Software issues on tax data updation not resolved yet, CFO News, ETCFO



Even while the city corporation has been on a strenuous mission to publish tax arrears in different wards, the cardinal issues surrounding the software being maintained by the Information Kerala Mission have remained unsolved.

In a meeting convened by the joint director of urban affairs on October 30, the city corporation presented a set of issues regarding the software.

In response the Information Kerala Mission cited in the meeting that a report would be furnished on November 10. Seven days later, the city corporation has yet to receive a response from IKM.

Even in the list of arrears being published across wards, tax dues are dated from the fiscal 2016-17. The status of tax payments before this period has remained a case of concern for the city corporation.

The software allows assessment of tax only with effect from 2016-17. The software does not have an option to assess buildings based on annual rental value before this period. Unless the city corporation gets a way to assess and calculate dues based on the old system of tax assessment for buildings for the period before 2016-17, actual dues may still remain unclear.

The city corporation had also sent a letter to the Information Kerala Mission on October 15, flagging glaring shortcomings in the IKM software.

During the tenure of the previous council, the corporation had highlighted the issues and glitches in IKM software but to no avail. References to similar communications in the past had also been mentioned in the letter sent on October 15.

While the corporation is updating records of around 4.5 lakh tax assessments and even though service cess is being calculated in the city corporation along with property tax for the past three years, the software has no facility to add service cess in buildings which were assessed before service cess came into effect.

While merging the data base before 2016, the officials tried posting the tax for a whole year; however, the system would still reflect that of half a year, the letter sent to the IKM shows.

It also lists out other technical glitches like delay, frequent instances of system snags which have delayed the process of data updation. As regarding relaxation of tax for ex-service men, the software has no provision to update the relaxation annually after scrutiny of necessary documents.

The officials fear that even after undertaking a laborious task of updating tax data, the corporation would still face the predicament of dealing with irregularities unless the software is updated. Besides, in the absence of calculating dues with retrospective effect, defaulters will also find a way to evade the dues, the officials pointed out.

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