Home / News / India /  How many Indians pay tax in a country of 1.3 billion? Govt answers

Out of 136 crore people in India, just over 8 crore taxpayers, including individual and corporate, were recorded during the fiscal year 2019-20, the Parliament was informed on Tuesday.

"8,13,22,263 persons have paid income tax in the country during Assessment Year (AY) 2020-21 relevant to Financial Year 2019-20," Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.

The number of taxpayers include persons who pay income tax and corporate tax and who have either filed a Return of Income or in whose case tax has been deducted at source.

Sitharaman said the government has implemented the non-filers monitoring system (NMS) which assimilates and analyses in-house information as well as

transactional data received from third-parties to identify such persons who have undertaken high value financial transactions with potential tax liabilities but have not filed their returns. "10 cycles of NMS have been run so far," she added.

The government has taken several steps to cover the leftover population in the tax net, Sitharaman said.

Apart from NMS, the Finance Minister said income tax department has launched ‘project insight’ to strengthen the non-intrusive information (relating to

transactions and income) driven approach to increasing tax compliance.

"Project Insight’s focus is on three goals namely: Promote voluntary compliance and deter non- compliance, to impart confidence that all eligible persons pay appropriate tax and to promote fair and judicious tax administration," she said.

Further, Sitharaman said the scope of tax deduction or collection at source (TDS/TCS) has been expanded for widening the tax base by bringing several new transactions into the ambit of TDS and TCS. "In order to promote furnishing of ITRs, a special provision has been inserted in the Income Tax Act, 1961 by Finance Act-2021 to deduct/collect tax at higher rates in case of certain persons who have not filed their ITRs for both of the preceding two previous years and the tax deducted/collected was greater than Rs.50,000 in each of the two years."

In addition to the above measures the Department seeks to bring more non-filers into the tax net by formulating region-specific strategies by the field authorities for identifying potential non-filers, holding of outreach programmes to encourage voluntary compliance and extensive use of mass media for creating awareness, issuing statutory notices to enforce compliance, simplification in income-tax returns and filing process to encourage voluntary filing. E-mails and SMS reminders are issued to taxpayers to file ITRs and pay their due taxes, Sitharaman added.

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