India May Get Shortest Tax Collection In Two Decades

The country’s corporate and income tax collection for the current fiscal year is likely to fall for the first time in at least two decades, according to a foreign new agency which quoted several senior finance officials “amid a sharp fall in economic growth and cut in corporate tax rates”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government was targetting direct tax collection of Rs 13.5 lakh crore for the year ending March 31 – a 17 per cent increase over the prior fiscal year, Reuters, the new agency report, stated.

However, a sharp decline in demand has stung businesses, forcing companies to cut investment and jobs, denting tax collections and prompting the government to forecast 5 per cent growth for this fiscal year – the slowest in 11 years, according to the Reuters report.

The tax department had managed to collect only Rs 7.3 lakh crore as of January 23, more than 5.5 per cent below the amount collected by the same point last year, said the agency quoting a senior tax official.

After collecting taxes from companies in advance for the first three quarters, officials typically garner about 30-35 per cent of annual direct taxes in the final three months, data from the past three years shows.

But eight senior tax officials interviewed by Reuters said despite their best efforts direct tax collections this financial year were likely to fall below the Rs 11.5 lakh crore collected in 2018-19.

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