2k CAs, others disclosed income exceeding Rs 1 cr: Govt

Only about 2,200 students, CAs, lawyers disclosed annual income of more than Rs 1 cr: Govt

Representative image.

Only about 2,200 doctors, chartered accountants, lawyers, and other professionals disclosed an annual income of more than Rs 1 crore from their profession in the current year, according to the income tax returns filed by individuals this year.

The income tax department revealed the numbers afresh on Thursday, which excluded incomes like rentals, interest earned on investments and capital gains.

The tax department released the figures after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's comment on Wednesday that only a minuscule 1.5 crore Indians paid income tax.

But the numbers suggested that the government's measures to increase tax compliance have yielded little result so far.

According to the department, only 5.78 crore individuals filed returns disclosing income of the financial year 2018-19. Out of these, 1.03 crore individuals have shown income below Rs 2.5 lakh.

As many as 3.29 crore individuals disclosed taxable income between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs5 lakh. Worse, a whopping 4.32 crore individuals out of 5.78 crore, who filed returns, have disclosed incomes only upto Rs 5 lakh, meaning only 1.46 crore people are liable to pay income tax.

The department said that only 3.16 lakh individual taxpayers have disclosed income above Rs 50 lakh. And, the number of individual taxpayers, who have disclosed income above Rs 5 crore in the whole of the country, is only around 8,600 this year.

 An official of the department said that the government is planning to increase surveillance on the tax evaders and implement a plan shortly to monitor all high-value transactions by individuals on a real-time basis.

The limit of such high-value transactions or bill payments will be freshly determined for each individual taxpayers' bracket and then the income tax department will match such a transaction with the return filed by such an individual.

“Tracking expenditure is easier than tracking incomes,” the tax official said, adding the expenditures are difficult to hide in an era of digital transactions.

The step is being taken after this year's direct tax collections fell abysmally short of the target and the government could collect on Rd 7.40 lakh core in direct taxes by the end of January as against the full-year target of Rs 13.60 lakh crore.

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