New Delhi : Over 6.83 lakh companies have permanent account number (PAN) but did not file income tax returns for assessment year 2016-17, Parliament was informed on Tuesday.

The number of companies which have PAN but do not file income tax returns have increased over the past five years from 4.09 lakh in assessment year 2012-13, to 4.60 lakh (AY 2013-14), Minister of State for Finance Santosh Kumar Gangwar said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha. The number was 5.19 lakh in AY 2014-15, 5.73 lakh (AY 2015-16) and 6.83 lakh (AY 2016-17).

 As per the database of the Income Tax department, Delhi had the most 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, reports PTI.

 Tamil Nadu was third in the region-wise list at 63,567 companies, followed by West Bengal and Sikkim (taken as one region) at 60,983. “Non filing of return of income by a company does not necessarily indicate its indulgence in money laundering activities,” Gangwar said.

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