Over 5.29 crore income tax returns have been filed by taxpayers as the deadline ended today, signalling an increase of more than 60 per cent from the previous year.
The total number of ITRs filed by the taxpayers during the current financial year stands at 5,29,66,509, officials said.
They said the IT Department received over 22 lakh returns, largely over the online or e-filing mode, in a single day today till 7 pm.
As the filing will go on till the midnight of August 31 and few more ITRs are expected from the residents of Kerala (for which the deadline has been extended till September 15), the figures are expected to rise further, they said.
The final reconciliation of the numbers, after the end of the general deadline for filing of ITRs today, will be done over the next few days.
Last year, about 3.2 crore ITRs were filed, they said.
The latest figures signal a rise of over 60 per cent, they added.
The officials attributed the increase in the number of returns filed this time to largely two causes — the expansion in the tax base due to demonetisation (of November, 2016) and the first time decision to impose monetary penalty on late filers of ITRs.
These factors have increased the tax compliance rate, they said.
The government, last month, had extended the deadline for filing ITRs (for assessment year 2018-19) till today while a special extension till September 15 was given in this context to the taxpayers of flood-hit Kerala.
As on August 26, data which was accessed by showed that more than 4.37 crore returns were filed for the financial year ending March 31 against 3.10 crore returns for the financial year 17-18 (Assessment Year 16-17).
A senior I-T official told ANI on the condition of anonymity that out of 4.37 crore returns, 2.49 crore was processed. The official further said that the number is expected to increase, with the last date of filing fixed for August 31, with incremental growth each category, especially the returns filed for more than Rs 50 lakh and Rs 1 crore.
Furthermore, data revealed that the I-T department has already processed 62 lakh refund for the current assessment year, till August 26, against 23 lakh cases in the same period last year, thus reflecting an incremental growth of more than 168 per cent.
The official further noted that a rise of more than 33 per cent was seen in refunds, with a total of Rs. 88, 998 crore refunded by August 26, as against Rs. 66, 782 crore in the same time last year.
Increase in taxpayer base and compliance with prescribed norms was one of the key agenda during the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
The GST Network (GSTN) Chief at a media briefing earlier in the year had announced a significant jump in active taxpayer base, with the number of taxpayers registered with the GST system jumping to over 1.12 crore from an initial 63.76 lakhs.
During the presentation of the Union Budget this year, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced measures to maintain stringency and ensure timely filing of taxes, including the imposition of a penalty in case of late filing of taxes.