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1 lakh notices sent in cases of misrepresentation of income, says Finance Minister

New Delhi, July 25: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said that about one lakh notices were sent in cases of non-filing of returns and misrepresentation of income.

As many as 55,000 one-time cases were opened following a Supreme Court order, she said.

In her address at the 164th Income Tax Day event, the Finance Minister said that tax rates have not gone up over the years, yet revenue has been constantly rising over the past three-four years.

“We are talking about widening the tax base via awareness and nudging. The Income Tax Department is working towards a taxpayer-friendly regime.

“If income tax revenues are increasing it is not because of the hike in rates but due to efficiency, plugging of leakages and formalisation of the economy,” she said.

Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman Nitin Gupta said that more than four crore income tax returns (ITRs) have been filed so far for 2022-23, and more than half of them have been processed leading to issuance of 80 lakh refunds.

Seven per cent of the assessees who filed income tax returns this year are “new taxpayers”, he said, adding that the number of new taxpayers is expected to increase by July 31.

He, however, added that the “shortage of manpower (in the department) at every level was impeding our efforts to give even better results” and urged the Finance Minister for a “quick approval” of the department’s cadre restructuring proposal.

Revenue Secretary Sanjay Malhotra, who was also present on the occasion, said: “Record 72 lakh income tax returns were received in one day… Average processing of returns has been reduced to 16 days. We need to focus more on further automation of taxpayers’ services.”

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