Srinagar, Sep 27: Hundreds of traders and businessmen are staring at huge losses as internet blackout has severely hampered the process of filing Goods and Service Tax (GST) and Income Tax returns online in the Kashmir valley.
“We have lost contact with our chartered accountants. Snapping of internet services has made the entire process difficult because all the taxes including GST, Income Tax and Sales Tax are to be filed online,” said Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad, President Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries.
Jammu and Kashmir government suspended internet services hours before parliament abrogated Article 370 on August 5.
Data reveals that GST returns in Jammu have fallen to Rs 25 crores in September from Rs 164 crores in July this year.
The situation in Kashmir is worse as traders claim that none of them have filed the GST or any other tax returns due to the communication blockade.
Earlier this month, a delegation of traders met union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and urged her to extend the date for filing of taxes.
The traders have sought extension of filing of GSTR-3B and GST-R. These taxes are to be filed every month.
Later the government extended the last date of filing annual GST return to November from August 31. “It becomes burden for us. We want taxes to be filed on time. Lack of internet facility is hampering the process,” said Rauf Ahmad, a businessman from Srinagar.
Chartered accountants too expressed helplessness in conducting tax audits in absence of the internet services. “We can’t provide services to our clients when internet or phone calls are barred. We need to contact our clients 10 or 20 times a day during the process of auditing. But it is not possible because neither mobiles nor internet service is available,” said Sameer Ahmad, a Chartered Accountant.