NEW DELHI: The government’s direct tax collection has gone up by 19.3 per cent to Rs 6.95 lakh crore against the mop-up in year-ago period. Net direct tax collected so far represents 69.2 per cent of the total revised direct taxes collection target of Rs 10.05 lakh crore for the current fiscal.
“The growth rate for net collections for corporate income tax is 19.2 per cent and for personal income tax is 18.6 per cent,” the finance ministry stated.
Gross collections (before adjusting for refunds) have increased by 13.3 per cent to Rs 8.21 lakh crore during April 2017 to January 2018. According to officials, collection is on the expected lines of the government, which is 15.6 per cent above the 2016-17 revised estimates.
While things are fine on the direct tax collections front, it is indirect tax collection which is a matter of concern, officials added. Low indirect tax revenue and non tax revenue collection have already forced the government to revise its fiscal deficit target to 3.5 per cent for the current fiscal year.
GST collections have been continuously falling, from around Rs 95,000 crore in July to Rs 80,300 crore in November. Till November 2017, indirect tax collections were just over Rs 6 lakh crore, including IGST of Rs 1.38 lakh crore and GST Compensation Cess of Rs 30,900 crore. As per the rule, half of IGST and the entire compensation cess collection go to states, which will neutralise the effect of buoyancy in direct tax collections.
Aditi Nayar, principal economist, ICRA, said: “We are awaiting the data for the ongoing quarter to understand whether GST collections will display a similar pattern.”
Also, while the Budget last year had estimated a non-tax revenue of Rs 2.89 lakh crore till November 2017, the government had collected just Rs 1.05 lakh crore or 36.5 per cent of the target.
“Lower indirect tax revenue collections may outweigh any upside risks from higher nominal GDP growth, non-tax revenue and direct tax collection,” Goldman Sachs said in a release.
Come clean or face prosecution: I-T dept
In a fresh warning to tax evaders, the income tax department has asked all companies, political parties, trusts and individuals who have deposited large cash post demonetisation, to file their revised income tax return by March 31, failing which they may face penalty and prosecution. “If you have deposited large amounts of cash in your bank account/made high-value transactions, please consider the same while filling your ITRs,” the income tax department said in advertisements issued in leading dailies on Friday, adding that the deadline for the same is March 31.
“There is still time. Revised returns for AY2016-17 and 2017-18 can still be filed up to March 31, 2018 (with interest, if any, for late filing),” the income tax department tweeted. The March 31 deadline is also applicable to eligible trusts and political parties, and the I-T department cautioned them to file their income tax returns by the final deadline and “come clean”.