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Advance tax collection flat in Q3; target looks distant
December, 16th 2011

Advance taxes for the third quarter from corporates headquartered in Mumbai rose by a mere 10%, rendering the targeted tax collection set by the government for March 31, 2012, a difficult target to achieve.

The advance tax collection for September-December period from 100 leading tax-paying companies contributes to about 75% of the total corporate tax collection in Mumbai, and about 35% of the all-India corporate tax collection.

Experts believe that to be in tune with the projected direct tax collection of Rs 5.85 lakh crore, the collection should have been at least 32 % higher than the last fiscal, but is up only 10 %.

Historically, the December tax collection from companies-the third of the four installments of the advance tax payment-account for 75% of the tax collection, and is a barometer to what is store for the rest of the fiscal.

Out of the projected direct tax collection of Rs 5.85 lakh crore, the tax authorities expect Rs 4 lakh crore to be collected from corporate taxes and the remaining from the other taxes.

The tax authorities should ideally have collected Rs 3 lakh crore by way of corporate tax, of which Rs 1 lakh crore should have accrued in December itself. However, on the basis of the past trends, I-T officials believe if the third quarter tax collection falls short, the trend is likely to stay for the rest of the fiscal.

During 2008-09 economic downturn, April- June tax collection figure recorded an unprecedented 75% increase compared with the corresponding period of last year but the collection nosedived in December and the trend continued till the end of the fiscal, resulting into a negative growth in collection for the entire fiscal.

Among the sectors that bucked the trend this quarter were foreign banks, cements and pharma. All other sectors threw up mixed results.

Citibank doubled its tax outgo by paying Rs 400 crore while Standard Chartered Bank paid Rs 413 cr, against Rs 75 crore.

In the cement segment, ACC's tax outgo was up by Rs 45 cr to Rs 95 cr while Ambuja Cement's rose by Rs 50 cr to Rs 110 cr.

State Bank of India's tax outgo declined by Rs 100 cr to Rs 1,700 cr and ICICI Bank's tax outgo remained unchanged at Rs 450 cr. Life Insurance Corporation, India's leading life insurer paid Rs 1200 cr against Rs 1050 cr.

Bank of Baroda saw advance taxes increase to Rs 550 crore (Rs 420 cr), while Hinduja group-controlled Indusind Bank paid marginally higher Rs 120 cr (Rs 110 crore), LIC Housing Finance Rs 90 cr (Rs 80 cr), HDFC Rs 480 Cr ( Rs 410 cr) IDBI Rs 359 crore.

Reliance Industries, India's largest private sector firm paid 16% less this time at Rs 1,000 cr against Rs 1,190 cr last year.

However, Bajaj Auto's tax outgo went up by Rs 70 cr to Rs 450 cr and in contrast Tata Motor's figures dipped by Rs 140 cr to Rs 80 cr.

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