Reflecting the economic boom, and perhaps better compliance, income tax collections have increased by 42 per cent since the beginning of the current financial year till December 16, 2006 as compared to collections for the same period in the previous fiscal.
This was disclosed by the chairperson of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Baljeet Matiyani here on Wednesday.
Matiyani, who a few years ago was income tax chief commissioner, Vidarbha, was in the city to inaugurate the induction course of the 60th batch of Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officers at the National Academy of Direct Taxes (NADT).
Talking to newsmen after the inaugural ceremony, Matiyani said income tax collections stood at Rs 1,12,937 crore till December 16 against Rs 79,511 crore for the same period in the last financial year. With the terrific increase, the department is confident of easily achieving the budget target of Rs 2,10,000 crore for the financial year 2006-07.
Matiyani said that the department failed to achieve the target of Rs 1,70,000 crore in the last fiscal by a whisker by reaching Rs 1,66,000 crore. The Rs 4,000-crore shortfall will be more than made up this year.
Giving a break-up of the tax collections so far, Matiyani said that corporate tax collections stood at Rs 65,916 crore till December 16, 2006 while personal tax collections were at Rs 43,310 crore.
She said that direct tax collections should surpass indirect tax collections by the next financial year.
Matiyani admitted the fact that several assessees were still hesitant to reveal their bank account details while filing their tax returns. The department will be taking steps to see that this practice is discouraged, she said. If a persons credentials are right he should have no hesitation in mentioning his bank account number. Only when there is some malicious intention an assessee may refrain from doing so, said Matiyani.
She said that as the practice had been introduced recently, it could take to imbibe it completely. The department is not currently verifying as to how many people have mentioned bank account details but when a system comes into place we will naturally have all such figures and the data with us, she said adding that the department would then be able to initiate action against those it believed were trying to evade their tax liability.
Matiyani also noted that the refund banker concept would take sometime to implement in its entirety. Refund bankers are those banks which have the responsibility to return the balance amount of advance tax paid by assessees. Previously, this work was being done by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) but now several other banks have been given the responsibility to work as refund bankers.
She said that the entire procedure of calculating the refund of each individual case requires co-ordination of a number of offices like the RBI, the accountant generals office etc, and that this was a time consuming process.
This work is currently on and once it is completed, Ill be able to part with some information, she said.
On further computerisation in the department, Matiyani said that the work on connecting all Income Tax offices across the country had begun and should be complete by the end of 2007.