New Delhi: The direct tax-to-GDP ratio of 5.98% achieved during the 2017-18 fiscal is the best in the last 10 years, the government said on Wednesday. It was 5.57% in 2016-17 and 5.47% in 2015-16. The larger purpose of demonetisation was to move India to a tax compliant society, and that shows in collection of personal income tax, the finance ministry.

“There is a constant growth in direct tax-GDP ratio over last three years and the ratio of 5.98% in fiscal year 2017-18 is the best direct tax-GDP ratio in last 10 years," said the finance ministry, adding that there

It further said there is a growth of over 80% in the number of returns filed in the last four financial years from 3.79 crore in 2013-14 to 6.85 crore in 2017-18.

The number of individuals filing return of income has also increased by about 65% during this period from 3.31 crore in 2013-14 to 5.44 crore in 2017-18, the ministry added.

It also said there has been a continuous increase in the amount of income declared in the returns filed by all categories of taxpayers over the last three assessment years (AYs).

“For AY (assessment year) 2014-15, corresponding to FY (financial year) 2013-14 (base year), the return filers had declared gross total income of 26.92 lakh crore, which has increased by 67% to 44.88 lakh crore for AY 2017-18, showing higher level of compliance resulting from various legislative and administrative measures taken by the government, including effective enforcement measures against tax evasion," it added.

Refunds amounting to 1.23 lakh crore have been issued during the April-November 2018 period, which is 20.8% higher than refunds issued during the corresponding period in the preceding year.

Growth rate for corporate income tax (CIT) and personal income tax (PIT) stood at 17.7% and 18.3%, respectively.

Demonetisation led to formalisation of the economy and was a blow to the black money, the ministry added.

“Demonetisation compelled holders of cash to deposit the same in the banks. The enormity of cash deposited and identified with the owner resulted in suspected 17.42 lakh account holders from whom the response has been received online through non-invasive method," it said.

The ministry said larger deposits in banks improved lending capacity for the banks. “A lot of this money was diverted to the mutual funds for further investments. It became a part of the formal system," it added. PTI JD HRS

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