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New Town property tax date extended

The New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) has extended the last date for filing self-assessed property tax online till August 2. This is applicable for properties having “residential” and “educational” as principal use. A notice issued by NKDA on Saturday declared zero penalty on such assessees if they file within the extended deadline.

By Our Bureau
  • Published 8.06.18
  •  

The New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) has extended the last date for filing self-assessed property tax online till August 2. This is applicable for properties having “residential” and “educational” as principal use. A notice issued by NKDA on Saturday declared zero penalty on such assessees if they file within the extended deadline.

For all other properties a 10 per cent penalty will be charged for filing within this period, and not 30 per cent as stated earlier.

According to officials, a total of 17,353 residents paid their taxes by June 2. The reason cited for extending the deadline is requests from non-resident Calcuttans owning property in New Town who were unaware of the introduction of taxes and therefore failed to pay in time. “In consideration of the genuine time constraints faced by many the authority has considered and reviewed the deadline for self-assessment and payment of tax,” the notice says.

But residents say the NKDA website had also malfunctioned on the last couple of days. “Filling in all the details takes about 45 minutes. But the website kept crashing barely after 10 minutes,” said a resident from AC Block in New Town who tried filing his taxes on June 1 and 2. “And when I tried calling a Tax Sathi she said she was busy dealing with a crowd that had gathered at the office.”

Tax Sathis are trained and empanelled by the NKDA to assist tax payers with the online process, even visiting them on request. They are paid by the NKDA for their service.

“Initially people were taking it easy. I was getting few calls but all hell broke loose last week,” said Madhurima Paul, one of the Tax Sathis. “Everyone started thronging the NKDA office with enquiries till we were all asked to sit there. Even after attending to the queue in office hours, I was going over to people’s homes. At one point, I realised commuting from one house to another was taking too much time so I asked some assessees to come to my house.”

Another Sathi, Sankar Saha, said the sudden surge of assessees caused the system to overload towards the end. “None of this would’ve happened if people had been filing evenly over the three months. Even NRIs started calling up towards the end and we were directing them over the phone,” said Saha.

A technical snag on the last day — June 2 — stalled work for much of the day. That’s when the authorities announced extension of the deadline. “Immediately 70 per cent of those in queue returned home,” said Paul on Monday. “But it’s doubtful how many learnt a lesson from this. We, Sathis, are sitting in office now ready to help residents but the count of people coming has dwindled again. Today we had only three or four assessees. They are again putting it off till August.”