New Delhi, Nov. 8 -- The sharp growth in filing of income tax returns, seen after the June 2016 amnesty scheme and the high value currency ban on November 2016, has taken a beating with the Indian economy slipping into a deep slowdown. Friday marks the third anniversary of demonetisation.

The trend of over 20% rise in return filings seen in FY17 and FY18, gave way to contraction in FY19, a trend not seen in nearly a decade for which data is readily available.

According to data from the Income Tax department, number of income tax returns filed grew 6.5% in FY15 to 40.4 million, then surged 14.5% in FY16 before jumping 20.5% in FY17, the year of demonetisation. The government had announced an income disclosure scheme, effective June 2016,...