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Corporates can now file TDS returns online — Infosys first to use tax info network facility

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The Finance Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, launching the Tax Information Network (TIN) with Mr. Vijay Kelkar, Advisor to the Finance Minister, in the Capital on Wednesday. — Kamal Narang

New Delhi , Jan. 21

INFOSYS Technologies Ltd has become the first company to file an e-TDS return through the national Tax Information Network (TIN). The network was officially launched by the Finance Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, here today.

Speaking to newspersons, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the software major, Mr Mohandas Pai, noted that in the normal course, "we would have had to submit documents weighing some 150 kg, which would include 20,000-odd TDS certificates of our employees, contractors and other stakeholders, besides 70,000 pages of accompanying papers".

"Now, it has become possible for us file this entire information on a single compact disc," Mr Pai pointed out.

He said that "my company pays taxes and files returns in about 12 countries, but the system that has been launched today is easily the most sophisticated and state-of-the-art one".

TIN, which is being managed by the National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL), facilitates dematerialisation of tax payments and refunds, with a capacity to handle returns of up to 50 million assesses. Finance Act, 2003 makes it compulsory for corporate deductors to file online their TDS returns for 2002-03.

"It has taken nearly a year for TIN to take off because we were breaking into entirely new ground and wanted to establish a truly world-class system. All credit for this goes to the Income-Tax Department and NSDL," Mr Singh said.

The Finance Ministry has extended the last date for filing of e-TDS returns by corporates to March 31.

Mr Singh used the occasion to also announce the appointment of NSDL as an agency authorised to receive Permanent Account Number (PAN) applications and also issue PAN cards.

Currently, UTI Investor Service Ltd (UTIISL) is the sole agency entrusted with the responsibility of receiving and processing applications and despatching PAN cards to assesses.

The Finance Minister felt that there was scope for lowering the service charge of Rs 60 that UTIISL was now collecting for each application. As on December 31, 2003, UTIISL had issued 24.66 lakh PAN cards, against the 28.52 lakh applications received by it.

The company had set a target of processing 50 lakh applications in the current fiscal, which would have generated business worth Rs 30 crore.

Direct tax collection may top estimates

THE Finance Ministry expects total direct tax mop-up during 2003-04 to exceed the Budget estimate by around Rs 6,000 crore.

According to the Revenue Secretary, Ms Vineeta Rai, net corporation tax collections during the current fiscal till January 15, 2003 amounted to Rs 38,869 crore, representing a 33 per cent jump over the Rs 29,233 crore figure for the same period of 2003-04.

The increase was lower in the case of personal income-tax, from Rs 25,116 crore to Rs 27,892 crore.

"There has been a massive growth in tax refunds (from Rs 17,207 crore to Rs 23,723 crore) due to the Government's conscious decision to return back the money owed by it to the tax-payer as soon as possible," she said. But even after the less-than-expected growth in net personal income-tax collections on account of refunds, the sheer buoyancy in corporation tax revenues will enable the total direct tax mop-up to exceed the budget estimate by Rs 6,000 crore.

The Budget estimate for corporation tax collections during 2003-04 is Rs 51,499 crore, while that for personal income-tax being Rs 44,070 crore.

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