In a surprising turn in trend, income tax e-filings for the financial year 2018-19 fell by over 6.6 lakh from the year before.
Statistics released by the Income Tax department's official e-filing website showed that ITR filings in FY19 were at 6.68 crore, lower than 6.74 crore in FY18. In FY17, there were 5.28 crore e-filers.
Experts are surprised by the results as they expected the tax base to increase post demonetisation.
The registered filers, however, grew by 15 percent to 8.45 crore as on 31 March 2019, according to the e-filing website. There were just 2.7 crore registered filers at the end of March 2013 which almost doubled to 5.2 crore in March 2016 and 6.2 crore in March 2017.
The percentage of actual filings to registered filers was at 79 percent in FY19, which is lower than the 91.6 percent in the previous fiscal year. The compliance ratio was at 85 percent and 83 percent for the preceding two years. It was 79.3 percent in FY15, which was a decline from 82 percent of FY14.
The data released also showed a steady rise in filers in the Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh income range with 1.05 crore filings in the financial year 2018-19 including 1.02 crore of individual taxpayers.