Only 40% GST returns filed in J&K due to internet blockade, big fall in revenue collection

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The internet blockade imposed in Jammu and Kashmir since August has resulted in only around 40 percent of goods and services tax (GST) returns being filed, according to the government of the union territory, resulting in a dip in revenue collections. Now, the finance department has shot off a letter to all deputy commissioners, asking them to facilitate filing of GST returns through internet kiosks set up in their offices in the next 10 days.

“In the absence of internet connectivity in the Union Territory, the taxpayers have not been able to file GST returns, particularly GSTR 3B, on time since August 2019,” the communication reads. “Although the date of filing of returns has been extended till 20 October 2019, in view of the representations received from the tax filers, the percentage of the returns filed during this period has been abysmally low. Only around 40 percent returns due for this period have been filed so far,” it states.

“Also, as even the returns for the month of July, August, September have not been filed by all taxpayers, it is requested that the access to the internet kiosks located in your offices may be allowed to the tax filers for at least 10 days (from 20th November to 30th November 2019),” the letter adds.

The clampdown was imposed ahead of the scrapping of Article 370 on 5 August. Since then, restrictions on movement and communications have been relaxed in a phase-wise manner, but internet, prepaid mobile services, and SMS facilities remain suspended, affecting day-to-day activities of the people, including paying taxes.

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