Incidentally, Bihar also had the least proportion of cases picked up for scrutiny, at 0.08 per cent of the tax returns filed in 2018-19. The rate of scrutiny declined sharply from 0.42 per cent in 2017-18. Jharkhand followed, with only 0.09 per cent filers picked for scrutiny in 2018-19, down from 0.3 per cent in the previous year
The number of cases picked up for scrutiny by the income tax
department halved to 0.25 per cent of the total income tax returns
filed in assessment year 2018-19, from 0.55 per cent in the previous year. The percentage of income tax scrutiny cases was 0.71 per cent in AY 2015-16, 0.40 per cent in AY 2016-17.
Delhi had the highest proportion of cases picked for scrutiny with 0.52 per cent of tax return filers facing probes in AY 2018-19, down from 0.81 per cent the previous year. It was followed by Telangana (0.5 per cent).
"The income tax department is changing, from just enforcement to facilitating better taxpayer services. In continuation of the same, the number of cases selected for scrutiny has reduced drastically over the years," the ministry of finance said in a tweet on Tuesday.
Assessment year is the year in which one files income tax returns
for the year prior to it, which is the financial Year. The income earned during the financial year is evaluated by the income tax department in the assessment year.
The ministry did not give the absolute number of cases picked up for scrutiny during these years.
The number of returns filed during AY 2018-19, a year after demonetisation, rose sharply over AY 2017-18 across states. Jharkhand saw the number of return filers increase by 23 per cent in AY 2018 from 3.5 per cent the previous year. Karnataka's return filers grew by 19.5 per cent in AY18 versus a 1.9 per cent in AY17. Haryana reported a rise of 16.7 per cent in AY18 versus 3.5 per cent in the previous year.
Scrutiny cases in Odisha reduced to 0.12 per cent in AY 2018-19, from 0.37 per cent in the year before. Similarly, for Punjab, it came down from 0.40 per cent to 0.14 per cent in AY 2018-19.
In West Bengal 0.25 per cent cases were picked up for scrutiny compared to 0.59 per cent scrutiny cases in 2017-18.
The government is aiming to finish faceless assessment in all 58319 cases picked up so far by October. So far, it has disposed off around 8700 cases. The faceless assessment scheme rolled out in October 2019 eliminates the physical interface between an assessing officer and an assessee.