Direct tax collections up 15.8% in fiscal first half

Net direct tax collections of the centre increased by 15.8 per cent in April-September 2017-18 to Rs3,86,000 crore, helped by better compliance by certain non-corporate assessees.

Collections for the fiscal first half represents 39.4 per cent of the total budget estimate of direct taxes for 2017-18 (Rs9,80,000 crore) while net tax collections in the first half of the previous year stood at  38.65 per cent of the budgeted amount for the full 2016-17 fiscal.

The higher net tax collections could be attributed to an expansion of the personal income-tax payer base post demonetisation and the effect of GST implementation, according to tax experts, who point out that tax collections in the first half of last fiscal rose only 8.95 per cent.

Gross tax collections in the April-September 2017-18 period (before adjusting for refunds) have increased by 10.3 per cent to Rs4,66,000 crore. Refunds amounting to Rs79,660 crore were issued in the April-September 2017-18 period, according to an official release.

Till August, net indirect tax collections were 17.5 per cent higher.

While there has been a slowdown in economic activity, tax collections seem to be staying firm for the moment. At the end of September, the growth in advance tax collections was estimated at 11.5 per cent, compared to 11.9 per cent by June-end, the quarter in which growth moderated to a three-year low of 5.7 per cent. Advance taxes are seen as an early indicator of economic activity.

The growth of advance tax collections in corporate income tax (CIT) stood at 8.1 per cent and that in personal income tax (PIT) it a very high 30.1 per cenr.

Tax experts feel that the centre is well on course to meet its ambitious Budget estimate for direct tax collections this year.'