Falling into ITRs in 2018-19 as a result of AY recording of declarations in the past: department I-T

NEW DELHI: The Income Tax Department On Monday Attempted To Justify A Sharp Drop Of 6.6 Lakh In The Number Of I-T Declarations Submitted Online In 2018-19, Stating The Number On The E-filing Website For The Financial Year Including Declarations From Previous Financial Years.

While The E-filing Website Of The Tax Authorities Demonstrated That Declarations Submitted In 2018-19 Decreased To 6.68 Crore From 6.74 Crore In The Previous Fiscal Year, The Central College Of Direct Taxes ( CBDT ) In A Statement Clarified That The Returns Filed Included Those Of Previous Exam Year S, Excluding Which Returns Filed In 2018-19 Showed An Almost 19 Per Cent Rise.

But The Tax Authorities Had Filed Declarations In The Past That Were Filed As One In A Tax Year Composite Number To Show A Year-on-year Increase.

The Last Such Statement By The Department Had Come On April 2, 2018, Stating The Number Of ITRs Filed In 2017-18, And It Did Not Issue A Statement This Year On Returns Filed In 2018-19.

The CBDT In Its Statement On Monday Said The 6.74 Crore Income Tax Return filed in the 2017-18 fiscal included 5.47 crore Income Tax Return (ITRs) for Exam Year (AY) 2017-18.

" 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," It Said In A Statement.

Financial year (FY) and Exam Year in income tax laws are different.

From an income tax perspective, FY is the year in which income is earned. AY is the year following the Financial Year in which the taxpayer has to evaluate the previous year's income and pay taxes on it.

For instance, if the Financial Year runs from April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2019, then it is known as FY2018-19. The Exam Year for the money earned during this period would begin after the Financial Year ends – that is from April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020. Hence, the Exam Year would be AY 2019-20.

The CBDT Said That During 2017-18, Separately From The Returns For Fiscal 2016-17 (AY 2017-18), Nearly 1.21 Crore ITRs Were Filed For Fiscal 2015-16 (AY 2016-17). The Balance Number Of ITRs Filed For AY 2015-16 And Prior AYs Is 0.06 Crore.

In Comparison, During 2018-19 Only 0.14 Crore ITRs For Fiscal 2016-17 (AY 2017-18) Were Filed.

" So, The Apparent Decrease In The Number Of ITRs Submitted During FY 2018-19 Regarding Previous Years Was The Effect Of An Amendment In Section 139 (5) Of The Income Tax Act, 1961 Finance Act , 2017, w.e.f. April 1, 2018, which mandated that a revised return could be furnished only upto the end of the relevant Exam Year .

" As A Result, Only 0.14 Crore ITRs Pertaining To AY 2017-18 Were Filed During 2018-19 As These Were The Revised ITRs For The Relevant AY Be Filed In View Of The Amended Provisions Of Law," The CBDT Said.

The IT Department Further Said That The Number Of Paper ITRs For AY 2017-18 Was Only 9.2 Lakh (1.5 Per Cent Or Total ITRs Filed) And The Number Of Paper ITRs For AY 2018-19 Is 4.8 Lakh (0.6 Per Cent Or Total ITRs Filed).

It Is Obvious That Most Of The Taxpayers Have Steadily Switched To E-filing Which Is Clear From The Dwindling Numbers Of Paper Returns Filed For AY 2018-19 Compared To Earlier Years, The CBDT Added.