Scrutiny by the Income Tax Department reduced to 0.25 percent of the total Income Tax Returns (ITRs) in the assessment year 2018-19 after rising to 0.55 percent in the assessment year 2017-18, the year of demonetisation, data tweeted by the Finance Ministry on Tuesday showed. The percentage of ITRs selected for scrutiny had stood at 0.40 percent in AY 2016-17 and 0.71 percent in 2015-16. “IT Dept is changing-from just enforcement to facilitating better taxpayer services. In continuation of the same, the no. of cases selected for scrutiny has reduced drastically over the years,” a tweet by the Finance Ministry said.
The Income Tax Department did not release the absolute figures for all-India ITRs but a detailed state-wise breakup for 33 states/UTs showed that scrutiny as a percentage of ITRs filed increased in AY 2017-18, then came down in the subsequent year. Also, as ITRs filed increased in AY 2018-19, the scrutiny percentage decreased across the states. State-wise data showed that Telangana’s scrutiny percentage increased to 0.94 percent of 1.58 lakh ITRs filed in AY 2017-18 from 0.64 percent of 1.54 lakh ITRs filed in AY 2016-17. Then the scrutiny percentage for Telangana, which has 11.07 lakh PAN holders, came down to 0.5 percent in AY 2018-19 (1.84 ITRs filed).
Tamil Nadu’s data showed the scrutiny percentage rising to 0.66 percent in AY 2017-18 (33.77 lakh ITRs filed) from 0.48 percent in AY 2016-17 (32.15 lakh ITRs filed). In AY 2018-19, the scrutiny percentage came down to 0.30 percent of 40.72 lakh ITRs filed. Scrutiny percentage for Gujarat reduced to 0.23 percent in AY 2018-19 from AY 0.44 percent, for Delhi to 0.52 percent in AY 2018-19 from 0.81 percent in AY 2017-18, for Uttar Pradesh to 0.13 percent from 0.45 percent and for West Bengal to 0.25 percent in AY 2018-19 from 0.59 percent in AY 2017-18.