At a press conference, CBDT Chairman Sudhir Chandra also the I-T department had cleared a record 85 lakh refunds in 2010-11 to make manpower available to crack down on tax evaders and money launderers. “In the fiscal ended March 31, we have unearthed more than Rs 30,000 crore undisclosed income,” he said. This certainly will go up as a large part of business income still goes unreported, he added.

While CBDT made its stance of wielding the stick for tax evades clear, it also had some goods news for the honest taxpayer.

Chandra assured taxpayers that if they filed e-returns, refunds could come within a month as most of the backlog had been cleared.

He said this year, direct tax collection had been the highest so far. The government has collected an all-time high income tax of Rs 4.50 lakh crore in 2010-11, at least Rs 4,000 crore more than the revised budget estimates of Rs 4.46 lakh crore. Add to that Rs 78,000 crore of refunds issued in the 2010-11 fiscal and it comes up to Rs 5.28 lakh crore.

In previous years, tax collection figures were bloated by delayed refunds, giving a wrong picture of net direct tax collection. The early refunds have also saved the government nearly Rs 4,500 crore towards interest payments.

Simplified tax return forms have been launched this year for the convenience of taxpayers. While small businesses with less than Rs 60 lakh annual turnover will have to file a Sugam form where they can calculate their tax at flat 8% and pay the tax, for individuals, a much simplified Sahaj form is available.

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February 2024