The net direct tax collection in the country grew by 15.7 per cent on year-on-year basis to reach Rs 4.89 lakh crore in the current fiscal till third week of October, a senior official on Monday quoting from the latest data. This marks over 42 per cent of the full-year direct tax collection target of Rs 11.5 lakh crore for the fiscal ending March 31, 2019. The CBDT official also the income tax department issued about 2 crore refunds for an amount of about Rs 1.09 lakh crore, till last week. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is the policy-making body for the Income Tax Department (ITD). As per the latest data, the number of taxpayers getting refunds is up by 62 per cent from 1.22 crore refunds in the corresponding period of the last fiscal. In terms of the refund amount, there has been a surge of 31.7 per cent from Rs 83,000 crore refunded to taxpayers in the corresponding period last year. The department, the official said, received 5.8 crore IT Returns (ITRs) till October 21 as compared to 3.6 crore returns during the same period of last fiscal. "This is an increase of about 61 per cent," the official said. As part of its efforts to widen and deepen the taxpayer base in the country, the CBDT has given a target to the income tax department to add 1.25 crore new people by end of the current fiscal, the official said. Last year, 1.06 new income tax assesses were added, he added. The present taxpayer base in the country is over 6.26 crore. The department sent about 1.85 crore emails and SMSes to assessees and taxpayers during the last quarter of the last fiscal 2017-18 (January-March), asking them to file their ITRs and pay taxes based on their tax history or some new information received by the taxman about their transactions, he said.