Advance tax payments in the second quarter of the current financial year (2008-09) grew by 33 per cent at Rs 45,000 crore, nearly the same as the corresponding period in the previous year.
While advance tax payment by corporations has grown by about 20 per cent during the period, there has been a 25 per cent decline in payment by individuals, revenue department officials said.
Corporations pay 45 per cent while individuals pay 30 per cent of their annual tax liability by way of advance taxes by September 15 every financial year.
The decline in the advance tax payment by individuals is mainly on account of a substantial increase in the basic income tax exemption limit this year, said a department official. In Budget 2008-09, the government had increased the basic income-tax exemption limit by Rs 40,000 to Rs 1,50,000 per annum for individuals.
While officials have not forecast for the coming two quarters, it is feared that the current economic situation may lead to a moderation on overall direct tax collections this year. The third instalment of advance tax is due on December 15. While Budget 2008-09 had projected direct tax collections of Rs 3,65,000 crore, income-tax officials have in the past said the department hoped to do better and collect around Rs 3,95,000 crore in this fiscal.
Overall, direct tax collections have increased by nearly 30 per cent (compared with 40 per cent growth in the same period last year) to Rs 1,50,000 crore in the first six months of the current fiscal. This amounts to 38 per cent of the annual target. Of this, corporation tax collections were up 34.5 per cent at Rs 97,500 crore and income-tax receipts rose by 22.7 per cent at Rs 46,000 crore.
The department is likely to further intensify steps to detect tax evasion and enforce compliance to boost tax collections in the remaining six months of the current fiscal.