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Record 81.8 mn ITRs filed till Dec 31, rises 9% in current assessment year

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The low number of ITRs filed by assessees has been one of the major concerns of the revenue authorities, which is gradually being addressed

A record 81.8 million income tax returns (ITRs) were filed till December 31 for the assessment year 2023-24, up 9 per cent over the 75.1 million filings made in the corresponding period of 2022-23. According to the income tax website, 79.9 million returns were verified and 77.7 million processed during the period.

The low number of ITRs filed by assessees has been one of the major concerns of the revenue authorities. For instance, 58.7 million returns were filed by income tax assessees during the assessment year 2018-19. The number rose to 66.9 million the following year. It, however, declined to 63.9 million in the Covid-hit 2020-21, before rising to 67.5 million in 2021-22, the finance ministry data showed.  

According to a statement by the ministry, the number of audit reports and other forms filed during the period was 16 million, as against 14.3 million filed a year ago.

It is also observed that a large number of taxpayers did their due diligence by comparing data of their financial transactions by viewing their Annual Information Statement (AIS) and Taxpayer Information Summary (TIS), the statement mentioned.

A substantial portion of the data for all ITRs was prefilled, with data pertaining to salary, interest, dividend, personal information, tax payment including TDS-related information, brought forward losses, MAT credit etc to further ease compliance by taxpayers. The facility was used extensively, resulting in smoother and faster filing of ITRs, the ministry said.

Further, a digital e-pay tax payment platform — TIN 2.0 — was made fully functional on the e-filing portal, replacing the OLTAS payment system during the current financial year. This enabled user-friendly options for e-payment of taxes such as internet banking, NEFT/RTGS, OTC, debit card, payment gateway and UPI. TIN 2.0 has enabled real-time credit of taxes to taxpayers, making ITR filing easier and faster, the ministry pointed out.

To encourage taxpayers to file their ITRs and forms early, over 1.03 billion outreaches were made through targeted e-mail, SMS and other creative campaigns. Such concerted efforts led to fruitful results.

The e-filing helpdesk team handled approximately 2.74 million queries from taxpayers till December 31 this assessment year, supporting the taxpayers proactively during the peak filing periods.

Support from the help desk was provided to taxpayers through inbound calls, outbound calls, live chats, WebEx and co-browsing sessions.

The helpdesk team also supported resolution of queries received on the X(Twitter) handle of the department through Online Response Management (ORM), by proactively reaching out to taxpayers and other stakeholders and assisting them for different issues on a near real-time basis.


First Published: Jan 01 2024 | 8:30 PM IST

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