Second deadline for tax rebate nears, but Palike property tax glitch persists

Second deadline for tax rebate nears, but Palike property tax glitch persists

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has not yet rectified the software glitch in its property tax portal though the deadline for availing the 5% rebate is nearing.

The Palike had extended the deadline for availing the rebate till June 15 due to software problems. But people are still queuing up before BBMP joint commissioner (revenue) M Venkatachalapathi to get the problems resolved.

The problems range from inability to pay taxes, non-refund of previous years’ arrears and excess tax. Pallavi from Vidyaranyapura told DH, “I had paid my property tax last year but that is not reflecting in the BBMP’s website. As a result, I am unable to pay the tax for this year before June 15 to avail 5% concession. There is some problem with the software.”

Another resident Rajaram Shukla from L&T South City on Bannerghatta Road is running from pillar to post to get his Rs 2,900 refunded. His son has bought two flats there. Last year, he had paid Rs 7,599 and Rs 7,326 for two properties as property tax when the Palike had not withdrawn the re-classification of taxation zones and hike in the tax.

A month after he paid the tax, the BBMP rolled back the zonal reclassification and tax hike owing to public outcry and protests by opposition parties in the BBMP. This year, his tax for both the properties was about Rs 12,000. After deducting the excess amount he paid last year, it should have been a little above Rs 9,000 but the deduction did not happen.

He had met the assistant revenue officer, revenue officer, deputy commissioner of revenue at the BBMP zonal level and was finally directed to meet Venkatachalapathi. But there was no relief in sight. “I am running from pillar to post to get the money refunded. There is no one in the BBMP who knows why these many problems have arisen,” said Shukla.

He was miffed as he could not meet the officer even after waiting for almost two hours. Shukla said, “My sons are scolding me why I am not letting go of Rs 2,800. Why should I let go of hard earned money?” For the past one-and-half years, Venkatachalapathi has been regularly meeting officials of the National Informatics Centre (NIC), a government of India enterprise which has developed the software. Yet, there is no solution in sight.

“There are certain issues related to the payment gateway of private banks. People who paid their taxes through some private banks’ gateway are facing problems. We are regularly briefing NIC officials about the various challenges taxpayers are facing,” said Venkatachalapathi.

He added that the Palike could not afford the services of a private company to develop the software.

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