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Reduce corporate tax rate: FICCI
March, 30th 2009

Buoyed by the findings of a total tax contribution (TTC) survey, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry has demanded reduction in the corporate tax rate.

The TTC Survey 2008 has provided a comprehensive picture of the taxes borne and collected by 41 participating companies, out of the 100 companies constituting the S&P CNX Nifty and CNX Nifty junior indices as on April 30, 2008.

High contribution

The corporate tax rate has to be brought down. It is clearly evident from the results of the survey that the tax borne by the corporate sector is high. They are also discharging onerous responsibility of tax collections, Dr Amit Mitra, Secretary General of FICCI, told a press conference here to announce the results of the survey.

41 companies contribute 10% of tax revenue

FICCI had also made a case for reduction in corporate tax rate (to 28 per cent) at the interaction that captains of industry had with the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, on Saturday.

The TTC survey, claimed to be the first of its kind in India, is a partnership effort between PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and FICCI.

Gross tax collections at Rs 3.2 trillion

The survey results have also reinforced the importance of large Indian companies to government tax receipts, Dr Mitra noted.

The total taxes borne and collected by the survey participants by March 31, 2008 was Rs 84,902 crore, which represented 9.7 per cent of the total government tax receipts.

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Dr Mitra also said that the impact of taxation in India is manifested by the average amount of total taxes borne and collected by the 41 participating companies, which is 16 per cent of their turnover.

The Total Tax Rate (TTR), which is a useful measure of the burden of all taxes borne on a particular business, was 35.9 per cent of the profit before all business tax borne.

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Ketan Dalal, Executive Director, PwC, said that the 41 participating companies represented 55 per cent of the market capitalisation of all companies invited to participate. They had provided data on payments of business taxes borne and collected for two accounting years ended March 31, 2007 and March 31, 2008.

Of the 23 taxes identified for the purpose of the survey, 11 were taxes levied by the Central Government and 12 by State Governments or municipal or local authorities. Certain taxes are both a tax borne and tax collected (for example, service tax). Of the 23 taxes identified, 22 taxes are borne and 13 taxes are collected by companies.

Dalal told Business Line that the data on compliance cost was not captured in TTC 2008 survey. We will look at including compliance cost data in the next year survey, he said.

The other aspect of the TTC 2008 survey was it did not capture the impact of tax rate changes made during 2008-09.

The TTC 2008 has also indicated that, on an average for every Re 1 of taxes borne, the 41 participating companies collected taxes of Rs 1.80 on behalf of the Government.

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