Seventeen high net worth individuals in the country owing more than Rs1,000 crore in tax dues, owe a whopping Rs214,000 crore to the exchequer, while 35 companies have piled up Rs90,568 crore in tax dues.
The individual tax dues are more than double the amount of total tax dues worth Rs90,568 crore outstanding against 35 companies in this category (with outstanding tax arrears of over Rs1,000 crore each), Parliament was informed today.
These individuals and companies together owe Rs304,568 crore in tax dues, accounting for more than a third of the overall direct tax arrears (including the demand not fallen due), which stood at Rs8,27,680 crore as of 1 April 2015, minister stated.
The number of taxpayers owing more than Rs10 crore in taxes to the government rose by about 69 per cent to 4,692 in three years ended March 2015.
While disclosing these during Rajya Sabha question hour, Sinha also said that a large proportion of the large-size outstanding tax arrears may not have been collected due to various reasons.
Sinha said action for recovery of this outstanding demand is taken in accordance with the provisions of the Income Tax Act on a continuous basis.
"However, a large proportion of these demands may not be collected" as the demand has been raised in March 2015 and has not fallen due or the demand may have become difficult to recover, the minister added.
During fiscal 2014-15, overall tax collection of Rs36,593 crore was made up from the arrears, he said.
The number of taxpayers who owe taxes above Rs10 crore during 2012-13 stood at 2,777 while in 2013-14 this number has fallen to 2,367, he pointed out.
Sinha also said that the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) continuously monitors recovery in cases of outstanding arrear demand. The agency has issued detailed guidelines relating to recovery of outstanding demand.