As per a leading dailies report which cited sources from the finance ministry, the number of individuals filing income tax return for the financial year 2017-18 has gone up by a whopping 82% to 3.1 crore tax filers as on July 26, 2018. In comparison, during the last financial year until the said date as many as 1.7 crore individuals filed ITR.
Also, correspondingly the number of refunds processed until this date has increased in comparison to the last year. As per the report, until last Thursday i.e. July 26, 2018, 65 lakh refund cases that amount to Rs. 77,700 crore have been processed whereas in the previous year, 36.1 lakh refund cases were cleared.
It is being presumed by experts that the massive increase in number of tax filers this year could be because of the levy of late filing charges. Notably, a late filing of fee of up to Rs. 5000 will be applicable if ITR for the financial year 2017-18 (Ass year- 2018-19) is filed beyond the extended deadline of August 31, 2018.
The report also said the government is taking serious steps to expand the tax base by extracting information from all possible sources such as high value purchases made or property registration to know about individuals who do not reveal their actual income and source or do not file tax returns.
This fiscal year, the government plans to add another 1.25 crore new taxpayers after adding one crore taxpayers last year. Also, there have been constant reminders from the tax department and the government via different channels such as e-mail, text message, public advertisement to the citizens of India to file Income tax return on time.