies to claim tax exemption on the said amount.
Though financial year will end on March 31st, many companies are asking to submit proofs before Feb 15th for final tax computation.
“Yesterday I sold 50k worth of medicines, but did a good business of 5 lakh worth of medical bills”, said Prakash Mehra, owner of OM medicals, a pharmacy operating in Indiranagar, Bengaluru.
“In medicines I get only 10 percent margin, for that lots of work has to be done. Every doctor writes medicine as per the commission he or she gets from pharmacy companies. You need to store all sorts of medicines, keep track of expiry dates, call distributor, too much work man,” said Mr. Mehra
He added, “Here lot of IT people stay, well connected to Google. They question you a lot, they will ask why you are giving these alternatives which are banned in USA in case I suggest some alternative ones if I do not have the prescribed medicine. But in case of medicine bills, no one ask a question. Ten percent cash payment I take as commission on bill amount and many are happy to take it as they save 20% plus if they are in highest tax bracket.”
On the reason of home delivery of medicines, Mr. Mehra said, “People come here, stand, but they will not be able to ask for ‘Nakli’ bills. Condom ke liye to ‘Topi’ jaissa code word hai, fake medical bills ke liye kuch permanent code word nahin hai. Earlier we used Raja’s name, now we can’t use that too. For convenience of my customers, I have started home delivery of bills, they need to just WhatsApp the address.”
Mr. Mehra has a word of advice for finance minister. ‘This 15k limit is there from the time British left India. He needs to increase it so that it benefits tax payers as well pharmacy stores like mine”.