Advance tax payments up 40% in Q1 as demonetisation, stepped up scrutiny bite

Advance tax payments by individuals for the first quarter of the current financial year (April-June 2017-18) rose more than 40 per cent from the June quarter of the previous financial year as the demonetisation and increased government scrutiny narrowed the scope for non-compliance.

Advance payment of personal income tax was up 40.26 per cent in the April-June quarter at Rs8,682 crore against Rs6,190 crore during the comparable quarter last year. Self-assessment tax collection saw a jump of 31 per cent in the first quarter.

The number of taxpayers has also gone up from 50 million to 60 million, an increase of 10 million or 20 per cent, which is expected to increase further during the current assessment year.

In fact, the number of returns filed up to June have increased by 15 per cent as more people pay self-assessment tax. The deadline for filing income tax returns for FY17 is 31 July.

The government expects the numbers to swell next year because of the goods and services tax (GST), which came into force on 1 July.

Direct tax collections up to June 2017 stood at Rs1,42,000 crore, showing a growth of 14.8 per cent higher than the net collections for the corresponding period of last year. This, however, represents only 14.5 per cent of the total budget estimates of Rs9,80,000 crore for the full fiscal 2017-18.

Gross collection of corporate income tax grew 4.8 per cent, while collection of personal income tax, including securities transaction tax rose 12.9 per cent. However, after adjusting for refunds, the net growth in corporate tax collections stood at 22.4 per cent while that of personal oincome tax stood at 8.5 per cent.

Refunds amounting to Rs55,520 crore have been issued during April-June 2017, which is 5.2 per cent lower than the refunds issued during corresponding period of the 2016-17 fiscal.

An amount of Rs58,783 crore has been received as advance tax up to 30 June 2017, reflecting a growth of 11.9 per cent over the advance tax payments of the corresponding period last year. The growth in corporate advance tax stood at 8.1 per cent while advance personal income tax payments rose 40.3 per cent.