There is an increase in income tax returns of 19% – CBDT Clarified


There is an increase in income tax returns of 19% – CBDT Clarified


                                  Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Direct Taxes
New Delhi, 6th May, 2019

                                       PRESS RELEASE
  e-filing of Income Tax Returns registers an increase of 19%

There have been some incorrect reports in media pertaining to reduction in
numbers of Income Tax Returns(ITR) e-filed during Financial Year(F.Y.) 2018-19 as
compared to F.Y. 2017-18. This is factually untrue, because the figures for F.Y.
2017-18 and F.Y. 2018-19 are not directly comparable.

It is stated that during F.Y. 2017-18, out of a total of 6.74 crore ITRs which
were e-filed, 5.47 crore ITRs were filed for Assessment Year(A.Y.) 2017-18 (the
current year). In comparison, during F.Y. 2018-19, a total of 6.68 crore ITRs were efiled which included 6.49 crore ITRs of current A.Y. 2018-19 marking an increase of
almost 19%. This would imply that substantially larger number of taxpayers filed their
ITRs electronically in the F.Y. 2018-19 as compared to F.Y. 2017-18.

Furthermore, during F.Y. 2017-18, apart from the returns for the A.Y. 2017-18,
nearly 1.21 crore ITRs were filed for A.Y. 2016-17. The balance number of ITRs filed
for A.Y. 2015-16 and prior A.Ys is 0.06 crore. In comparison, during F.Y. 2018-19
only 0.14 crore ITRs for A.Y. 2017-18 were filed. Thus, the apparent decrease in the
number of ITRs filed during F.Y. 2018-19 pertaining to earlier years was due to an
amendment in Section 139(5) of the Income-tax Act, 1961 brought in vide Finance
Act, 2017, w.e.f. 01.04.2018, which mandated that a revised return could be
furnished only upto the end of the relevant Assessment Year. As a result, only 0.14
crore ITRs pertaining to A.Y. 2017-18 were filed during F.Y. 2018-19 as these were
the revised ITRs for the relevant A.Y. which could only be filed due to change in law
and no other ITR of any earlier A.Y. could be filed in view of the amended provisions
of law.

These figures are also available in the Tab-> ‘Filing growth (A.Y.)’ on the efiling website.
It is also stated that the number of paper ITRs for A.Y. 2017-18 was only 9.2
lakh (1.5% of total ITRs filed) and the number of paper ITRs for A.Y. 2018-19 is 4.8
lakh (0.6% of total ITRs filed). As per the above details, it is evident that most of the
taxpayers have steadily switched to e-filing which is clear from the dwindling
numbers of paper returns filed for A.Y. 2018-19 compared to earlier years.

                                                                               (Surabhi Ahluwalia)
Commissioner of Income Tax
(Media & Technical Policy)
Official Spokesperson, CBDT.