Thanks to internet blockade; Over 50K employees to pay huge penalties for not submitting IT returns

Srinagar, Dec 7: More than 50,000 government employees might have to shell out huge penalties as they have not been able to file Income Tax Returns (ITR) online due to the Internet gag.

There are 4.50 lakh government employees in the new Union Territory. However, 1.10 lakh employees whose annual salary is over Rs 6 lakh, have to file ITR online. Of whom 50, 000 are from Kashmir, who are unable to submit ITR details due to internet blockade since August 5.

 “The income tax is being deducted from our salaries but we are not able to submit ITR along with PAN card because of internet blockade. Employees are moving from pillar to post to submit online details in view of internet blockade,” said an assistant professor at Kashmir University. 

An employee of Education Department said he had to go Jammu to submit details online. “Nobody seems bothered how employees can submit details online when there is no internet,” he said.

After deducting tax from salaries, an employee has to fill ITR form online by entering the relevant information.

An official of Income Tax Department said less than 20 percent employees have been able to submit ITR details in Kashmir.

“It is an online process and is mandatory for employees to submit ITR details. If any employee fails to submit ITR returns he has to pay Rs 5000 penalty for one month delay,” the official said.  

He said some employees are flying to other parts of the country to access the internet. “We have already taken up this issue with authorities but are yet to receive any response so far how employees can submit online details,” he said.

Earlier, government had extended submission of ITR till November 30. However, they are yet to take any decision whether there will be further extension in submission of ITR details.

The internet blockade has affected people from all walks of life in Kashmir.

Administration has kept around 30 computers available for public use at TRC Srinagar, which are not enough to meet the growing demand of students, traders and government employees.

Additional Commissioner, Income Tax Department, J&K, SK Sharma said they were yet to receive any directions regarding the extension of dates for submission of online details. “Everything is being taken care of,” he replied when asked how employees can submit ITR details in absence of internet.

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