71% surge in ITR filed till Aug 31: Centre

New Delhi: The Centre on Saturday said the filing of income tax returns (ITR) till August 31 saw an upsurge of 71 per cent, compared to the corresponding period in the preceding year.

The total number of ITRs filed online up to August 31 was 5.42 crore, as against 3.17 crore up to August 31 last year, marking an increase of 70.86 per cent. Almost 34.95 lakh returns were uploaded on August 31 itself, an official release from the Ministry of Finance noted.

“A remarkable increase is seen in the number of ITRs in 2 categories, that is, ITRs filed by salaried Individuals (ITR-1& 2) as also those availing the benefit of the Presumptive Taxation Scheme(ITR-4),” the release read.

The total number of e-returns of salaried Individual taxpayers filed till August 31 increased to 3.37 crore from 2.19 crore returns filed during the corresponding period of 2017, registering an increase of 1.18 crore returns, thus highlighting a growth of almost 54 percent.

With regards to the number of returns e-filed by persons availing the benefit of Presumptive Tax, the Ministry noted that 1.17 crore returns were filed up to August 31, compared to 14.93 lakh returns filed last year, thus registering a massive increase of 681.69 percent.

The increase in the number of returns reveals a marked improvement in the level of voluntary compliance of taxpayers, which can be attributed to several factors, including the impact of demonetisation, enhanced persuasion and education of taxpayers as also the impending provision of late fee which would be effective on late filing of returns, the Ministry noted.

“This is indicative of an India moving steadily towards a more tax compliant society and reflects the impact of continuous leveraging of technology to improve taxpayer service delivery,” it added.