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Corporate tax burden skewed
March, 30th 2009

A handful of companies account for a disproportionately large share of taxes, according to a study by Ficci and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The study by the duo showed that just 41 companies paid around 10 per cent of the corporate and fringe benefit taxes in 2007-08.

These 41 firms paid Rs 43,049 crore, which is 4.9 per cent of the governments revenue collection.

They paid Rs 30,391 crore as corporate tax, which is 16.3 per cent of corporate tax paid by all firms.

Tax paid by all companies in 2007-08 is Rs 84,902 crore, which is 9.7 per cent of the revenues of 2007-2008.

This excludes municipal and local taxes.

The survey results indicate that there is a need to increase the tax base by providing growth sops to small and medium enterprises, and investment related incentives to large corporates, said Ketan Dalal, executive director of PwC.

Ficci and PwC surveyed the 41 firms, which showed that their corporate, dividend distribution and fringe benefit taxes or direct tax made up 80 per cent of their payments.

In indirect tax, the share of customs duty was 12 per cent.

Extra obligation

The survey said that for every Re 1 of tax borne by the company, the government collected Rs 1.8.

In addition to taxes borne directly, business makes a further significant contribution to government revenue through its obligation to collect a range of taxes from their customers and employees on behalf of the government, said Dalal.

Major taxes collected were indirect taxes such as excise duties, VAT, service tax and withholding taxes on employees remuneration and other payments.

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