West Bengals share of TDS (tax deduction at source) in its overall tax collection was below the national average because of lack of awareness and lethargy among the tax deductors, B C Goel, chief commissioner of income-tax, Kolkata, said here.
"Last year, TDS contributed Rs 2281 crore to West Bengal's overall tax collection of Rs 9808 crore. The state's TDS share was 23.25 per cent, as compared to the national average of 27 per cent", Goel said.
The biggest defaulters were the government, as officers were unaware of the latest TDS norms and not very inclined to learn them, he added. Goel admitted that there was a lenient approach towards defaulters and stressed on the need to step up awareness on the new TDS norms.
Of late, the income-tax department had embarked upon an initiative for modernisation of the current system of collection, processing, monitoring and accounting of direct taxes using technology. The electronic filing of TDS return has been made mandatory for all the tax deductors.
This apart, the requirement of paper TDS certificates has also been done away with.
In the light of these changes, a deductor has a greater responsibility as those having the tax sum deducted could not get the credit of tax paid owing to mistakes on the part of the deductor.