50% rise in tax payers, and other updates

The number of people filing Income Tax returns has risen by 50% so far in the assessment year 2018-19 compared to the same period last year. This was said by aCentral Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) chairman Sushil Chandra.

The chairman also has 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.

According to Sushil, this year more than 70,000 cases have been done online without calling assesses 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. India has entered 245 advance pricing agreement (APAs), and more than 500 tax matters have been solved under the mutual agreement procedure (MAP). Besides, as many as 70 countries are sharing information with India under Automatic Exchange Of Information (AEOI) framework.

He also said “Our tax compliance should be good so that the government is in a position to reduce the (corporate) tax rate”.

The CBDT,  plans to provide e-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,” Chandra said.

Sushil puts this growth as an effect of Demonetisation. He said “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.” He also said the number corporate tax payers have gone up to 8 lakh as a result of  Demonetisation.

In November 2016, the cancellation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 as legal notes had curbed illicit fund flows.