Several individuals have not yet filed their returns and are reportedly on the government’s radar, an official told the publication. It may be noted that officials targeted close to 1.75 crore potential assesses through emails and text, out of which 1.07 crore filed returns voluntarily. This leaves close to 65 lakh individuals who are yet to file returns.
New Delhi: After adding almost 1.5 lakh crore taxpayers in the FY18, the government is now targeting those who haven’t filed tax returns. While the tax base increased by a record number, the government does not seem to be happy with the result. It has planned to crack down on over 65 lakh people who may not have filed their returns last year, reported The Times of India. The sole motive of this scrutiny is aimed at cracking down on non-compliant individuals and increase the tax base to at least 9.3 crore. It may be noted that the taxpayer base includes people who file returns, those who have their tax deducted at source (TCS), self-assessment tax, advance tax payments and dividend distribution tax for the period of three financial years. While the government has successfully managed to increase the taxpayer base through myriad campaigns to inform individuals, its mission is still not complete. According to officials who spoke to the publication, the surge in taxpayer base has been witnessed in the previous financial year due to the addition of some 1 crore new taxpayers who have done so for the first time in 2017-18. The officials went on to say that the government’s demonetisation has been partially responsible for the outcome, as it has increased direct tax collection to Rs 10 crore in comparison to almost Rs 8.5 crore in FY17.
Despite the government’s push towards a cleaner and more transparent process, several individuals have not yet filed their returns and are reportedly on the government’s radar, an official told the publication. It may be noted that officials targeted close to 1.75 crore potential assesses through emails and text, out of which 1.07 crore filed returns voluntarily. This leaves close to 65 lakh individuals who are yet to file returns.
It has come to light that the non-compliant taxpayers would be pinpointed through non-filers management system (NMS) – a measure deployed successfully by the tax department since the last few years. The report suggested that there would be added focus on people who had earlier deposited Rs 10 lakh or more in demonetised denomination – Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes – but did not file their returns. Among three lakh such people, almost 2.1 lakh people have filed returns and paid close to 6,500 crore in self-assessment tax. However, this leaves a number of people who have not filed returns and the government is expected to crack down on them first.
It should be noted that the tax department’s NMS system is a complex data source which stores a vast range of taxpayer-related information with a higher focus on those with high-value transactions but no record of filing tax returns. It remains to be seen how the government plans to crackdown on such non-compliance after the individuals are identified.