As many as 6.35 crore income tax returns have been filed electronically till mid February this fiscal, up from 6.28 crore in 2018-19, Parliament was informed on Monday.
In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur said the number of assessees filing Income Tax Returns (ITRs) has consistently increased during the last three years as well as in the current year.
He said 5.18 crore ITRs were e-filed in Assessment Year 2016-17, 5.32 crore in 2017-18, 6.28 crore in 2018-19 and 6.35 crore in 2019-20 (up to February 15, 2020).
The ITRs of AY 2019-20 can be submitted up to March 31, 2020, and hence this number is expected to go up further.
The income tax department has also identified 15.58 lakh non-filers of ITRs with potential tax liability for Assessment Year 2018-19, 38.81 lakh for 2017-18 and 32 lakh for 2016-17 through the non-Filers Monitoring System (NMS).
The NMS assimilates and analyses in-house information as well as transactional data received from third-parties, including Statements of Financial Transaction, Tax Deduction at Source (TDS) and Tax Collection at Source statements, Intelligence and Criminal Investigation data etc. to identify such persons/entities who have undertaken high value financial transactions but have not filed their returns.
"Follow up action in these cases, including issue of statutory notices calling for return, making of tax assessment, levy of penalty and institution of prosecution has been taken in appropriate cases," Thakur said.