2.83 crore I-T returns: 25% increase in filing of tax returns, says Govt

The tax department said that the rise in ITR filings also reflects addition of a "substantial" number of new taxpayers. The tax department had extended the date for income tax returns filing till August 5 from the earlier deadline of July 31.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: August 8, 2017 6:02 am
I-T returns, Income Tax, Income tax returns, Tax, income tax filing, ITR, ITR filings, GST, Goods and services tax, Demonetisation, The surge in filing of income tax returns (ITR) follows the government’s efforts to crack down on tax evasion in the wake of demonetisation last November.

Income Tax returns filed for 2017-18 rose 24.7 per cent year-on-year to 2.83 crore returns as on August 5, as against 2.27 crore returns filed during the corresponding period last year. The number of I-T returns filed by individuals, accounting for 98.7 per cent of total ITR, jumped 25.3 per cent from last year to 2.79 crore returns filed up to August 5, as against 2.23 crore returns in the corresponding period last year.

According to data released by the Ministry of Finance, a sharp rise of 41.79 per cent was witnessed in the advance tax collections of personal income tax for the first four months of this financial year over the corresponding period last year.

The surge in filing of income tax returns (ITR) follows the government’s efforts to crack down on tax evasion in the wake of demonetisation last November. The tax department, in a statement, said that the rise in ITR filings also reflects addition of a “substantial” number of new taxpayers. The tax department had extended the date for income tax returns filing till August 5 from the earlier deadline of July 31.

“As a result of demonetisation and Operation Clean Money, there is a substantial increase in the number of income tax returns filed. The number of returns filed as on 05.08.2017 stands at 2,82,92,955 as against 2,26,97,843 filed during the corresponding period of FY 2016-2017, registering an increase of 24.7 per cent compared to growth rate of 9.9 per cent in the previous year.”

“The growth in returns filed by individuals is 25.3 per cent with 2,79,39,083 returns having been received up to 05.08.2017 as against 2,22,92,864 returns in the corresponding period of FY 2016-2017. This clearly shows that substantial number of new taxpayers have been brought into the tax net subsequent to demonetisation,” the statement said.

I-T returns, Income Tax, Income tax returns, Tax, income tax filing, ITR, ITR filings, GST,

Tax experts said the increase in income tax returns filings reflects increased compliance by taxpayers in the backdrop of inquiries made by the tax department after demonetisation and the trend is likely to continue going ahead owing to digitised trail of transactions under the new indirect tax regime of Goods and Services Tax (GST).

“The increase in number of income tax returns reflects increased compliance level, addition of new taxpayers and result of inquiries made by the tax department after demonetisation. The trend is expected to continue as the tax department is keeping a 360-degree watch on transactions, which will encourage people to be more compliant,” Rahul Garg, Partner and Leader, Direct Tax, PwC said.

“Also, transactions under the GST will be recorded, which in turn is expected to further increase tax compliance,” Garg said.

Personal income tax under self assessment tax grew 34.25 per cent over the corresponding period in 2016-2017. “The effect of demonetisation is also clearly visible in the growth in direct tax collections… the (tax collection) figures amply demonstrate the positive results of the government’s commitment to fight the menace of black money. CBDT is committed in its resolve to eradicate tax evasion in a non-intrusive manner and widening of tax base,” the official statement said.

On August 1, Minister of State for Finance Santosh Kumar Gangwar, while replying to a question in Rajya Sabha, had said that the number of income taxpayers increased after demonetisation. “During the period of November 9, 2016 to March 31, 2017, 1.96 crore returns were filed as compared to 1.63 crore returns filed during corresponding period of FY 2015-16 and 1.23 crore returns filed during corresponding period of FY 2014-15.”

Last month, using the information received through Statement of Financial Transactions from banks and financial institutions in the second phase of ‘Operation Clean Money’, the Income Tax department had identified 5.56 lakh individuals whose tax profiles were inconsistent with the cash deposits made by them after demonetisation. Another 1.04 lakh persons, who did not disclose all bank accounts during e-verification in the first phase of Operation Clean Money, were also identified by the tax department.

In the first phase of Operation Clean Money launched on January 31 this year, the tax department had sent communications to around 18 lakh individuals asking them to respond online to specific queries relating to cash deposits made during November 9-December 30, the time period given for deposit of scrapped currency notes in banks.

Of the 17.92 lakh persons to whom the queries were sent by the tax department under the first phase of Operation Clean Money, 9.72 lakh persons had responded to the department as per pre-defined parameters of sources of the cash deposits.

