Reflecting the economy's slowing, gross direct tax collections increased only 7.1 per cent to Rs 325,696 crore during April-November, against Rs 304,002 crore in the same period last year.
Gross direct tax collections from companies saw just a three per cent increase at Rs 205,301 crore during the first eight months of 2012-13, against the Rs 199,317 crore during the same period last year. However, gross personal income tax collections were up 14.9 per cent and stood at Rs 119,736 crore, against Rs 104,176 crore in the corresponding period of 2011-12, the finance ministry said on Tuesday.
Net direct tax collections (after deducting for refunds), the relevant figure for the budget deficit and other key targets, rose 15 per cent to Rs 270,731 crore, compared with Rs 235,333 crore in the same period last year. Though only 47.5 per cent of the Budget estimate of Rs 570,257 crore this year, the growth rate has kept pace with the Budget target of 15 per cent over the actual figures. Now the government will have to collect Rs 299,526 crore in the next four months (December-March) of this financial year.
Growth in net collections of wealth tax was up 27.1 per cent and stood at Rs 619 crore, compared with Rs 487 crore in the period last year.
Reflecting stock market conditions, collections from the Securities Transaction Tax fell 12.8 per cent in the first seven months of this financial year, Rs 2,914 crore against Rs 3,343 crore during the same period last year.
Tax collections have remained subdued this year due to a slowing economy, which grew 5.3 per cent in the second quarter ended September, less than the 5.5 per cent in the first quarter of the current financial year. The growth rate matched that of the fourth quarter of the last financial year, a three-year low. Besides, industrial growth was just 0.1 per cent in the first half of this financial year.
The Kelkar panel on fiscal consolidation had observed that overall tax collections, including indirect taxes, could fall short of the target by Rs 60,000 crore. However, Finance Minister P Chidambaram had said it was the worst-case scenario in the report.
Sensing a shortfall in the target, the finance ministry yesterday asked all income tax assessees to disclose their true income if they did not want a notice from the department. Any concealment of income while filing the returns would not go unnoticed, it said, as the department had collated information on spending and investment patterns of taxpayers. It warned them to file correct returns by Saturday, when the third instalment of advance tax is due.