POST Demonetization I-T Returns Filing Up 76% : Over 52 Millions File Returns Before Deadline

THE Government cites the higher number of people filling Income-Tax Returns to defend its decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currencies on November 8, 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Filing of income tax returns surged 75.98 per cent in the current assessment year with as many as 52.97 million people filing returns till about five hours before the deadline. The previous year, 30.1 million had filed returns.

Sources say the high number of those filling I-T Returns will go up since the deadline has been extended.

The government has extended the deadline for filing return till August 31. For Kerala, affected by floods, it has been extended by another fortnight. Unlike previous years, those filing after this deadline would be fined. In March 2014, the number of I-T returns filed was 38 million. The surge may be an indication of rise in tax receipts, but that may not be commensurate with returns. This is because 10 million assesses pay no tax.

The government has been defending demonetisation on the basis of tax numbers, including collection and returns filed, as critics say it was a failure after a Reserve Bank of India report said that almost all the demonetised money came back to banks.T here is a penalty of Rs 5,000 if ITR is submitted after August 31, but on or before December 31, 2018. There will be a fee of Rs 10,000 if ITR is filed after December 31, 2018. For people earning less than Rs 5 lakh the penalty amount is of Rs 1,000.

Kotak Mahindra owned The Business Standard says Law Commission proposes doing away with concept of Hindu Undivided Family. Income tax experts believe that this proposal has been made primarily because of the government’s increased focus on tax compliance. The Law Commission on Friday proposed doing away with the concept of Hindu Undivided Family  or HUF. An HUF is a separate tax entity under the provisions of Section 2(31) of the IT Act. There are almost two million registered HUFs till March 2018.In a consultation paper titled ‘Reform of Family Law’, the Commission came down hard on HUFs. The strongly worded paper says “justifying the institution on grounds of deep-rooted sentiments at the cost of country’s revenues may not be judicious”. The paper quotes former chief commissioner, income tax, T C A Raman jam, as saying that “the government carries out any amount of amendment to the Hindu law without looking into the revenue loss caused by the recognition of HUF as a separate taxable entity. HUF may be a boon to the taxpaying Hindu. But it is definitely a bane to government revenues”, The Business Standard says. Ebangla .in however  is of the view that the ruling NDA may lack  political courage to accept the recommendation  ahead  of the assembly elections in several states followed by Parliamentary poll in March-April 2019.

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