Even though number of individuals filing tax returns has increased enormously, the tax department is not willing to increase the count of return for scrutiny which currently stands at 1% of the total tax returns filed. In a general practice, the scrutinized returns stand well below 1% as for the total 528 lakh ITR returns filed for the 2015-16 only 3 lakh ITRs were brought under the scrutiny net.
The erstwhile practice is being sustained on the ground to remain non-intrusive in approach as the otherwise scrutinized cases are not followed up by field-surveys.
Alternatively, the department has decided to use persuasion as a measure to communicate with taxpayers and send SMSs and reminders. For the ITR filing for the FY 2016-17, the department has sent nearly 17 million text messages to remind taxpayers of the extended deadline for filing ITR.
The enforcement action or scrutiny by the tax officials shall only be undertaken in cases where hefty instances of tax evasions are being reported.