The number of candidates filing Income Tax (I-T) returns seems to be on the decline in the State.
An analysis by the election watchdog Association for Democratic Reforms of the compliance with tax filing by candidates reveals that there was a decrease of seven percentage points in 2016 compared with 2011. The data were compiled after analysing the self-sworn affidavits of 473 and 1,112 candidates respectively in 2011 and 2016. Only 286 (26%) filed the returns in 2016 and 143 (33%) in 2011. Fifty-three candidates who filed the returns won in 2016. The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress had the highest number of candidates to file their returns in both 2011 and 2016. Nearly 30 candidates each belonging to these parties had filed their returns in 2011. The number went up to nearly 40 and 35 respectively in 2016.
Fifteen candidates of the CPI(M) filed the ITRs in 2011 while the figure in 2016 was nearly 20. Nearly 10 candidates of the IUML and the Kerala Congress (M) figured filed their returns in 2011. Six candidates of the CPI filed returns in 2011. In 2016, the number of Independent candidates filing the returns went up to nearly 20 against the five recorded in 2011.
Forty-three of the 143 candidates who filed the returns in 2011 declared assets worth over ₹1 crore. In 2016, nearly 130 of the 286 candidates who filed the ITR had assets worth over ₹1 crore and above.