Newspapers misinterpreted Data on filing of I-T return by CAs: ICAI
Recently the editors of The Pioneer, The Tribune Trust and The Times of India has misinterpreted the Data on direct tax collections related to filing of return by Chartered Accountants. In the News Item titled “Improving India’s tax compliance” published in The Pioneer dated October 26, 2018, News Item titled “The income tax saga” published in The Tribune dated October 24, 2018 & News Item titled “Number of taxpayers up, but salaried still bear the brunt” published in Times of India dated October 23, 2018 states that Out of the 2.8 lakh chartered accountants, who advise companies and individuals on tax matters, only about one-third or one lakh paid taxes.
In response of these articles published in various Newspapers ICAI has written to the Editors of these news papers highlighted the fact that they have misinterpreted the Data on direct tax collections related to filing of return by Chartered Accountants. It is being wrongly portrayed by these newspapers that only 1,03,049 out of nearly 2,80,000 chartered accountants have filed their returns.
ICAI clarified that we would like to bring to your notice that the Income Tax Return Statistics for the Assessment Year 20 I 7-18 issued by Central Board of Direct Taxes recently have been presented on the basis of types of income, types of taxpayers etc. One such basis taken for analysis is “Type of Business” wherein the data has been presented in respect of various businesses like manufacturing industry, trade, professionals etc.
In respect of professionals, the report mentions that 1,03,049 returns have been filed by Chartered Accountants.
The said data has been misinterpreted by the Publication. It is being portrayed that only 1,03,049 out of nearly 2,80,000 chartered accountants have filed their returns i.e. I out of 3 during the specified period.
Would like to bring the following facts to your notice for a clear understanding of the matter. Chartered Accountants having Full time Certificate of Practice (COP)/ Part Time COP/ No COP as on 1.4.2017 are given below:
|Particulars||NO, of Chartered Accountants|
|Members having Full Time COP/ Part Time COP (Professionals)||1,26,892|
|Members not in Practice (Salaried)||1,42,458|
The figure of 1,03,049 returns mentioned by the Income tax Department contains the data pertaining to Chartered Accountants who are in practice only i.e. having Full time COP / Part Time COP. The data with ICAI shows that in all there are 1,26,892 members who hold Full time/ Part time COP. This shows nearly 81 percent of the Chartered Accountants who are practising as professionals have filed their returns.
Apart from the above, 1,42,458 Chartered Accountants (who do not hold COP ) also file their returns and may have been included in the data pertaining to individuals having salary and /or other income
In all, out of 2,69,350 Chartered Accountants, 2,45,507 have filed their returns which is nearly 91% of the total Chartered Accountants. Amongst these, approximately 8000 Chartered Accountants are above the age of 70, who may or may not be filing returns, depending upon their income. Hence the article doesn’t portray correct analysis and needs to be corrected.
Link of letters written by ICAI is as follows: