Income tax returns picked up for scrutiny has reduced to 0.25 per cent of the total ITRs filed in assessment year (AY) 2018-19, from 0.55 per cent in AY 2017-18, the Finance Ministry has said. "IT Dept is changing-from just enforcement to facilitating better taxpayer services. In continuation of the same, the no. of cases selected for scrutiny has reduced drastically over the years," the ministry said in a tweet late on Tuesday.
Official data released showed the number of income tax scrutiny cases was 0.71 per cent in AY 2015-16, 0.40 per cent in AY 2016-17, 0.55 per cent in AY 2017-18 and 0.25 per cent in AY 2018-19. The ministry, however, did not give the absolute number of cases picked up for scrutiny during these years.
State-wise data also showed while the scrutiny as percentage of income tax returns (ITRs) filed has come down, the number of returns filed during AY 2018-19 has gone up compared to AY 2017-18. Scrutiny cases in Odisha reduced to 0.12 per cent in AY 2018-19, from 0.37 per cent in the year before. Similarly, for Punjab, it came down from 0.40 per cent to 0.14 per cent in AY 2018-19.
As many as 10.29 lakh ITRs were filed in Odisha in AY 2018-19, against 8.31 lakh in AY 2017-18. In Punjab, 27.65 lakh ITRs were filed in AY 2018-19, up from 23.44 lakh filed in 2017-18. In West Bengal 38.93 lakh ITRs were filed in AY 2018-19, while cases picked up for scrutiny was 0.25 per cent. This compares to 33.64 lakh ITRs filed and 0.59 per cent scrutiny cases in 2017-18.