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Bengal tax mop-up on the rise
February, 25th 2009

Income tax collection (net of refund) in the Bengal circle, which includes Sikkim and the Andaman and Nicobar islands, has gone up 23.8 per cent to Rs 10,316 crore till the end of January in the current fiscal.

Income tax collection in the circle has trebled in the last five years, chief commissioner T. K. Chatterjee said.

The growth in tax collection in the current financial year so far came on the back of a 22 per cent increase in corporate tax collection and a 32 per cent growth in personal income tax collection, he said.

Companies paid Rs 7,022 crore tax on their profit earnings in the first 10 months of the current fiscal, an increase of 22 per cent over the year-ago period. We made a tax refund of Rs 1,307 crore to the corporate sector till December 2008 compared with Rs 1,148 crore in the previous corresponding period, Chatterjee said.

He said personal income tax collection in the current fiscal so far had grown 32 per cent to Rs 2,954 crore. The primary reason for this is wider applicability of TDS (tax deducted at source), Chatterjee said. TDS collection rose 35.07 per cent to Rs 3,714 crore against Rs 2,750 crore in the same period in 2007-08.

However, tax refunds to individual income tax-payers were lower at Rs 234 crore against Rs 333 crore in 2007-08.

Advance tax payment and tax paid through self-assessment grew significantly. Advance tax payment till January 31, 2009 was higher at Rs 5,237 crore (Rs 4,807 crore), while tax paid under self-assessment was Rs 1,349 crore (Rs 898 crore), the chief commissioner said. The total number of tax-payers in Bengal circle is around 24 lakh and is growing at the rate of 10 per cent every year.

But the income tax department is facing a severe shortage of manpower. The sanctioned number of joint and additional commissioners for the Bengal circle is 128. But the number of joint and additional commissioners is only 42. Similarly, the sanctioned number of assistant and deputy commissioners for the circle is 220 while we have only 141 of them working at present, Chatterjee said.

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