New Delhi: Direct tax collection has already crossed 5 lakh crore and will exceed the budgeted target of 11.5 crore set for the current fiscal, CBDT chairman Sushil Chandra said on Wednesday.

The I-T department had issued refunds to 2.15 crore assessees amounting to 1.15 lakh crore, he added.

“We have already crossed the 5 lakh crore figure, which is 44% of the net direct tax collection target. This is despite the fact there is a surge in refund," Chandra said.

Speaking to reporters after inaugurating the pavilion of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) at the India International Trade Fair (IITF), Chandra said the number of people voluntarily filing tax returns had gone up substantially, and 6.85 crore income tax returns were filed last year. This year so far, 6.02 crore ITRs were filed with the tax department.

The number of direct taxpayers was 3.8 crore when the Modi-led government took office in May 2014.

The CBDT chief said so far the net growth rate in direct tax collection was 14.5%, while the gross collection grew 16.5%. “Our asking rate is 14.55% and definitely we will exceed our target of 11.5 lakh crore. There is buoyancy. India Inc reported good profits in the second quarter and we saw very good advance tax collection."

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