HomeLegal AdviceIncome Tax Landscape Shifts: More Taxpayers in Higher Slabs, Yet Compliance Challenges...

Income Tax Landscape Shifts: More Taxpayers in Higher Slabs, Yet Compliance Challenges Loom

In a remarkable revelation, the Income Tax Department has just unveiled statistics for assessment years 2019-20 to 2021-22, painting a vivid picture of the evolving tax landscape in India. These figures not only depict wider compliance but also a fascinating shift in the income brackets of taxpayers, with more individuals transitioning from lower-income slabs to higher ones. Nevertheless, a lingering concern for policymakers is the substantial number of taxpayers who have been brought into the tax net but continue to abstain from filing their returns.

Staggering data from the latest assessment year, 2021-22 (covering the financial year 2020-21), showcases a substantial surge in tax return submissions. A whopping 6.75 crore taxpayers filed their income tax returns during this period, marking a significant increase of 5.6 percent from the previous year, where the figure stood at 6.39 crore taxpayers. However, what’s truly intriguing is that in addition to these diligent filers, an astounding 2.1 crore taxpayers chose to pay their taxes but refrained from filing returns.

These statistics have not gone unnoticed, with opposition leaders pointing out the widening gap between the ultra-rich and the middle class, as evident from the Income Tax Return (ITR) data. Responding to these concerns, the tax department issued a comprehensive statement on Thursday. They revealed that the returns filed by individual taxpayers had skyrocketed by a staggering 90 percent over a nine-year span, stretching from Assessment Year 2021-22 (financial year 2020-21) to AY 2013-14.

This remarkable growth is hailed as a direct consequence of various measures taken by the tax department. It indicates the progressive widening of the tax bracket, revealing a robust growth in the gross total income of individuals across various income groups. These revelations underscore the evolving dynamics of India’s tax landscape, with compliance increasing and taxpayers seemingly climbing the income ladder. However, the persistent issue of unfiled tax returns remains a cause for concern, and policymakers are undoubtedly keeping a close eye on this segment of the population. As the tax department continues to refine its measures, it’s a reminder that everyone must play their part in the nation’s fiscal ecosystem.

Vakilsearch’s financial expert, commented on the latest income tax statistics, saying, ‘The shift towards higher-income slabs is a promising sign for the economy, indicating improved earning capacity. However, the persistent challenge of non-filing among taxpayers demands attention. This could be attributed to a lack of awareness or misconceptions about tax compliance. It’s crucial for taxpayers to understand their obligations, and we at Vakilsearch are here to assist with expert guidance and legal services to ensure they stay on the right side of the law.’

Akash G Varadaraj