Upto Saturday, 31 August, which was amplified limit for the annual filing, record 5.65 crore income tax returns were filed. This shows that that more people are now part of the tax net. However, the outpouring in filing of returns is seemingly weaker, due to the repercussions of demonetisation.
Last year, on August 31, 2018, 5.4 crore returns were filed, which is 4 percent less than this year. According to the data released by the Income Tax department on August 31, for the financial year 2018-19, 5.65 crore I-T returns were filed. So, there is an increase of 4% in income tax filings for 2018-19.
Last year, due to the repercussions of demonetisation, there was a 71 percent outpouring as cash deposits resulted in income disclosure. The government last year also decided to charge a fee on delayed returns, due to which many people filed returns within the finishing date.
Contending that the increment came at a high price, tax officials are cheering on this achievement.They are also glad that the filing process this year was error free. They are taking the credit that the technology system showed no signs of flagging or failure even with 25 percent of the returns being filed before the last five days of the deadline. Even more than 49 lakh returns were filed on Saturday, August 30. The peak filing rate per second was at 196 ITRs on August 30, moreover, the peak filing rate per minute was at 7,447. The tax officials are hoping that later in the coming years, when the full impact of GST will strike in, the tax filings will expand further.
The Times of India quoted a statement saying, “The information security team successfully opposed over 2,205 malevolent attacks on the website aimed at disrupting services in the peak period.”
Also, this was the first year when pre-filled forms were tried out for a large number of taxpayers. The department is looking at ways to expand the coverage next year, believing that the experiment was successful.
Keeping in view the growing digitalization in India the tax authorities are more focused on electronic verification. Over the last few years, they are also having their focus on faster refunds. The process could be faster if more people would opt for electronic verification. Nearly two-thirds of the total returns, which is 3.6 crore returns, have already been verified. Mostly using Aadhaar-based one-time-password, almost 80
“The I-T department proposes to negotiate campaigns to increase awareness about e-verification of ITRs where verification is still pending,” the statement said.