Income tax return filings are expected to double to 7.6 crore by the end of the current financial year from 3.8 crore in 2013-14, thanks to a series of anti-black money measures and increased formalisation of economy, finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday.
“There are factors of strict compliance, rationalisation of tax structure, lowering of the lowest slabs…as a result of that we are finding 15-20% gradual increase in direct tax collections in the past few years,” Jaitley said, addressing the 29th Conference of Accountants General here, organised by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).
Anti-black money measures, rise in formalisation of the economy, use of technology, ability to detect tax evasions and the compulsions created by the demonetisation for a lot of people to deposit money in the banks have boosted direct tax revenues.
“Four years ago when we assumed office, the total number of people who filed tax returns in a year was 3.8 crore, which has already touched 6.86 crore last year,” Jaitley said.
In the field of indirect taxation, implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) also brought in a huge number of tax assessees than in the pre-GST regime, he added.
The effective assessees (including TDS cases) rose an unprecedented 27.5% to 8 crore in 2016-17 and direct tax buoyancy rose sharply from 0.6 in 2015-16 to 1.3 in 2016-17 and 1.9 in 2017-18. While all these bear out on how the note ban helped expand the tax base, the latest spurt in e-returns indicate the trend is not only being sustained but accelerated.
The 2018-19 Budget estimate for growth in direct tax collections is 14% over the previous year when the collections were `10.05 lakh crore. In the April-June quarter, a sum of `1.52 lakh crore was collected, a growth of just 7.7% over the year-ago period.