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I-T collections up 40% in Apr-Oct, corporate tax revenues rise 45%
November, 06th 2007
Existing tax payers paying more

The existing taxpayers are paying more taxes this year, thanks to higher incomes from a booming economy and improved compliance with tax laws. Also contributing to the burgeoning direct tax kitty is some addition in the number of new tax payers.

In April-October 2007, personal income tax collections of the Centre grew 39.39 per cent at Rs 49,890 crore, significantly higher than Rs 35,805 crore collected in the same period last year. The buoyancy in personal income tax collections can be attributed to both deepening and widening of the tax base, a senior Finance Ministry official said.

The existing taxpayers are paying more taxes as the income levels have gone up, especially the salary incomes in services sector. The pay scales of corporate executives have gone up substantially this year, the official added.

Tax experts also emphasise that while salary levels have seen significant rises, avenues for financial savings remain limited at around Rs 1 lakh a year, thus bringing more income to taxation.

At the same time, the number of new tax payers has seen a steady increase. In 2004-05, there were 15.97 lakh new assesses and the number went up by 19 lakh in 2005-06 and 21.28 lakh in 2006-07.

The direct tax base as on end-March 2007 stood at 3.19 crore assessees, with majority of them coming under the category of individuals. The corporate tax base has been more or less stagnant in the recent years and comprised about 1 per cent of the total direct tax base.

Despite this, corporate tax revenues continue to be buoyant, with collections during April-October this year recording 45.71 per cent growth at Rs 78,785 crore (Rs 54,072 crore). The overall direct tax collections for the period under review grew over 40 per cent to Rs 1,28,864 crore, up from Rs 90,180 crore in April-October last year.

Going by the current growth trend in direct tax collections, the tax department expects the direct taxes revenues to exceed the indirect tax collections for the current fiscal. The CBDT expects the direct tax collections to touch the Rs 3,00,000 crore mark this year, much higher than the budget estimate of about Rs 2,67,490 crore for fiscal 2007-08.

Meanwhile, an official release said that securities transaction tax (STT) collection was up 57.61 per cent at Rs 3,783 crore (Rs 2,400 crore) and fringe benefit tax (FBT) collections grew 29.94 per cent at Rs 2,755 crore (Rs 2,120 crore). Both STT and FBT formed part of personal income tax collections.

Refund Banker scheme

Refund payouts in personal income tax (PTT) category were higher at Rs 6,135 crore (Rs 4,169 crore), with over 30 lakh refunds having been issued during April-October this year. The CBDT also said that the Refund Banker scheme launched in Delhi and Patna towards the end of last fiscal and extended subsequently to Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai has helped increase the pace of refunds. It would now been extended to the entire country for the personal income tax category of taxpayers.

More than the tax base having widened, the increase in personal income tax collections is rather attributable to the increase in salaries, especially in services sector. There is also widening of tax base. It is relative, Mr Aseem Chawla, Tax Partner, Amarchand & Mangaldas

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