Addressing India’s Taxpayer Base and Refunds: A Step Forward

India’s tax landscape is showing positive signs of growth and participation, as highlighted by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. In the fiscal year 2022-23, 2.24 crore individuals out of the total 7.4 crore taxpayers diligently fulfilled their tax obligations, contributing to the nation’s progress. While nearly 5.16 crore return filers declared zero tax liability, it is important to note that the number of return filers increased by 6.18% in FY23, indicating a willingness to participate in the tax system.

Over the last four years, the number of individuals filing Income Tax Returns (ITRs) has steadily risen, showcasing a positive trend in tax compliance. In FY22, more than 6.94 crore returns were filed, and it is encouraging to see that even with a substantial 5.05 crore showing zero tax liability, taxpayers are actively engaging with the system.

The growth in India’s gross direct tax collection by 20.33% to over ₹19.68 lakh crore in FY23 is a testament to the nation’s economic resilience and strong revenue generation. Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman Nitin Gupta’s statement during the Income Tax Day event further bolsters the positive outlook, as he mentioned that 7% of the assesses who filed tax returns this year are new taxpayers. The anticipated increase in new taxpayers by July 31 is a promising sign of expanding the taxpayer base.

Additionally, the recent launch of the ‘CRCS-Sahara Refund Portal’ by Union Minister Amit Shah is making a positive impact. Around 7 lakh investors have already registered on the platform, seeking refunds totalling more than ₹150 crore from Sahara Group’s cooperative societies. This proactive approach follows a Supreme Court order to transfer ₹5,000 crore from Sahara-Sebi refund account to the Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies (CRCS), showing the government’s commitment to addressing investor concerns.

The Union minister also hailed the initiation of the refund process to the investors as a shining example that showcases how any task undertaken proactively can successfully resolve even the most intricate challenges.

In conclusion, India’s tax system is witnessing growth and improvement, with an increasing number of taxpayers participating in the system. The rise in tax collections and the government’s proactive approach to resolving refund issues demonstrate a positive outlook for the nation’s fiscal health and economic progress.

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Pallabi Boruah


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