New Delhi, May 6 (UNI) The Government on Monday refuted the media reports on declining the number of Income Tax Returns (ITR) e-filed during financial year 2018-19 and said the e-filing of ITRs registered an increase of 19 per cent.
According to the Finance Ministry, during FY 2017-18, out of a total of 6.74 crore ITRs which were e-filed, 5.47 crore ITRs were filed for Assessment Year (AY) 2017-18 (the current year).
In comparison, during FY 2018-19, a total of 6.68 crore ITRs were e-filed which included 6.49 crore ITRs of current AY 2018-19 marking an increase of almost 19 per cent. This would imply that substantially larger number of taxpayers filed their ITRs electronically in the FY 2018-19 as compared to FY 2017-18.
The Ministry said furthermore, during FY 2017-18, apart from the returns for the AY 2017-18, nearly 1.21 crore ITRs were filed for AY 2016-17. The balance number of ITRs filed for AY 2015-16 and prior AYs is 0.06 crore.
In comparison, during FY 2018-19 only 0.14 crore ITRs for AY 2017-18 were filed. Thus, the apparent decrease in the number of ITRs filed during FY 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, wef 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 FY 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, the Ministry added.
It is also stated that the number of paper ITRs for A.Y. 2017-18 was only 9.2 lakh (1.5 per cent of total ITRs filed) and the number of paper ITRs for A.Y. 2018-19 is 4.8 lakh (0.6 per cent 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.