The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on February 13 reiterated that only 2,200 professionals had indeed declared annual income above Rs 1 crore in FY19, as had been stated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his February 12 address at an event.
PM Modi's statement that it is was unbelievable but true that only 2,200 people in the country had declared earnings of Rs one crore per annum, drew flak on social media, as people contested that the number was incorrect.
In a series of tweets, the CBDT explained that 5.78 crore individuals filed income-tax returns in FY19. Of these, only around 1.46 crore individual taxpayers were liable to pay income tax.
"In the ITRs filed by individuals in the current financial year, only about 2,200 Doctors, Chartered Accountants, Lawyers &such other professionals have disclosed annual income of more than Rs.1crore from their profession(excluding other incomes like rental, interest, capital gains etc,” read a tweet.
CBDT also noted that 3.16 lakh individual taxpayers disclosed income above Rs 50 lakh in FY19, while 8,600 have disclosed income above Rs 5 crore in the whole of the country.
"In the last five years, more than 1.5 crore cars have been sold in the country. Over three crore Indians went abroad for work or travel. But the situation is that only one-and-a-half crore people in our country of more than 130 crore pay income tax," Modi said at the Times Now Summit.
Modi lamented that when a number of people did not pay tax and found ways to evade it, "the burden falls on those who honestly pay their dues".
He said a faceless tax assessment system was being introduced, which meant that those assessing tax would not know whose tax was being computed and the ones whose tax was being assessed would not get to know which official was doing it.
"So all scopes for any 'game' will be done away with," he added.
"I urge all the countrymen to take a pledge, remembering those who dedicated their lives to the country, that they will pay their taxes honestly," the Prime Minister said.(With inputs from PTI.)