At the time of launch of the second phase of Operation Clean Money, the I-T department had said it will investigate over 60,000 individuals, including 1,300 high risk cases. The high risk categories identified included businesses claiming cash sales as the source of cash deposits which were found to be excessive compared to their past profile or industry norms, large cash deposits made by government or PSU employees, persons who had undertaken high value purchases, persons who had used shell entities for layering of funds and where no responses were received.

The government had taken extensive enforcement action including search and seizure and surveys largely based on the information received during the demonetisation period.

In April, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the policy-making body of the Income Tax department, had said that more than 2,362 searches, seizures and surveys were conducted by the I-T department November 9, 2016 to February 28, 2017, leading to seizure of valuables worth more than Rs 818 crore, which included cash of Rs 622 crore, and detection of undisclosed income of more than Rs 9,334 crore. More than 400 cases were referred by the department to the Enforcement Directorate and CBI.

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  1. K
    Kapoor
    Aug 9, 2017 at 8:14 am
    If you miss your dealine, you may file your belated or for corrections you may file revised returns at EZTax for free. you can call, chat, connect at their home page. With their site, there is no need to know which ITR we are filing as their engine auto selects the right ITR for you. Hope this helps.
    Reply
    1. A
      Anantha Krishna
      Aug 8, 2017 at 10:01 am
      If every penny collected is utilized for the development of the country, our country will take no time to be a developed. Free bees to be provided only for the needy for which a through information has to collected as many citizens are duping our government else this may bleed our country. Caste system and reservations has to eradicated or it has to be on need basis for few individual who are to be properly assessed and provided.
      Reply
      1. H
        Harish
        Aug 8, 2017 at 8:41 am
        One of the many subtle manifestations of the demonetization impact which is key to get India back to mainstream. This will put the so called pseudo economists and analysts to take notice and stay relevant. Greta job by the government and GST is yet another major reform that will show a dynamo effect on positive growth of the economy. Way to go.
        Reply
        1. M
          Mandonca Shoan Robert
          Aug 8, 2017 at 8:17 am
          do you want to ,Urgent s needed by columbia asia hospital india,we offer $500,000.00usd 3crore interested then contact via email columbiaasiahospital01 regards Dr Robert Williams 917022148556
          Reply
          1. K
            kk
            Aug 8, 2017 at 8:05 am
            is this to be believed.. lol... these guys are just cooking up data and feeding the net innocents to rejoice and make fun of the matured ones.. welcome to real India..
            Reply
            1. S
              Socrates
              Aug 8, 2017 at 7:59 am
              Finally a government that intends to clearly bite the bullet to rid India of its inherently corruption-promoting governance system. But lots more still to be done. Although an impressive improvement, 2.83 crore ITRs is still a pathetic figure for direct tax enrollment of individuals. De-monitization GST has and will continue to repair macro-economics, but cynism is going to rise because individuals will not be able to see benefits to themselves (like the laughable thought of Rs. 15L to each). Taxes collected should and will eventually start to benefit all - IF taxes are channeled into right directions. And that is something the government is squarely responsible for and challenged to 'invest' the tax-booty so that the benefits are visible to large sections of people across the population - including those who pay the most taxes. Ideally, the PMO should quantify and advertise the investments/welfare schemes that could be started only due to additional tax collections
              Reply
              1. S
                Socrates
                Aug 8, 2017 at 7:52 am
                Great going, Mr. Modi. Finally a government that intends to clearly bite the bullet to rid India of its inherently corruption-promoting governance system. But lots more still to be done. Although an impressive improvement, 2.83 crore ITRs is still a pathetic figure for direct tax enrollment of individuals. De-monitization has and will continue to repair macro-economics, but cynism is going to rise because individuals will not be able to see benefits to themselves (like the laughable thought of Rs. 15L to each). Taxes collected should and will eventually start to benefit all - IF taxes are channeled into right directions. And that is something the government is squarely responsible for and challenged to 'invest' the tax-booty so that the benefits are visible to large sections of people across the population - including those who pay the most taxes. Ideally, the PMO should quantify and advertise the investments/welfare schemes that could be started due to additional tax collections
                Reply
                1. A
                  Apratim
                  Aug 8, 2017 at 6:55 am
                  This is happening because of a collusion between banks and the government. For example, if the bank cuts TDS from your bank account, you must submit an IT return. My mother, 71, retired with a very small pension, got a TDS from her account even after submitting 15H, and was forced to submit a return, even though her income was not high.
                  Reply
                  1. S
                    Socrates
                    Aug 8, 2017 at 7:37 am
                    So, why there is a sense of victmization if one has to file a tax return, regardles of no, low or high income tax due. People all over the world file their returns without complaining. Are Indians special and feel violation of their fundamental right to be asked to file tax returns and constantly whine if they are asked to? Funny!
                    Reply
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