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Govt has to pull up socks to meet FY15 direct tax target
March, 26th 2015

The income tax department will have to collect close to Rs 2 lakh crore from direct taxes to meet the target for this financial year. This would mean a rise of 21 per cent over Rs 1.63 lakh crore collected in March last year. The tax department has mopped up Rs 5.06 lakh crore in the first 11 months of 2015-16, up 6.8 per cent over Rs 4.74 lakh crore in the year-ago period, according to data provided by the finance ministry on Thursday.

The government has projected collections from direct tax to go up 10.53 per cent to Rs 7.04 lakh crore in 2014-15 against Rs 6.37 lakh crore a year before in the revised estimates (RE).

Much of the direct tax collections come in March because personal income tax payers usually pay their liabilities in this month and corporates pay advance tax by March 15. The department had collected 25.6 per cent of direct tax for 2013-14 in March. This year, it will have to collect 28 per cent, or Rs 1.97 lakh crore.

This is despite the fact that the government slashed estimates of direct tax collections by Rs 30,593 crore in RE of 2014-15, constituting 4.1 per cent of Budget estimates at Rs 7.35 lakh crore. Direct tax collections are important to help the government meet its commitment of reining in the Centre's fiscal deficit at 4.1 per cent of India's gross domestic product (GDP). The deficit had already crossed the target in absolute terms (RE) by 10 per cent. Direct tax collections, estimated in RE, constitute over 56 per cent of total tax collections of the Centre in 2014-15.

If refunds are included, gross direct tax collections were up 10.67 per cent at Rs 6,12,432 crore during April-February 2014-15 against Rs 5,53,373 crore during the same period in the previous year. Gross direct tax collection of corporate tax increased 9.99 per cent to Rs 3,79,917 crore from Rs 3,45,396 crore.

Gross collection of personal income tax was up 11.1 per cent at Rs 2,25,313 crore against Rs 2,02,806 crore collected during the year-ago period.

Securities transaction tax stood at Rs 6,280 crore, up 45.44 per cent. Advance tax collections grew 13.41 per cent during the April-February of 2014-15 period against a rise of 8.67 per cent in the year-ago period.

Tax deducted at source rose 7.49 per cent against 16.69 per cent in the same period in the previous year. Self-assessment tax increased 22.5 per cent against 9.91 per cent. Regular direct tax collections were up 9.09 per cent against 29.97 per cent.

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