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Number of people filing I-T returns rises 50% to 6.08 cr: CBDT chief

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

The number of people filing Income Tax returns has increased 50% to 6.08 crore so far in the assessment year 2018-19 compared to the year-ago period, a top official said yesterday.

Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman Sushil Chandra also exuded confidence that the Revenue Department would achieve direct tax collection target of Rs 11.5 lakh crore for the current financial year ending March 31, 2019.

"Demonetisation has been very good for increasing the tax base of the country. So far this year (assessment year 2018-19), we have already got around 6.08 crore returns which is 50% higher than last year by this particular date.

"So this is the effect of demonetisation," he said.

However, he did not mention the exact date when the filings touched 6.08 crore.

In November 2016, the government cancelled old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes as legal tenders as part of larger efforts to curb illicit fund flows.

"Our gross direct tax growth rate is 16.5% and net direct tax growth rate is 14.5%, which itself shows that demonetisation really helped in widening and deepening of tax base.

"As on date, total direct tax mop up stood at 48% of the Budget estimate (BE)," the CBDT chief said.

He also said the number corporate tax payers have gone up to 8 lakh as a result of demonetisation.

Speaking at an event organised by industry body CII, Chandra said the CBDT has so far given 2.27 crore refunds during the 2018-19 assessment year, which is 50% higher than the same period a year ago.

In the last four years, India's tax base has gone up by 80%, he added.

Panel to redraft I-T Act to focus on removing ambiguities
The task force set up to redraft Income Tax law will focus on removing the ambiguities, rather than suggesting dramatic policy changes and tweaking of tax rates, the panel's convenor Akhilesh Ranjan said yesterday.

Ranjan said the 6-member task force formed to redraft the over 50-year old I-T law will meet shortly to draft a new law which will be more comprehensible.

"Tax rate is prima-facie not the main focus area of this task force.... (task force will focus on) simplification which can remove the ambiguities," Ranjan told reporters.

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