The Centre’s direct tax collections are booming and are on course to meet the Budget Estimates for 2018-19, a top CBDT official said.
For the current fiscal, the Centre has pegged the Budget Estimate for direct taxes at ₹11.5 lakh crore.
“Going by the current trend, I will certainly achieve BE. We are very hopeful because personal tax collections are robust,” Sushil Chandra, Chairman, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), told BusinessLine on the sidelines of CII’s international tax conference.
He was responding to a question on whether CBDT was confident of surpassing the Budget Estimates for current fiscal.
Asked where this optimism came from, Chandra said the Centre had already till date collected 48 percent of the BE for the current fiscal. “We are now at the same stage (about 48 percent) as last year. There are two more advance tax instalments (December 15 and March 15) to go. We should comfortably make it,” he added.
Chandra also highlighted that demonetisation was very good for boosting direct tax revenues as it helped in widening the tax net and deepening the tax base. Gross tax revenue growth has been at 16.5 per cent and net has been at 14.5 per cent, which shows demonetisation has helped. Chandra also highlighted that CBDT has, so far this fiscal, received 6.08 crore returns, reflecting a 50 per cent increase over the returns filed at the same stage last year. Filing of corporate tax returns has seen a sharp increase to 8 lakh. In the last four years, the number of income-tax return filers has gone up 65 per cent, Chandra added.
Foreign info flow
Chandra also said that India was receiving automatic information flow from over 70 countries. If any individual does not disclose his foreign bank accounts in his return, the Tax Department will take action against the person involved.
He also said India was ready to further improve its advance pricing agreement (APA) programme. So far, India has entered into 245 APAs, providing tax certainty for as many as nine years for each multinational party that has signed the APA.