BBMP has introduced new application forms IV and V for the year 2009-10 and updated the online calculator in their website. I have found the following anomalies in both and wrote to the Commissioner, DC Revenue and other officials . So far nobody has replied; none of the mistakes have yet been corrected. The anomalies are going to affect the entire public in the BBMP areas as the rules and columns in the forms and calculator are contradictory.
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#1. The Instructions to the Tax Payer at S.No.2 in the Forms state that "Depreciation cannot be claimed for 2009-10 and 2010-11 as depreciation can be claimed once in the Block Period ie. 2008-09 to 2010-11".
In Part II column 10a(i) mentions:
Property Tax Payable for …………. (as per Column 10a)
which was the tax paid in 2008-09 after deducting depreciation value from Gross Annual UAV (Unity Area Value). As per #1 above, this should not be the case and one should have taken the Gross Annual UAV given in the application form for the previous year 2008-09 at Page 3, Part II , column 10 (vi) for calculation of tax and cess which will be more for this and next year in the block year. There is no column provided in the forms for the Gross Annual UAV before taking depreciation into account for calculation of taxes. The online calculator is deducting the depreciation in its calculation steps.
On 7th July, I was able to contact Vasanth Rao (DC, Revenue). He said that we need to take the same depreciation value as taken in the 2008-09. This means, we will pay the same amount as tax as calculated in the last year. I told him that I had paid a higher amount as tax this year since I followed the instructions that mentioned ‘Depreciation can be claimed only once in the Block Year’. He asked me to adjust the excess amount paid in the next year.
#2. In Part I, Column 8, it is not clear as to which ward number and name should be given since the BBMP Revenue Records show the property under different ward number and name in their website.
#3. The online calculator in the website has added the assessment Year 2009-10 for selection and calculation. If the boxes are filled as required for the year 2009-10, it still takes the depreciation value into the account and the resulting tax and cess amounts are same as in the year 2008-09. Here, the rule mentioned in #1 above has not been taken into account. Is this not a serious blunder in the software?
#4. The help center staff have started collecting the taxes as in the year 2008-09 for this year without taking the rule for depreciation into account.
Now BBMP will have enormous amount of work in their hands in correcting and updating the revenue records for each property . This will result in more errors in the process (resulting in chaos just like in the voters lists!). Non-issue of receipts is also going to increase the workload and the tax payer will have to make several visits to the help center to get the actual receipts.
Due to the ignorance and carelessness of the public and confusion in the forms, the staff collecting the taxes are minting money (with helping the citizens in filling forms). What happened to BBMP’s policy to root out corruption in their offices? Why the responsible officers are not looking into the matter even after being brought to their notice?
Will BBMP wake up atleast now before more damage is done ?