Govt Sidelines 1.5 Lakh Cr In Direct Tax To Chase 65 Lakh Non-Filers


New Delhi: The Union government’s drive towards higher compliance has already helped it garner additional Rs 1.5 lakh crore in direct taxes during 2017-18 and get a record number of new filers. But it is not done yet with the tax department chasing 65 lakh people who it suspects did not file returns last year as it hopes to expand the taxpayer base to over 9.3 crore.

The taxpayer base includes those who file returns in addition to those with tax deducted at source (TDS), tax collected at source (TCS), advance tax payments, self-assessment tax and dividend distribution tax during the previous three financial years. The efforts, including text messages and email campaigns, have helped the government expand the taxpayer base with the authorities expecting an addition of over 1.5 crore new entities during 2017-18 and expanding the base, net of exits by over 12 per cent.

Some of the “potential assesses” will be targeted through the non-filers management system (NMS) that the tax department has deployed successfully over the last few years. One of the focus areas will be those who had deposited Rs 10 lakh or more in old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes but did not care to file their returns. Of the over 3 lakh people in this category, around 2.1 lakh have filed returns and paid close to Rs 6,500 crore in self-assessment tax.

NMS depends on several data sources with special focus on those who indulge in high-value transactions but do not file returns or do not disclose their income fully. Often, the spending pattern of this segment does not tally with the income disclosed in their tax returns.