The Income Tax Department has been tasked to add 1.25 crore new return filers in the current financial year as part of the government's plan to widen the tax base in the country.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), that makes policy decisions for the I-T department, has directed the taxmen to undertake "focused efforts to significantly increase the tax base in the current financial year of 2017-18."
The target, the CBDT directive accessed by PTI said, is to add 1.25 crore new I-T return filers. A new I-T return filer is defined as a person who has not filed return in the previous years but is liable to do so under the law. The taxman has to add such entities and get them do the filing of their I-T returns.
The Hyderabad and the Pune regions of the department have been given the highest targets to add 12.8 lakh and 11.8 lakh new filers respectively. They are followed by Chennai with 10.47 lakh new filers and Chandigarh at 10.41 lakh fresh filers.
The plan to widen the tax base in the country was also discussed and finalised during the recently concluded 'Rajswa Gyansangam' conference of top I-T officials held here.
The CBDT, in an official statement, had said during the conference "strategiesing of tax base were discussed in detail with special focus on verification of data collected during demonetisation and statement of financial transactions (SFT)."
"The CBDT aims to add a sizeable number of new taxpayers in the current fiscal. It was directed that special focus be given to popularise the Operation Clean Money portal such that an environment of voluntary compliance can be created," it had said.
As per official data, the total number of all returns (electronic + paper) filed during the financial year 2016-17 was 5.43 crore, 17.3 per cent more than the returns filed during the 2015-16 fiscal.
Similarly for fiscal 2016-17 (till June 30), 1.26 crore new taxpayers (return filers + non-filers making tax payments) were added to the tax base.