New Delhi: Net direct tax collection in the April-February period of 2017-18 showed a robust 19.5% growth from the year-ago period to Rs7.44 trillion as a result of the government’s push to widen the tax base and boost revenue.

The receipts so far this fiscal account for about three-fourths of the revised estimate of total direct tax collection for the full year of Rs10.05 trillion, said an official statement.

The growth rate of gross direct tax receipts before adjusting for tax refunds is a tad lower at 14.5% on account of a change in the refund cycle. Gross collections so far this year stand at Rs8.83 trillion. The tax department has issued refunds of Rs1.39 trillion so far this year.

Direct tax receipts showed strong growth as the government added more taxpayers and employed intensive data analysis to check evasion. In the current fiscal, total direct tax receipts are projected to account for more than half of the government’s total tax revenue while indirect tax receipts from Goods and Services Tax (GST) suffered on account of tax rate cuts and compliance challenges.

To further widen the tax base, finance minister Arun Jaitley introduced a 10% tax on capital gains from sale of listed equity shares above Rs1 lakh and restrictions on cash spending of trusts in the 2018-19 budget.

In line with the policy goal of a wider tax base and moderate tax rates, the minister also allowed tax incentives to individuals, including a Rs40,000 standard deduction for salaried persons and higher deductions for senior citizens on their healthcare expenditure.

Net corporate tax receipts grew 19.7% and personal income tax at 18.6% in the first 11 months of this fiscal from a year ago, said the tax department statement.

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