Tax returns can increase by 10% at the end of March: Government

NEW DELHI: The government expects a 10% increase in tax returns filed at the end of March, as many people who did not file their annual returns before August 31 can do so by paying a fine.

Data published by the income tax department on Sunday showed that statements filed until August had increased 4% to Rs5.65 million, but were largely limited to salaried people. In the future, those who file their returns in December must pay a fine of Rs 5,000, while a fine of Rs 10,000 will apply to those who file on March 31. In the coming months, several other categories must submit their annual statements.

Last year, there was a 71% jump in the number of returns filed until August 31. The number of declarations submitted for fiscal year 2017-18 increased by 26% until March 31, as the government managed to add almost 1 million new declarants, taking the number to Rs 6.84 million. Authorities said last year's increase was due to demonetization, as well as the initial impact of the goods and services tax, which was implemented on July 1, 2017, which led many to disclose their income that was suppressed before.

The tax authorities said that this year's growth was achieved thanks to a steady increase in the last two or three years.

In addition, they believe that the robustness of the Aadhaar system has also been demonstrated during the current year, since almost 80% of the more than 3 million returns that have been verified were made using the unique identification number, since people opted for eliminating the sending of returns by courier.

The government considers that the increasing use of Aadhaar as identification in the IT return process is encouraging along with the wide acceptance of precompleted forms with details such as salary, income from investment funds and mutual funds and TDS chosen from the details of the adviser's PAN card.