The net direct tax collection for the financial year 2022-23 is 24.26% higher than the corresponding period of the preceding year, the finance ministry said today. The ministry, citing CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes) data, said the direct tax collection, which is the net of refund, stands at ₹8.77 lakh crore as of November 30, 2022, up 24.26% YoY. The collection is 61.79% of the total Budget estimate of direct taxes for FY 2022-23.

There's been a 66.92% growth in higher refunds issued up to November 30, 2022, during FY23 compared to the same period last year. Around ₹2.15 lakh crore worth of refunds has been issued between April and November 2022.

According to the ministry, the pre-filled data from various statutory forms and past records has made the filing of ITRs easier for users. This has been enabled for speedy and easier compliance, it said, adding that for AY23, 6.90% of the overall returns were filed through online utility with pre-filled data.

This year, a large portion of the data for ITR-1 was already prefilled with salary, interest and dividend income, making compliance easier. For other ITRs 2, 3, 4, apart from this data, property details for rental income, brought forward losses, MAT credit was also pre-filled.

The ministry said the facility of updated returns has been introduced to encourage voluntary compliance and reduce litigation. This gives taxpayers a chance to update the ITR any time within 2 years from the end of the relevant A.Y., by paying additional tax.

Sharing the ITR data, the ministry said July 31, 2022, marked the highest filing of ITRs in one day at 72.42 lakh, while a maximum of 5.13 crore ITRs were filed in a month in July. As of November 30, 2022, a total of 6.97 crore ITRs have been filed. This translates to around 570 ITRs filed per second, 9,573 filed in one minute and 5.17 lakh ITRs filed in one hour.

The surge in filing ITRs peaked on 31st July 2022 (due date for salaried taxpayers and other non-tax audit cases) with over 72.42 lakh ITRs being filed on a single day i.e on 31st July 2022. The e-filing portal also set other benchmarks on 31st July 2022 including – the highest per the second rate of ITR filing: 570 (at 4:29:30 pm), the highest per minute rate of ITR filing: 9573 (at 7:44 pm), and the highest per hour rate of ITR filing: 5,17,030, between 5 PM to 6 PM.

The CBDT recently also released a draft Common Income Tax Return Form for public consultation. At present, taxpayers are required to furnish ITR in ITR-1 to ITR-7, depending upon the type of person and nature of income. The current ITRs are in the form of designated forms wherein the taxpayer is mandatorily required to go through all the schedules, irrespective of the fact whether that particular schedule is applicable or not, which increases the time taken to file the ITRs.

The proposed draft ITR takes a relook at the return filing system in tandem with international best practices. It proposes to introduce a common ITR by merging all the existing returns of income, except ITR-7. However, the current ITR-1 and ITR-4 will continue. This will give an option for such taxpayers to file the return, either in the existing form (ITR-1 or ITR-4), or the proposed common ITR.

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