MUMBAI: Nearly 1.3 crore new income tax (I-T) filers are expected to be added during the current financial year 2019-20. This target has been disclosed in a confidential action plan of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), India’s apex I-T administration body, which was recently made available to its top ranking cadre.
The action plan points out that during the year 2018-19, nearly 1.1 crore new filers were added (a glimpse at last year’s action plan shows that the target was set at 1.25 crore). New filers are those who are not included in the tax-filer base at the beginning of the year, but subsequently file their I-T returns during the financial year. The base consists of those who have filed their tax returns in any of the previous three financial years.
A target of 7.3 lakh new filers has been set for Mumbai and 7.5 lakh for Delhi. The jurisdictional regions in the I-T administration system are typically wide spread. Thus, for instance, Chennai’s targets are not separately disclosed. However, Tamil Nadu has an overall target of under 9.4 lakh new filers. Pune region has a stiff target of 12.2 lakh new filers. Uttar Pradesh, being a large state, is split up jurisdictionally, with a target of 6.8 and 5.9 new filers for the two sections. The target for Gujarat is nearly 12 lakh.
The action plan refers to the rapid pace of economic development in the country, in both the organised and unorganised sector, to justify the widening of the direct tax base. New opportunities for identification of potential tax payers have opened up due to data mining and data analytics conducted by the systems directorate, investigation wing and TDS/TCS units, adds the action plan.
“The effective utilisation of these data by the I-T field officers would result in identification of a large number of potential tax payers. In addition, information from disseminated data, local intelligence, inputs from market associations, trade bodies and professional bodies should be gathered to identify non-filers,” the action plan states.
CBDT calls upon its senior I-T officials to hold awareness meetings and outreach programmes, especially in tier-2 and -3 cities, to encourage voluntary compliance. The targets are expected to be monitored quarterly.
According to a government officer, “Mandatory filing of I-T returns by high spenders, such as those who spend more than Rs 2 lakh on a foreign trip, which was introduced this Budget, will bring to book new tax filers. The I-T department’s data analytics program — Project Insight — is meant to detect mismatches between spending patterns and income declared in the I-T returns (or lack of an I-T return). GST records also pinpoint those who have not filed their I-T returns or under-reported income,” he explains.
Source- Times of India.