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As FY ends, taxman stares at shortfall in direct tax collection

By Shrimi Choudhary
March 26, 2019 17:02 IST

The total direct tax collection stands at a little over Rs 9 trillion, giving the taxman just few days to reach the 2018-19 revised target of Rs 12 trillion., reports Shrimi Choudhary.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com

The income-tax (I-T) department collected over Rs 4 trillion as advance tax from corporates and individuals as of March 15 in the current financial year, about 15 per cent more compared with the tax mop-up in the corresponding period last year.

 

However, the total direct tax collection stood at a little over Rs 9 trillion, giving the taxman just two weeks to reach the 2018-19 revised target of Rs 12 trillion.

Officials said it was an extremely difficult task to raise the remaining Rs 3 trillion in direct tax revenue before March 31.

State Bank of India (SBI), ONGC, and Punjab National Bank said to have topped the list of advance tax payments, but the amounts could not be ascertained.

However, it is learnt that the advance tax collection from the three companies, and from state-run banks, oil and gas public sector units (PSUs) and other government-owned entities like Life Insurance Corporation and the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, was below expectations.

It is also learnt that senior tax officials of some jurisdictions, including Mumbai, expressed their concerns to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the finance ministry about a possible revenue shortfall.

The growth rate under different heads show some interesting trends.

As of March 11, growth in the collection under tax deduction at source (TDS) grew 18 per cent to Rs 4.44 trillion, while self-assessment tax rose 6.5 per cent to Rs 83, 465 crore.

However, the regular assessment tax (recovery from arrear and current demand) showed negative growth (-5.4 per cent) as compared to the same period a year ago.

The Mumbai zone, home to 45 of the top 100 companies and responsible for one-third of the total direct tax collection, has managed to achieve 70 per cent of the target.

The net collection of Mumbai stood at Rs 2.65 trillion against the revised target of Rs 3.82 trillion.

Meanwhile, I-T refunds worth more than Rs 1.56 trillion have been issued to taxpayers, which are 11 per cent more than the last year's payout by the tax department.

The increase of Rs 50,000 crore in the interim Budget 2019-20 has made the task of achieving the revised target difficult for the tax department.

However, the department has been consistently putting efforts to maximise revenues and make up for the shortfall.

Shrimi Choudhary in New Delhi
Source: source
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