New Delhi: The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said on Monday that a total of 6.68 crore income tax returns were e-filed during the financial year 2018-19 which included 6.49 crore returns of current assessment year 2018-19, marking an increase of almost 19 per cent.This would imply that a substantially larger number of taxpayers filed their returns electronically in FY 2018-19 as compared to FY 2017-18, it said in a statement.
CBDT said that during FY 2017-18, apart from the returns for the assessment year 2017-18, nearly 1.21 crore returns were filed for the assessment year 2016-17. The balance number of returns were filed for the assessment year 2015-16 and prior assessment years is 0.06 crore.
In comparison, during FY 2018-19, only 0.14 crore returns for the assessment year 2017-18 were filed.
Thus, the apparent decrease in the number of returns 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 from April 1, 2018, which mandated that a revised return could be furnished only up to the end of the relevant assessment year.
As a result, only 0.14 crore returns pertaining to the assessment year 2017-18 were filed during FY 2018-19 as these were the revised ITRs for the relevant assessment year which could only be filed due to change in the law. No other return of any earlier assessment year could be filed in view of the amended provisions of law.
The CBDT said that the number of paper returns for the assessment year 2017-18 was only 9.2 lakh (1.5 per cent of total ITRs filed) and the number of paper returns for the assessment year 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 the assessment year 2018-19 compared to earlier years," it said in the statement.