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I-T struggles to mop up original tax target
March, 09th 2012

The fiscal year is drawing to a close and the Income Tax department is scrambling to mop up revenues by collecting direct tax arrears. CNBC-TV18's Ashmit Kumar reports that the taxman is taking the practical approach and aiming for the original, not the revised targets.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and the taxman is certainly desperate to finish the year with healthy collections and in the good books of the powers that be. But desperate times also call for some pragmatism, which is what the tax department is exercising.

Chief IT commissioner of Mumbai NP Singh says that they have rolled down their targets given the current scenario. "Yesterday I was reading that the fiscal deficit has already been overshot due to which there is big worry everywhere. We thought we will go in for the revised targets, but given the scenario we have become more pragmatic and we are trying to meet the original budget target," he said.

Forget the revised target of Rs 5.85 lakh crore, some tax officials have also expressed concern that the original target of Rs 5.32 lakh crores may be a tough ask.

But that's not stopping officials from ramping up collection efforts. Sources say the main focus is on recovery of current dues and arrears. Officials are also learnt to be stepping up on surveys under section 133-A.

Sources also indicate an increased focus on the top 20 advance tax payers with entities reporting lower advance taxes coming in for more scrutiny. Non-payment of self assessments is also being looked into.

However, experts say that these activities will only provide modest supplementary inflows and with tax collections linked to the economy, no one is expecting any windfalls.

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