New Delhi, May 6: In a first in recent history of tax filings, income tax e-filings in FY2019 have dropped by more than 6.6 lakh, a trend that analysts said was surprising as tax base was expected to increase post demonetisation.
According to statistics put out on Income Tax department’s e-filing website, e-filings in FY 2018-19 was 6.68 crore, down from 6.74 crore in the previous fiscal. Efilers in FY 2016-17 were 5.28 crore.
Kotak Economic Research in an April 30 report said: “We are surprised with the decline in income tax e-filing in FY2019”.
“If the filings are indeed plateauing, it will be a worry for the fiscal which has seemingly shifted its focus to compensatory expenditure,” it said.
However, registered filers have been on the rise – they grew by 15% to 8.45 crore as on March 31, 2019, the e-filing website showed. Registered filers were just 2.7 crore at the end of March 2013 which almost doubled to 5.2 crore in March 2016 and to 6.2 crore in March 2017.
The ratio of actual filings to registered filers was 79% in FY2018-19, down from 91.6% in the previous fiscal. The compliance ratio was 85% and 83% in the preceding two years. Kotak said the declining e-filings “begs the question whether compliance was weaker in the latter part of FY2019 given the number of registered filers continued to see growth”.