File, smile and go. This is what taxpayers would be chanting this year while filing their returns, the income tax department claims. But with electronic filing having become mandatory for assesses having net taxable above Rs 5 lakh from this year, the pressure on the tax department to keep the system capable of handling the pressure has become enormous.
According to an income tax official the department expects around three crore e-returns this year. Of these as on July 29, more than 82 lakh e-returns have been filed a 40 per cent rise compared to the same period last year, the official said. Six lakh returns were filed on Tuesday.
The last date for filing the income tax returns for salaried class and those who don’t have to get their accounts audited by a registered chartered accountant is July 31. As regard paper returns, the official said that all those taxpayers having net taxable income below Rs 5 lakh are though not mandated to file e-returns, they will have to file returns unlike last year when they were exempted from filing returns.
Last year, e-filing was mandatory for those having net taxable income of Rs 10 lakh and above. However, this year the government reduced the limit with a view to capture more assesses into the electronic system for faster processing, analysing and generating data for non-filers.
“E-returns have helped us in weeding out tax evaders,” the official said.
As per the data available, 2.85 crore assesses registered for e-returns till July 15. Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh top the list in e-returns. While Gujarat saw 4,86,700 e-returns, Maharashtra had 7,61,744 e-returns and Delhi had 2,05,642 e-returns till July 15.
Egged on by the simplicity of income-tax return forms and ease of electronic filing, taxpayers also are choosing to avoid long queues at the camps set up by the tax department. The department has also set up kiosks to help the assesses. Moreover, certified tax return preparers are ready to help assesses for Rs 250.
In 2011-12, of around 4 crore tax payers in the country, 1.64 crore tax payers filed e-returns, which was started by the central board of direct taxes (CBDT) in 2007.