The level of income-tax compliance has continuously increased over the last three Financial Years, which is reflected in the number of Income-Tax Returns filed over this period, as given hereunder: –

S.No. Financial Year Total Number of Income Tax Returns filed Percentage increase over previous Financial Year
(a) (b) (c) (d)
1 2015-16 4.63 Crore 14.6%
2 2016-17 5.57 Crore 20.3%
3 2017-18 6.86 Crore 23.2%

The total amount of refunds made to the assessees during the period under reference is as under:

 Financial Year Refund (Rs. Crore)
2015-16 122271
2016-17 162661
2017-18 151602
2018-19  (up to 2ndFebruary, 2019) 143117

As on 15th January 2019, 3,07,485 returns including 36,616 cases of refunds are pending for scrutiny.  The scrutiny of these cases is to be completed by 31.12.2019. A total of 16,21,848 claims of refund (including non-scrutiny cases) are pending for issue as on 31st January, 2019.

Since only about 0.5% of the returns is selected for scrutiny, refunds are issued expeditiously at the time of processing itself for the bulk of the taxpayers. With regard to the pending scrutiny cases, the Assessing Officers have already been advised in the Central Action Plan for 2018-19 to expedite assessment in such cases, especially cases selected for “limited scrutiny”, so that resultant refunds, if any, can be issued at the earliest.

This was stated by Shri Shiv Pratap Shukla, Minister of State for Finance in written reply to a Question in Rajya Sabha today.

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June 2021