Outlining the three R’s that the income tax (I-T) department should follow, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday asked the department for quick processing of tax returns, speedier issue of refunds, and redressal of grievances.
While emphasising the access and process of the IT returns in a quick, efficient and systemic manner, she said that “there should be no excuse for delay in the issue of tax refunds.” She further said that special attention should be given to expeditiously redress the grievances, while suggesting that the department can dedicate a week from October 2 to October 31 this year, to run a campaign to clear pending cases for returns, refunds and redressal grievances, similar to that of public sector banks.
“What is well within you and never going to change and never needs anything more are these three 'R's," Sitharaman said.
Between April 1 and August 31 this year, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) issued IT returns of more than ₹1.14 lakh crore to over 1.97 crore taxpayers. Of this, the IT refunds of ₹61,252 crore have been issued in 1,96,00,998 cases, whereas the corporate tax refunds have been issued in 1,46,871 cases worth ₹53,158 crore.
Meanwhile, the net direct collection so far has surged by 23% to ₹7.04 lakh crore. With this, the income and corporate tax collections were at a record high of ₹14.09 lakh crore in FY 2021-22.
Nitin Gupta, the chairman of CBDT, said that the e-filing IT returns portal has facilitated the tax return filing of 5.83 crore as of July 31. Of this, a record 72 lakh returns were filed on the portal on a single day. July 31 was the last date for filing IT returns for salaried individuals. Gupta said that the department will continue to use technology-driven processes in order to ease compliance, and facilitation of taxpayers as well as further improve taxpayer services.
In July this year, the department said that the corporate tax collections have grown by 34% compared to the year-ago period. Moreover, the corporate tax collection for FY 2021-22 surged 58% to stand at ₹7.23 lakh crore, compared to FY 2020-21. The tax collections for FY 2021-22 were higher by over 9% compared to the FY 2018-19, which was the pre-Covid period, the department said in a statement.
"This indicates that the simplified tax regime with low rates and no exemptions has lived up to its promise," it added.