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Direct tax collection rises fastest since 2013-14
August, 08th 2017

The Income Tax Department’s time series data of direct taxes for 2016-17 estimates the government has collected ?8,49,818 crore as income tax on individuals and businesses, recording a 14.5 per cent growth, the highest rise since 2013-14.

Personal income taxes rose 21.4 per cent, but taxes on corporate incomes grew more slowly at 7 per cent.

The biggest rise was reported under the head of ‘other direct taxes’, which includes collections on account of Income Declaration Scheme 2016 and Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana 2016, schemes for declaring previously undisclosed income. Collections under this head is estimated to have risen 1,348 per cent to ?15,624 crore.

The sharper rise in personal income taxes has also meant its share in the direct tax collection has increased to over 40 per cent for the first time since 2002-03 and the share of taxes on corporate incomes have fallen below 60 per cent. These estimates are based on provisional data, which the department has extracted from Online Tax Accounting System (OLTAS) and Principal Chief Controller of Accounts under the Central Board of Direct Taxes, and are bound to be revised after the returns for the last fiscal year is reconciled.

Saturday August 5 was the last day for filing of returns by those who are not required to get their accounts audited. Others can file their returns before March 31, 2018, for incomes earned in 2016-17.

Total tax collection
The growth in direct tax collections notwithstanding, its share in total tax collection has fallen below 50 per cent for the first time in 10 years. The share of direct taxes in the total taxes was estimated at 49.7 per cent for 2016-17, after staying well above 50 per cent between 2007-08 and 2015-16. This reversal in trend may be attributed to increase in collection under service tax.

The time series data also estimates that the gross tax receipts before reducing refunds made through the year rose 17 per cent to ?10,12,506 crore, the highest jump seen since 2010-11. This included a 24 per cent jump in self-assessment tax (a bulk of which is taxes paid by unincorporated businesses), 14 per cent rise in tax deducted at source (TDS) and 15 per cent increase in advance tax payments.

Incidentally, TDS growth has slowed from 22 per cent reported for 2015-16, while advance tax payments growth has risen from 9 per cent reported then. TDS accounted for 36 per cent of the taxes collected in the last fiscal year and advances taxes accounted for 41 per cent. Income tax laws require a bulk of the taxes on incomes of individuals and businesses to be paid in advance on a quarterly basis.

The Income Tax Department has estimated the number of assesses for 2016-17 at 6.27 crore, of which about 95 per cent or 5.93 crore were individual assessees. The number of assessees grew just about 2 per cent from 2015-16.

On State-wise basis, Maharashtra continued to contribute a bulk of the direct taxes, accounting for about 37 per cent of the collection. Delhi accounted for 12.8 per cent of the taxes collected and Karnataka about 10.1 per cent.

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