Tax returns filed up 50 per cent

New Delhi: There has been a 50 per cent jump in  number of people filing Income Tax returns in the assessment year 2018-19 to 6.08 crore, said Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) chairman Sushil Chandra on Tuesday.

“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 per cent higher than last year by this particular date. So this is the effect of demonetisation,” he said.

Mr 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. “Our gross direct tax growth rate is 16.5 per cent and net direct tax growth rate is 14.5 per cent, 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 per cent 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.

Mr Chandra said the CBDT has so far given 2.27 crore refunds during the 2018-19 assessment year, which is 50 per cent higher than the same period a year ago. In the last four years, India’s tax base has gone up by 80 per cent, he added.  

The CBDT, the apex policy making body for direct taxes, plans to provide me-PAN (Permanent Account Number) within four hours of receiving an application.  

“We are putting a new system in place. After a year or so, we will be giving PAN in four hours. You will have to give Aadhaar identity and you will get e-PAN in 4 hours,”  Mr Chandra said.  

According to him, so far this year more than 70,000 cases have been done online without calling assessees to tax offices.  

The CBDT has also sent out two crore SMS to people who had not filed returns or those whose income did not match with their filings.