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Direct tax mop-up on track
December, 05th 2008
The economic slowdown will not prevent the government from meeting its 2008-09 direct tax collection target. We are confident of achieving the 2008-09 target of Rs 3,95,000 crore, said N.B. Singh, chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). According to CBDT officials, British telecom firm Vodafone will pay Rs 10,000 crore as capital gains tax following an order by Bombay High Court. Last year, the income tax department had sent a notice to Vodafone demanding the tax, which arose from its acquisition of a controlling stake in Hutchison-Essar. During the first seven months (April-October) of 2008-09, direct taxes rose 29.52 per cent to Rs 1,66,905 crore compared with the corresponding period of the previous year. Corporate taxes were up 33.49 per cent to Rs 1,05,174 crore, while personal income tax rose 23.14 per cent to Rs 61,433 crore during the seven-month period. Advance taxes till October were higher in mining, mineral, metal, engineering, banking, telecom, IT, pharma and consumer goods. They fell in real estate, infrastructure, cement, automobile, power, textile and downstream oil companies, the CBDT said. Realisations from tax deducted at source (TDS) grew 35.78 per cent and from self-assessment tax, 52.76 per cent. Growth in corporate TDS rose 48.2 per cent to Rs 36,004 crore against Rs 24,293 crore during the same period a year ago. Fringe benefit tax grew over 47 per cent and dividend distribution tax, 48 per cent. These, along with buoyant corporate TDS collections, indicate continued strength of the Indian economy, the CBDT said. The CBDT today hailed the decision of Bombay High Court to uphold the $2-billion-tax notice slapped on Vodafone. According to Singh, the verdict has strengthened the hands of the authorities in dealing with cases involving foreign buyers acquiring assets in India. On Vodafones statement that it would approach the Supreme Court against the high court ruling, Singh said the CBDT would also file a caveat in the apex court.
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