The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has directed the Income Tax Department to make focused efforts to significantly increase the tax base in the current financial year of 2017-18 and add at least 1.25 crore new return filers this fiscal. This has been done as part of the government’s plan to widen the tax base in the country, PTI reported today.
A new income tax return filer is defined as a person who has not filed return in the previous years, but is liable to do so under the law. The I-T Department has to add such entities and get them do the filing of their I-T returns.
As per the PTI report, the Hyderabad and the Pune regions of the I-T Department have been given the highest targets to add 12.8 lakh and 11.8 lakh new filers, respectively. They are followed by Chennai with 10.47 lakh new filers and Chandigarh with 10.41 lakh fresh filers.
The plan to widen the tax base in the country was also discussed and finalised during the recently-concluded ‘Rajswa Gyansangam’ conference of top I-T officials held here. The CBDT had said during the conference that “strategiesing of tax base were discussed in detail with special focus on verification of data collected during demonetisation and statement of financial transactions (SFT).”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had some time back also exalted the revenue officers to achieve high standards in taxpayer-friendly services towards compliant tax payers. At the same time, he had asked them to knock on the doors of the non-tax payers so as to increase the number of taxpayers. He had also asked the Income Tax Department to widen the tax base and take suitable action against the non-filers and tax evaders.
As per official data, the total number of all returns (electronic + paper) filed during the financial year 2016-17 was 5.43 crore, 17.3 per cent more than the returns filed during the 2015-16 fiscal. Similarly for fiscal 2016-17 (till June 30), 1.26 crore new taxpayers (return filers + non-filers making tax payments) were added to the tax base.