Update 31st July 4:24pm : The center has announced that the last date of filing tax returns has been extended to 5th August from 31st July. Till 30th July 92.03 lakh returns were filed which is 46.8 percent higher than the returns e-filed during the corresponding period last year
In May of this year, the Central Board of Direct Taxes had announced that that all individuals, including salaries employees, with income over 5 lakh will have to mandatorily do e-filing of tax returns. Looks like this move has paid rich dividends.
Over 82 Lakh individuals have filed their tax returns online till 29th July from every corner of the country according to Government press release. On 30th July till 6:00 pm another 6.23 lakh had e-filed their tax returns.
So, till (6:00pm) today total number of individuals who have filed their tax returns online has reached 88.23 Lakh. This number is a whooping 40 percent increase over last year.
The release also stated that e-filing portal registered 85,000 returns per hour at its peak on 30th July. Looking at the numbers, it is safe to estimate that over 1 crore individuals will e-file their tax returns this year.
Though the press release states that there have been no problems with the e-filing portal and has been running without any interruptions, that seems to be far from truth.
We tried to access the e-filing portal at the time of writing this piece, but the site seems to be inaccessible. Generally, the last 2-3 days experience the largest number of tax e-filings.
Given the issues with the portal, it seems the date for filing the tax returns may be extended (which is quite customary) by few days, though there seems to be no official confirmation on the same.
There may also be another reason why tax return filing has got such overwhelming response. Government has been aggressively pursuing non-tax payers and defaulters. Finance Ministry, as part of an ongoing initiative, have issued letters to 2.1 lakh defaulters which have been marked as high priority cases. These defaulter cases were identified based on data matching exercise that ministry has been carrying out.
If you have not yet filed your returns, you have less than 24 hours to file them. Keep in mind that the e-filing portal may be extremely difficult for your to even load!