Average time taken for issuing refunds by the income tax department has been brought down "significantly" and 80 per cent of refunds were issued in the first 30 days of filing of returns during the 2022-23 fiscal, CBDT Chairman Nitin Gupta has said.
The chief of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said the work of processing Income Tax Returns (ITRs) has been "expedited" as the tax department is leveraging technology in a big way and was working to ensure 'ease of doing business' for the taxpayers by promoting voluntary compliance.
"We have expedited the processing of returns and quicker issue of refunds. The average time taken for processing of returns has been reduced to only 16 days in the financial year 2022-23 as against 26 days in the previous 2021-22 fiscal," Gupta said.
"We have seen a hundred per cent increase in the total percentage of ITRs processed within one day of their filing. This percentage has increased from 21 per cent for assessment year (AY) 2021-22 to 42 per cent for AY 2022-23," Gupta said on Thursday while speaking at the online 'Samvaad' session hosted by the I-T department.
The CBDT, headed by a chairman, is the administrative body for the tax department.
Talking about technology advancement undertaken by the department, Gupta said it achieved a "peak processing capacity of nearly 22.94 lakh returns in a single day on July 28, 2022".
"Rectification requests have also been reduced to 0.1 percent of the total returns processed and average time of rectification disposal is only nine days. The average time (taken) in issuance of refunds has been significantly brought down. This year 80 per cent of refunds were issued in the first 30 days of filing of returns as against 60 per cent in the preceding year," Gupta said.
In order to enhance the ease of voluntary compliance and to reduce litigation, the CBDT chief said an updated return (ITR-U) functionality has been enabled (on the e-filing portal) so that taxpayers can update their returns (ITRs) anytime within two years from the end of the relevant assessment year.
"As on March 31, 2023, more than 24.50 lakh updated returns have been filed and approximately Rs 2,480 crore has been collected as additional tax," he said.
Speaking about the e-verification scheme that was brought in 2021 and initiated in September 2022, he said financial transactions pertaining to 2019-20 were taken up for e-verification and limited instances of high-value transactions, which were not fully disclosed in the returns of income, were selected.
"During the year, e-verification was taken up in 68,000 cases on a pilot basis and taxpayers have been facilitated to rectify mismatches and encouraged to file updated returns," Gupta said.
He also spoke about the faceless assessment scheme of the I-T department saying that at the end of the last fiscal (on March 31, 2023), more than four lakh faceless assessments were completed.
Grievances related to faceless processes have reduced by 60 per cent in 2022-23 fiscal as compared to 2021-22. There is also an overall reduction in the number of writ petitions pertaining to the faceless processes, he said.
Gupta added that more than one lakh appeals were disposed of by taxmen through the faceless regime.