Hundreds of income tax assessees joined the long queues on Saturday, the last day of filing of income tax returns at the special counters at Palace Grounds here. As many as 3.5 lakh income tax returns have been accepted at the special counters during the last 13 days, an Income Tax official, said.
Last year, about 3 lakh returns were filed in the special counters.
On Saturday, the special counters registered a heavy rush in the morning, which came down by afternoon, only to pick up steam a few hours before the counters closed at 5.30 p.m. Celebrities and VIPs were not invited to file their returns at the special counters this year based on the last year's experience when it became difficult to control the mob, an officer said.
According to sources, several cases of fake income tax returns were also found at the special counters; they were identified and destroyed. Those who had attempted to file returns by proxy were also caught, sources said.
According to an official, 90 counters were opened, including 15 for PAN card, 50 help desks, 10 paid help desk income tax preparers (TRP), 10 for physically challenged and 5 for senior citizens.
“Electronic monitors for tax payers' convenience was set up, a temporary zebra crossing was marked to enable the public to cross the road, while BMTC buses were asked to provide request stops near Palace Grounds,” B. Arulappa, Additional Commissioner of Income Tax, said.
The IT Department facilitated payment of taxes through credit cards for the first time this year, and Mr. Arulappa said that it received a good response.
“Around 15 to 25 per cent of tax payers paid their taxes through credit and debit cards. However, a majority of tax payers still prefer the cash mode of payment,” he said.
The special counter also came in for praise. K. Jagadish Rao of BMR Associates said: “I paid my tax in the morning and I am very happy with the facility.” S. Manjunath, assistant manger, said: “I am happy they had set up a separate stall for us and I was satisfied with the facility.”