Hundreds of street vendors in India are secret millionaires

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Adam Cohn / Flickr

The Indian tax authorities have discovered that hundreds of street vendors are secret millionaires. These merchants were caught evading taxes.

When we think of millionaires, we probably imagine a person with a big mansion, sports cars and shiny jewelry. The reality is that a few hundred street vendors in India are defying that stereotype, hiding their wealth in plain sight.

The Indian tax authorities have already identified more than 250 street vendors of food and junk that are, in fact, millionaires in the city of Kanpur in northern India. Among them were fruit and vegetable vendors, owners of small pharmacies and grocery stores, and sanitation workers who managed to evade taxes for years.

According to VICE, together, these secret millionaires have saved and spent more than 37.5 million Indian rupees — about 425 thousand euros — to buy property. The tax authorities found several cases of scrap sellers who had at least three cars.

Tax inspectors carried out an investigation and found that hundreds of these millionaires paid virtually no tax. In addition, at least 65 grocers and pharmacists nor did they register their businesses.

These secret millionaires hid their money by buying properties in the name of other family members. In other cases, they used cooperative banks or small financial schemes to hide the money.

They ended up getting caught after someone uses your PAN card details, an identification number assigned to all taxpayers in India.

This is not the first time “street millionaires” have been found in India. In 2016, a dozen street food vendors in Kanpur were caught with a undeclared income of 600 million Indian rupees (6.8 million euros).

With over 600,000 people in the business, street vendors are an essential part of India’s urban commerce and distribution system. they have a parallel billing of approximately 800 million Indian rupees (about 9 million euros) per day.

efeb20e116d36b229fc2938a72878d80 Hundreds of street vendors in India are secret millionaires Daniel Costa, ZAP //