Taxpayers Surge by a Crore

The number of people who filed tax returns surged by 95 lakh as the government turned the heat on black money with demonetisation and various other measures. The figure was in a presentation made before Prime Minister Narendra Modi as part of the revenue department's review.

The government has been looking to widen the tax net as barely a little over 1% of the population is said to pay income tax. As many as 5.28 crore returns were e-filed in FY16, a rise of 22% over the previous year. Some returns were filed in paper mode as well.

The income-tax department had launched a crackdown against tax evaders as part of its war against black money. The department had also unearthed details of high-value purchases during the period. This data was used to identify evaders who had not filed returns despite having income or not having paid tax in line with incomes. Operation Clean Money , in the wake of demonetisation, made details of such individuals available online. This was followed by SMSes and emails seeking explanations. 

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