Over 6.83 lakh companies with Permanent Account Number (PAN)avoided filing Income Tax returns for the assessment year 2016-17, said Minister of State for Finance Santosh Kumar Gangwar said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
Reportedly, the number of companies that have PAN but do not file income tax returns have inflated from 4.09 lakh to 4.60 lakh in Assessment Year (AY) 2012-13 to 2013-14.
While the figure was 5.19 lakh in AY 2014-15, it rose to 5.73 lakh (AY 2015-16) and 6.83 lakh in AY 2016-17.
According to data provided by Income Tax department, Delhi had the highest number of such companies at over 1.44 lakh, followed by Mumbai (94,155) which had PAN but were non-filers for assessment year 2016-17.
While Tamil Nadu was third in the region-wise list at 63,567 companies, West Bengal and Sikkim (taken as one region) at 60,983 were the next two in the row.
“Non filing of return of income by a company does not necessarily indicate its indulgence in money laundering activities,” Gangwar said.
“However, in cases where instances of money laundering come to the notice of the tax department, suitable action is taken as per law,” he said.
“Consequently, names of a large number of companies have been removed (struck off) from the Registrar of Companies,” he said.