Misinterpretation of Data on filing of I-T return by CAs by Newspapers: ICAI clarifies


ICAI has written letter dated 26.10.2018 to the editors of The Pioneer, The Tribune Trust and The Times of India in which it has 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 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.
ICAI has further clarified that 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.
ICAI also clarified that 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 and Text of the same is as follows:-


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A. News Item titled “Improving India’s tax compliance” published in The Pioneer dated October 26, 2018
THE INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED
ACCOUNTANTS OF INDIA
(Set up by an Act of Parliament)
Misc/PRG/LE-7A/2018
October 26, 2018
The Editor
The Pioneer
CMYK Printech Ltd.
F-31, Sector-6, Noida
Uttar Pradesh — 201301
Dear Sir
Sub: News Item titled “Improving India’s tax compliance” published in The Pioneer dated October 26, 2018
We would like to draw your attention to the news item titled “Improving India’s tax compliance” published in The Pioneer dated October 26, 2018. The article states that “Data on direct tax collections and administration released early this week by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT)….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…”
Also, the news item refers to recent data released by the I-T department wherein it is portrayed that only 1 out of 3 Chartered Accountants have filed their returns.
Would like to bring to your notice that the Income Tax Return Statistics for the Assessment Year 2017-18 issued by Central Board of Direct Taxes recently have been presented on the basisttpf 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. 1 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:

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Particulars
NO, of Chartered Accountants
Total Members
2,69,350
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.
It is quite unfortunate that a reputed National newspaper like The Pioneer has published the story without verifying the facts from ICAI and published such an adverse report in a manner which has caused immense damage to the credentials of CA profession. In such cases, the concerned correspondent ought to have verified the facts with the Institute before issuing any statement
In view of the above, we request you to take appropriate steps by publishing suitable article prominently in your newspaper immediately stating the correct facts so as to clear the doubts in the minds of readers and all stakeholders. We are sure that as responsible news daily, you will carry the facts forwarded by ICAI.
Thanking you,
Your faithfully,
(V. Sagar)


B. News Item titled “The income tax saga” published in The Tribune dated October 24, 2018

THE INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED
ACCOUNTANTS OF INDIA
(Set up by an Act of Parliament)
Misc/PRG/LE-7B/2018
October 26, 2018
The Editor
The Tribune Trust
Sector 29-C
Chandigarh (UT)-160030
Dear Sir

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Sub: News Item titled “The income tax saga” published in The Tribune dated October 24, 2018
We would like to draw your attention to the news item titled “The income tax saga” published in The Tribune dated October 24, 2018. The article states that “…Salaried people continue to pay tax even before they receive their pay cheques, but the same is not true of professionals such as doctors, chartered accountants and lawyers…” Further, the article states that .. All well-paid doctors, chartered accountants, advocates, private hospitals and institutes, and rich farmers must be brought into the tax net, so that the state has enough resources to transform the lives of the poor.
Also, the news item refers to recent data released by Tax Department. Would like to bring to your notice that the Income Tax Return Statistics for the Assessment Year 2017-18 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 professiohals, 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.
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:

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Particulars
No. of Chartered Accountants
Total Members
2,69,350
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.
It is quite unfortunate that a reputed National newspaper like The Tribune has published the story without verifying the facts from ICAI and published such an adverse report in a manner which has caused immense damage to the credentials of CA profession. In such cases, the concerned correspondent ought to have verified the facts with the Institute before issuing any statement
In view of the above, we request you to take appropriate steps by publishing suitable article prominently in your newspaper immediately stating the correct facts so as to clear the doubts in the minds of readers and all stakeholders. We are sure that as responsible news daily, you will carry the facts forwarded by ICAI.
Thanking you,
Yours faithfully,
(V. Sagar)



C. News Item titled “Number of taxpayers up, but salaried still bear the brunt” published in Times of India dated October 23, 2018

THE INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED
ACCOUNTANTS OF INDIA
(Set up by an Act of Parliament)
Misc/PRG/LE-7/2018 October 26, 2018
The Editor
The Times of India
7, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg
New Delhi – 110002
Dear Sir
Sub: News Item titled “Number of taxpayers up, but salaried still bear the brunt” published in Times of India dated October 23, 2018
We would like to draw your attention to the news item titled “Number of taxpayers up, but salaried still bear the brunt” (as attached) published in Times of India dated October 23, 2018. The article states that “In the case of Chartered Accountants, who advise individuals and companies on tax matters, one in three paid income tax..”
Also, the news item presents recent data released by the I-T department wherein it is portrayed that only 1 out of 3 Chartered Accountants have filed their returns.
Would like to bring to your notice that the Income Tax Return Statistics for the Assessment Year 2017-18 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. 1 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:

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Particulars
No. of Chartered Accountants
Total Members
2,69,350
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.
It is quite unfortunate that a reputed National newspaper like Times of India has published the story without verifying the facts from ICAI and published such an adverse report in a manner which has caused immense damage to the credentials of CA profession. In such cases, the concerned correspondent ought to have verified the facts with the Institute before issuing any statement
In view of the above, we request you to take appropriate steps by publishing suitable article prominently in your newspaper immediately stating the correct facts so as to clear the doubts in the minds of readers and all stakeholders. We are sure that as responsible news daily, you will carry the facts forwarded by ICAI.
Thanking you,
Your faithfully,
(V. Sagar)

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