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‘There’s No Inconsistency in Data on Taxpayers’

‘There’s No Inconsistency in Data on Taxpayers’
The Central Board of Direct Taxes has said number of individuals filing income tax returns jumped to 2.79 crore this year from 2.23 crore, an increase of 56 lakh as stated by Prime 
Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech. The apex direct taxes body said there is no inconsistency in the data.
The statement comes after doubts were raised in some quarters over the data given out by government at different points in time. “It is clarified that there is no inconsistency in the data provided by the government in the statements referred to above as these are in different contexts and for different time periods,” a CBDT statement said on Friday. The Prime Minister's speech (on August 15) referred to the increase in number of e-filed Personal Income Tax Returns (ITRs) filed from April 1, 2017 to August 5, 2017 over the ITRs filed in corresponding period of earlier years. “The data maintained by the Income Tax Department shows that during April 1, 2017 to August 5, 2017, 2.79 crore e- returns of individual taxpayers were received as against 2.23 crore e-returns received during April 1, 2016 to August 5, 2016. Thus, the additional ITRs received in 2017 works out to be 56 lakh,” CBDTsaid in a statement.
In 2015, two crore e-returns were received. This meant that 23 lakh additional tax payers filed returns in 2016. A top finance ministry official said the people are trying to find fault where none lies. “The CBDT had in a press statement on August 7 released the very same numbers and what the Prime Minister said in his independence day speech was exactly in line with that,” he said.
On the data in the Economic Survey Vol.2 released on August 12, mentioning of 5.4 lakh new taxpayers, the statement said on page-22 of the report it is stated the numbers are for the period November 8, 2016 to March 2017 and corresponding periods of last two years.
“Moreover, the growth in the number of taxpayers is based on the number of new taxpayers assuming the previous year’s growth rate as the reference growth rate,” it said.
Central Board of Direct Taxes has said number of individuals filing income tax returns jumped to 2.79 crore this year from 2.23 crore.
The Economic Times, New Delhi, 19th August 2017

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