Over 65K file I-T returns

Heavy rush at the eleventh hour to submit papers in Bangalore

“Around 65,000 people  filed their tax returns on Friday in Gayathri Vihar,” said Additional Commissioner, I-T Department, P Arulappa. While the count till date is expected to be anywhere over 6 lakh assessees, the I-T Department is already celebrating the success of the Tax Returns filing mela setup in Gayathri Vihar, Palace Grounds. “So far, around 6 lakh people have filed their returns with another lakh filing it online. In all, of the 13 lakh assessees, more than 50 per cent have submitted their returns,” he said.

The Tax Returns filing mela setup by the department has seen an impressive turnout over the past 15 days with nearly one lakh people coming to the venue and filing their returns. “We are expecting to better the performance and facilities next year by adding a few more benefits for the customers,” said Arulappa. The department is envisaging giving more payment options like accepting credit/debit cards on the spot, instead of just cash payments.

The department has added an additional strength of 120 personnel last week taking the I-T department personnel to 320 to assist the citizens. With chairs occupied, more and more streaming in to file their returns, many citizens were forced to sit on the ground to fill the ITR forms.

Help desks saw scores of people asking queries on which counter to go to and file their returns.

e-filing

While the lines extended towards the evening, the officials were turning away people who had shown ‘nil’ or no returns on their taxes. “With a cost of nearly Rs 800 on a cumulative basis on processing a individual’s file, we cannot afford to burden ourselves with people who have no tax returns to show,” said an I-T department official.

Meanwhile, complaints were heard from some citizens on the complexity and feasibility of e-filing of their returns. “We have had complaints and a discussion has been carried out in ensuring better response to customers who will file henceforth,” said Arulappa.
 According to officials, from August 1, 2009, a penalty fee of one per cent will be charged on people’s taxable income for delay in filing their returns. “Technically, we have time to collect the taxes from every citizen till March 2010 for the year 2008-09,” said the official.   

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