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Only 0.35% of I-T returns filed last year to be scrutinised: CBDT

New Delhi: The income tax department on Thursday said it has picked up only high tax evasion cases for scrutiny, which account for around 0.35 per cent of the 6.86 crore returns filed for Assessment Year 2017-18.

Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman Sushil Chandra said that the department has faith in the income taxpayers, but will not allow evaders to scot-free.

"We have increased the tax base and have full faith on taxpayers. Last year, we got 6.86 crore returns, and I have picked up only 0.35 per cent of cases for scrutiny. This means that 99.65 per cent of the returns filed can be at peace," Chandra said at an Assocham event here.

He said out of this 0.35 per cent cases picked up for scrutiny, 0.15 per cent are for 'limited scrutiny' and 0.20 per cent are for 'full scrutiny'.

"This shows that in only high tax evasion cases, we will go for scrutiny," Chandra said.

A scrutiny procedure in the income tax system pertains to a case where a taxpayer is required to provide many documents to the assessing officer (AO) after his or her case is picked up for a threadbare examination after study of their tax returns.

Scrutiny of I-T returns has been an issue of grievance for many assessees. Earlier about 1 per cent of the income tax returns filed was picked up for investigation. This has now been brought down to 0.35 per cent.

Chandra said less number of cases being picked up for scrutiny means that the tax department has full faith on people. "We are also making our enforcement unit stronger so that if there is a case of tax evasion, that will be dealt with severely".

The tax authorities filed 4,700 cases for the prosecution last year from data with the department, he added.

"You can send your money to any tax haven or any country, but we have also got a system of automatic exchange of information with many countries. Nobody is going to escape; we have information. People (tax evaders) think that boundaries are too far off, but the economic boundaries of different countries are very close to each other," Chandra said.

In 2017-18 fiscal, the CBDT has collected Rs 10.03 lakh crore revenue on account of income tax and corporate tax, a growth of 18 per cent over last year.

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