In a significant development for the Indian tax system, more than 53 lakh new taxpayers filed their Income Tax Returns (ITRs) for the Assessment Year (AY) 2023-24 before the last date, without any penalty. This data was shared by the Income Tax Department, showcasing a remarkable widening of the tax base. The filing deadline of 31st July, 2023 witnessed a surge in compliance by salaried taxpayers and other non-audit cases, leading to a new record of ITRs filed.
Record Breaking Numbers
The total number of ITRs filed for AY 2023-24 until 31st July, 2023, stood at an impressive 6.77 crore, indicating a substantial 16.1% increase compared to the previous year’s total of 5.83 crore ITRs filed by the same date in 2022. The peak filing day, 31st July, 2023, witnessed a remarkable 64.33 lakh ITRs filed, emphasizing the urgency and importance taxpayers placed on meeting the deadline.
Smooth E Filing Experience
The Income Tax e-filing portal achieved new milestones during the peak filing period. Between 5 PM to 6 PM on 31st July, 2023, the portal observed its highest per hour rate of 4,96,559 ITR filings. Moreover, during the same day, the highest per second rate of ITR filing reached 486 (31-Jul-2023: 16:35:06), while the highest per minute rate recorded was 8,622 (31-Jul-2023: 17:54). Despite the massive traffic, the e-filing portal ensured a seamless experience for taxpayers, facilitating efficient and timely filing of ITRs.
Early Filing Trends
The concerted efforts of taxpayers and tax professionals resulted in a positive trend of early ITR filing for AY 2023-24. Comparatively, more taxpayers filed their returns earlier in the financial year compared to the corresponding period of the previous year, showcasing improved compliance and tax awareness.
Types of ITRs Filed
Out of the total 6.77 crore ITRs filed for AY 2023-24, the majority of 49.18% were ITR-1 (3.33 crore), followed by 11.97% ITR-2 (81.12 lakh), 11.13% ITR-3 (75.40 lakh), 26.77% ITR-4 (1.81 crore), and 0.94% ITR-5 to 7 (6.40 lakh). The significant use of ITR-1 indicates a substantial number of salaried taxpayers among the filers.
Online vs Offline Filings
More than 46% of the ITRs filed for AY 2023-24 utilized the convenient online ITR utility available on the e-filing portal, while the remaining were filed using offline ITR utilities. This shift towards online filings demonstrates the increasing acceptance and usage of digital platforms for tax compliance.
E Verification and Processing
E-verification of ITRs plays a crucial role in initiating the processing of returns and issuing refunds. The Department noted that out of the 5.63 crore e-verified returns, a significant 94% utilized Aadhaar-based OTP for verification. As of 31st July, 2023, more than 3.44 crore ITRs for AY 2023-24 have already been processed, accounting for 61% of the e-verified returns.
The Income Tax Department’s data showcases a commendable achievement with over 53 lakh new taxpayers joining the tax system and filing their ITRs for AY 2023-24 before the last date. The significant increase in total filings and the adoption of online e-filing platforms demonstrate the growing awareness and compliance of taxpayers. This boost in tax collections will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the nation’s economy.