Only one-third of the regular individual income taxpayers have filed their tax returns in four and half months of the current fiscal year while only 14 days are left before the end of the fixed deadline for tax returns submission.
Officials of the field offices of the National Board of Revenue on Wednesday said that according to their preliminary estimation, on an average 30 per cent to 35 per cent of the regular taxpayers till now have filed their returns.
The progress in returns submission is even lower for some field offices, they said.
It seems that like previous years the remaining taxpayers are waiting for the last moment to pay income tax and file tax returns, they said.
The revenue board has yet to compile the data of returns submitted by this time.
The fixed deadline for tax returns filing for individual taxpayers is November 30, also called as Tax Day with no scope of extension.
A high official of the revenue board told New Age that they expected huge rush of taxpayers at their offices from the next week as two-thirds of regular taxpayers are supposed to submit their returns before the deadline.
Taxpayers will have to pay delay interest at the rate of 2 per cent per month on the payable tax for not filing returns on or before the tax day, even if the taxpayers are allowed to file returns late, he said.
In the last fiscal year of 2015-16, around 12 lakh taxpayers submitted their income tax returns.
The revenue board has set a target of taxpayers at 15 lakh in the current FY 2017, 25 per cent up from that of last fiscal year.
Taxpayers who received electronic taxpayers’ identification numbers before June, 2016 with meeting some other criteria will have to submit their income tax returns.
According to the NBR data, the total number of e-TIN holders in the country was 19.79 lakh as of June 30.
A significant number of registered e-TIN holders do not submit tax returns for different reasons including not having taxable income or with a motive of evading tax, officials said.
New Age contacted tax officials of seven income tax zones, out of 30, and all the officials confirmed about lower rate of returns filing at their respective zones.
Till Wednesday, salaried persons have mostly submitted their returns, another tax official said.
Businessmen usually files returns at the last moment as they pay tax at large amount and try to yield maximum benefit by keeping the money at banks or operating business activities, he said.
Officials suspected that many taxpayers might expect time extension like previous years due to ignorance about no scope of time extension this year.
They said that the NBR should run rigorous campaign for creating awareness about returns filing in coming days for better results, they said.
A total of 1,94,598 taxpayers submitted their returns at the weeklong income tax fair held across the country from November 1 to November 7.
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