CBDT recently said that data shows that a substantially larger number of taxpayers are filing their ITRs electronically in the financial year 2018-19 as compared to 2017-18
New Delhi: Dismissing the reports of a decline in the number of income tax returns (ITRs), the income tax department said the actual number of those filing electronic returns had gone up in the fiscal year 2018-19. Data also shows a decline in the number of paper ITRs reflecting that taxpayers have steadily switched to e-filing.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) clarified that during 2017-18, out of a total of 6.74 crores e-filed ITRs, 5.47 crore were filed for assessment year (AY) 2017-18. In comparison, during the financial year 2018-19, a total of 6.68 crores ITRs were e-filed which included 6.49 crore ITRs of the current assessment year 2018-19. In totality, there has been an increase of almost 19%.
Jump of 19% in the number of Income Tax Returns(ITRs) e-filed during FY 2018-19 compared to FY 2017-18! Substantially larger no. of taxpayers filed their ITRs electronically in FY 2018-19 compared to FY 2017-18. Media reports of reduction in efiling numbers factually incorrect.— Income Tax India (@IncomeTaxIndia) May 6, 2019
CBDT added, “This would imply that a substantially larger number of taxpayers filed their ITRs electronically in the financial year 2018-19 as compared to 2017-18.” The Ministry of Finance tweeted that the e-filing of the ITR showed a hike of 19% this year when compared to the previous financial year.
This is factually untrue, because the figures for F.Y. 2017-18 and F.Y. 2018-19 are not directly comparable. It is stated that during F.Y. 2017-18,out of a total of 6.74 crore ITRs which were e-filed, 5.47 crore ITRs were filed for Assessment Year(A.Y.) 2017-18 (the current year)— Ministry of Finance (@FinMinIndia) May 6, 2019
Ministry of Finance explained that nearly 1.21 crore ITRs were filed for AY 2016-17. The balance number of ITRs filed for AY 2015-16 and previous assessment years was 0.06 crore. In comparison, during FY 2018-19, only 0.14 crore ITRs for AY 2017-18 were filed.
“Thus, the apparent decrease in the number of ITRs filed during FY 2018-19 pertaining to earlier years was due to an amendment in Section 139(5) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, brought in vide Finance Act, 2017, from April 1, 2018 which mandated that a revised return could be furnished only up to the end of the relevant assessment year,” the CBDT said.
It also said that the number of paper ITRs for AY 2017-18 was only 9.2 lakh (1.5% of total ITRs filed) and the number of paper ITRs for AY 2018-19 is 4.8 lakh (0.6% of total ITRs filed). It is evident that most of the taxpayers have steadily switched to e-filing which is clear from the dwindling numbers of paper returns filed for AY 2018-19 compared to earlier years.
The CBDT further stated that the number of paper ITRs for AY 2017-18 was only 9.2 lakh (1.5 percent of total ITRs filed) and the number of paper ITRs for AY 2018-19 was 4.8 lakh (0.6 percent of total ITRs filed).
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Last Updated May 7, 2019, 11:31 AM IST