Timely return filings by tax payers and the smooth functioning of tax portal have helped the Income Tax department in issuing higher refunds in the 2022-23 assessment year when compared with previous year, said a tax official.

As per official data, the tax department issued ₹2.40 trillion in tax refunds between 1 April 2022 and 10 January 2023, an improvement of 58.74% compared to refunds issued during the same period in the preceding year.

In the current assessment year, the department did not extend the 31 July due date for individuals to file their tax returns but gave a week’s extra time for entities that needed to get their books of accounts audited.

“Timely return filings and the smooth functioning of the portal helped in processing refunds quickly. In the year before, some people had filed returns till end of the financial year,” said the official.

The Income Tax department expects to end the current fiscal with strong revenue buoyancy. “Net direct tax collections are growing at the rate of 19.5% year-on-year,” said the official. Direct tax collections growth next year will, to some extent, depend on the fortunes of the economy.

Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had earlier this month reported that net direct tax receipts upto 10 January after accounting for tax refunds had grown 19.55% to Rs. 12.31 trillion compared to the year-ago period.

The Income Tax department has issued appointment letters to 1,763 newly recruited persons as part of a drive led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who distributed about 71,000 appointment letters to new recruits in various government departments and organisations on Friday. An email sent to the CBDT on Friday seeking comments for the story remained unanswered at the time of publishing.

The drive was launched in October, promising one million jobs to be filled in the public sector.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s office said that the Rozgar Mela is a step towards fulfilling the commitment of the prime minister to accord the highest priority to employment generation. “The Rozgar Mela is expected to act as a catalyst in further employment generation and provide meaningful opportunities to the youth for their empowerment and participation in national development,” the statement said.