The number of individual taxpayers in the highest tax bracket surged by 25 per cent in AY23 from AY22, the Finance Ministry data tabled in the Parliament showed.

In a written response by the Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudahry in Lok Sabha, data showed that the number of individual taxpayers falling in the 30 per cent tax slab was over 48.40 lakh in Assessment Year 2021-22 (Fiscal Year 2020-21) surged to over 60.81 lakh in Assessment Year 2022-23 (Fiscal Year 2021-22) registering a growth of over 25 per cent.

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Another set of data showed that total number of personal income tax payers in AY22 was 6.84 crore, of which 6.33 crore are individuals. For AY23, the total number is over 7.57 crore. The data about all the categories of taxpayers for AY23 have not been made public.

If opted for old tax regime, the individual taxpayers falls in 30 per cent tax slab with aggregate income exceeding ₹10 lakh. However, in the new tax regime, it will be more than ₹15 lakh. These limits are not applicable for Non-Resident Indians, senior citizens and super senior citizens.

Chaudhary also informed that the efforts are on to widen the tax net in the country which includes addition of new SFTs (Statements of Financial Transactions), Non-filers Monitoring System (NMS) e-Campaign, Risk Management Strategy (RMS), Annual information Systems (AIS ) and mandatory quoting of PAN and linking of PAN and Aadhaar.

Tax compliance

The Income-tax Department has launched ‘Project Insight’ to strengthen the non-intrusive information driven approach to increasing tax compliance. It focuses on three goals namely, promote voluntary compliance and deter non-compliance, to impart confidence that all eligible persons pay appropriate tax; and, to promote fair and judicious tax administration.

According to Chaudhary, the scope of TDS/TCS has been progressively expanded for widening the tax base by bringing several new transactions into the ambit of two mechanisms. The Department has also signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MoMSME), Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) and SEBI to enable exchange of information and inter-agency cooperation to identify tax loopholes and widen the tax net and prevent revenue leakages.

“Whenever any instance of tax evasion comes to the notice, the Income Tax Department takes appropriate actions, including conducting searches & surveys, assessment of income, levy & recovery of tax, imposition of penalty and launching of prosecution as per the provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961 against such tax evader(s),” Chaudhary said.