The Income-tax department has collected around Rs 28 crore in taxes after about 1 lakh returns were filed by taxpayers under the newly introduced return filing form called ITR-U, that was notified this year as part of the Budget 2022-23.
CBDT Chairman Nitin Gupta said the scheme was brought by the Union government for the benefit of taxpayers so that they can comply with their tax responsibilities without getting into hassles of the law.
The abbreviation ITR-U stands for ‘income tax return-updated’ and is available to taxpayers for filing updated returns for 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years or assessment years 2020-21 and 2021-22.
Taxpayers filing this form, which can be filed within 2 years of the end of the relevant assessment year, will have to give reasons for updating the income — return previously not filed or income not reported correctly or wrong heads of income chosen or reduction of carried forward loss.
“We have got around 1 lakh returns… (under the ITR-U). The taxpayer may have paid additional tax or they may be a new filer. Around Rs 28 crore worth tax collection has been done under this scheme so far,” Gupta said during an interaction.
The CBDT boss said such schemes could also be utilised by those categories of taxpayers who have income from online games, lotteries and betting etc.
“This is a provision for them to come forward and pay taxes rather than face the consequences of penalty or any other legal action under the income tax law,” the CBDT chairman said.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) frames policy for the income-tax department.
The Budget presented by the Union government this year in February permitted taxpayers to update their ITRs within two years of filing, subject to payment of taxes, a move aimed at helping correct any discrepancy or omissions. A taxpayer would be permitted to file only one updated return per assessment year.
The CBDT chief said the department is looking at all such businesses including online betting and gaming and cited the example of raids conducted by the taxman against a Mumbai-based group engaged in online cricket betting and gaming in February.
The CBDT had then said in a statement that the tax department detected a “cash” turnover of Rs 600 crore that was made by the company in six months.
Gupta said the department found that around 8 million (80 lakh) players were registered with the gaming portal of this company and the gross earnings detected in this case were to the tune of Rs 58,000 crore over a period of last 3 years.
Talking about the recent returns filing cycle, the CBDT Chairman said the total returns filed this time has now crossed the 6 crore mark (6,00,25,304 till August 21).
“The return filing was quite robust and glitch-free this time,” he said.
The Chairman said out of the total over 6 crore returns filed this time, 4.5 crore returns, that were processed, were e-verified returns.
Out of this, “we have completed the processing of about 3.85 crore returns” so this has also been very robust, he said.
He said the department has issued Rs 93,000 crore worth refunds till now, which is 78 per cent more as against Rs 52,000 crore refunds issued in the previous year.
He said the department was also witnessing good tax collection at present as the next tax collection, as on August 24, was 33 per cent up from the previous fiscal while the gross collections were more by 39 per cent.
The gross collection stands at Rs 5,73,170 lakh crore while the net (after issuance of refunds) collection is Rs 4,79,552 lakh crore.
On corporation tax (CIT) side we have seen 24 per cent growth and personal income tax (PIT) has grown by 42 per cent as against the last year, he said.
Asked the reason behind these buoyant numbers, Gupta said the assessees, he feels, have become more compliant and the department is taking all measures to better enable the taxpayers in filing their returns.
The Chairman was asked about the recent functioning of the e-filing portal of the department, which was marred by various technical issues early this year, and he said “by and large” the system was functioning perfectly and the processing of returns and issue of refunds has been quick.
He said the testimony of this has been that they have had “excellent return filing process and it was only after 2014 that the tax department did not extend the ITR filing deadline by even a day.
The due date for filing of Income Tax Returns (ITRs) by salaried and individual category of taxpayers, who do not have to get their accounts audited for the fiscal ending March 31, 2022, was July 31.