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53.67 lakh ITRs from first time filers indicates widening of tax base

Newdelhi:1 /8/23:The Income-tax Department appreciates the taxpayers and tax professionals for making compliances in time, leading to a surge in filing of Income-tax Returns (ITRs), resulting in a new record of ITRs filed. The total number of ITRs for AY 2023-24 filed till 31st July, 2023 are more than 6.77 crore, which is 16.1% more than the total ITRs for AY 2022-23 (5.83 crore) filed till 31st July 2022.

The filing of ITRs peaked on 31st July, 2023 (due date for salaried taxpayers and other non-tax audit cases) with over 64.33 lakh ITRs being filed on a single day i.e. on 31st July, 2023. The e-filing portal also observed its highest per hour rate of 4,96,559 of ITR filing between 5 PM to 6 PM on 31st July, 2023, with highest per second rate of ITR filing of 486 (31-Jul-2023: 16:35:06) and highest per minute rate of ITR filing of 8,622 (31-Jul-2023: 17:54).

The Department also received 53.67 lakh ITRs till 31st July, 2023 from first time filers, a fair indication of widening of tax base.

Campaigns on Socialmedia along with targeted e-mail and SMS campaigns were launched to encourage the taxpayers to file their ITRs early. Such concerted efforts led to fruitful results with taxpayers filing their ITRs for AY 2023-24 relatively earlier compared to the corresponding period of the preceding year. The following data corroborates the same:

ITR filing milestone AY 2022-23 AY 2023-24
1 crore 8th   July 2022 26th June 2023
2 crore 20th July 2022 11th July 2023
3 crore 25th July 2022 18th July 2023
4 crore 28th July 2022 24th July 2023
5 crore 30th July 2022 27th July 2023
5.83 crore 31st July 2022 30th July 2023
6 crore        — 30th July 2023
6.77 crore        — 31st  July 2023

  Out of the 6.77 crore ITRs filed for AY 2023-24, 49.18% of ITRs are ITR-1 (3.33 crore), 11.97% are ITR-2 (81.12 lakh), 11.13% are ITR-3 (75.40 lakh), 26.77% are ITR-4 (1.81 crore) and 0.94% are ITR-5 to 7 (6.40 lakh). Over 46% of these ITRs have been filed using the online ITR utility available on the e-filing portal and the balance have been filed using offline ITR utilities.

During the peak filing period, e-filing portal successfully handled huge traffic providing a seamless experience to taxpayers for filing of ITRs. During the period from 1st July, 2023 to 31st July, 2023, there were more than 32 crore successful logins on the e-filing portal. On 31st July, 2023 itself, successful logins stood at 2.74 crore.

It is heartening to note that a large number of taxpayers did their due diligence by comparing data of their financial transactions by viewing their Annual Information Statement (AIS) and Taxpayer Information Summary (TIS). A substantial portion of the data for ITR-1,2,3 and 4 was already prefilled with data pertaining to salary, interest, dividend, personal information, tax payment including TDS related information, brought forward losses, MAT credit etc to further ease compliance for taxpayers. The taxpayers used this facility extensively, resulting in smoother and faster filing of ITRs.

The process of e-verification through Aadhaar OTP and other methods is important for the Department to commence processing of the ITR and to issue refunds, if any. It is encouraging to note that 5.63 crore returns have been e-verified, out of which more than 5.27 crore are through Aadhaar based OTP (94%). Of the e-verified ITRs, more than 3.44 crore ITRs for AY 2023-24 have been processed (61%) by 31st July, 2023.

Further, a new e-pay tax payment platform TIN 2.0 was made available on the e-filing portal, replacing the earlier Protean (NSDL) based OLTAS payment system. This enabled provision of more user-friendly options for e-payment of taxes and making available more number of  options for mode of payments such as Internet Banking, NEFT/RTGS, OTC, Debit Card, payment gateway and UPI. TIN 2.0 platform has enabled real time credit of taxes to taxpayers which made ITR filing easier and faster. Over 1.26 crore challans have been received through TIN 2.0 payment system in the month of July, 2023 itself, while total challans filed through TIN 2.0 since 1st April, 2023 stands at 3.56 crore.

The e-filing Helpdesk team has handled approximately 5 lakh queries from taxpayers in the month of July, 2023 supporting the taxpayers proactively during the peak filing period. The support from the helpdesk was provided to taxpayers through inbound calls, outbound calls, live chats, webex and co-browsing sessions. Helpdesk team also supported resolution of queries received on the Twitter handle of the Department through Online Response Management (ORM),  by proactively reaching out to the taxpayers/ stakeholders and assisting them for different issues on near real-time basis.

The Department is thankful for the support in timely compliances and requests all taxpayers to verify their ITRs within 30 days of filing. The Department also urges taxpayers, who for any reason, missed the due date, to complete their filing immediately.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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