The income tax department has been directed to add this year at least 1.25 crore tax filers, according to a recent directive issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes or CBDT, PTI reported. About 1.06 crore new tax filers were brought into the net for income tax during 2017-18. A new assessee is anyone not included in the tax return-filing database at the beginning of the year, but who files his return during the year. A new assessee may not be a taxpayer because the person could file an income tax return but not pay tax, claiming legitimate exemptions, the report said citing a tax official.

“Considering increased economic activities both in the organised as well as unorganised sectors, there is scope for further widening of the direct tax base," the directive to the income tax department said, PTI reported. Once a filer is in the income tax database there is a very bleak chance that such a person’s income remains anonymous.

The due date for filing income tax returns for the financial year 2017-18 or assessment year 2018-19 is July 31.

Earlier this month, the CBDT had said income tax refunds worth over 70,000 crore had been issued and almost all refund claims pending till June had been processed.

“More than 70,000 crore of refunds have been issued to taxpayers as a result of a special drive and expeditious processing of returns involving claim of refunds," the tax department had said.

To reduce litigation, the government had earlier this month hiked the threshold for filing appeals in tribunals to 20 lakh, and in high courts and the Supreme Court to 50 lakh and 1 crore, respectively.

The income-tax department has also directed its field offices to withdraw by August 20 appeals pending before tribunals and courts that are below the new thresholds.

With Agency Inputs