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  Tax queries answered by Dilip Lakhani, Senior Chartered Accountant

GST will widen the tax base
June, 04th 2012

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee wants to double the level of direct tax collections to gross domestic product ( GDP) to 12%. A sound goal, all right. Garnering a higher share from direct taxes serves the cause of equity as indirect taxes take away a larger shareof income from the poor. Sustained high growth, tax reforms and a modern networked tax administrationhave helped enhance the share of direct taxes in gross tax collections from 19% to 60%, since the reforms began.

However, the government cannot rest on its laurels. With economic growth slowing down, the Centre's direct tax-to-GDP ratio fell less than 6% for 2011-12 against 6.28% in 2007-08 before the crisis broke out. Reforms alone can increase this ratio further.

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