The government has been highly successful in increasing the tax penetration of the country by adding a staggering 9.1 million new taxpayers in 2016-17, an 80 percent surge over the typical yearly rise, suggests a report published by economic Journal Mint.
This unprecedented surge in the Govt's tax collection is a testimony to Indian govt's move to demonetise high-value currencies. The addition of new payers to the dismal tax base has significantly boosted the government’s tax revenue. India had only 55.9 million individual taxpayers at the end of 2015-16.
The Economic Times, citing two top government officials, reported on 3 May that the number of people who filed tax returns surged by 9.5 million. Not everyone who pays tax files returns. Many are salaried employees whose tax is deducted and paid by the employers. In 2015-16, only 37 million individuals filed tax returns.
“About 9.1 million new taxpayers have been found, significantly expanding the taxpayer base,” a senior government functionary said on condition of anonymity.
The person, who is in a position to be aware of data and thinking at the highest levels of the government, added that this was partly on account of demonetisation.
It is estimated that a substantial part of the invalidated currency has returned to the banking system official data on this is yet to be release but the government has insisted, and rightly so, that the mere act of depositing money in a bank account doesn’t convert black money into white money.