Tax Compliance Sees A Boost: IT Returns Surge 61 Per Cent, Cross Five Crore Figure One Day Before DeadlineIT form filing. (Vivan Mehra/The India Today Group/Getty Images)

Tax compliance in the country witnessed a boost with five crore Income Tax (IT) returns having been filed in the country till Thursday (30 August), Times of India has reported.

Over 20 lakh returns were filed yesterday, with close to 2 lakh returns being filed every hour reportedly. Today (31 August) is the deadline for filing the IT returns, with the deadline having been extended by a month from the previous 31 July date.

The five crore number is over 61 per cent higher than the 3.1 crore filings done till 29 August last year. IT officials expect the number to balloon further due to the last-minute scramble to file the returns.

The rise can also be attributed to a government decision to penalise those who file their IT returns after the 31 August deadline, other than the the usual government agencies’ persuasion and tax literacy. For Kerala, however, the deadline has been extended to 15 September on account of the devastating floods it witnessed.

IT officials are also attributing the surge to the 2016 demonetisation exercise as well as the new GST tax regime in place. GST, the officials believe, has forced several businessmen to file their returns and also disclose higher incomes due to the tracking mechanism GST has put in place.

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