Shortfall in direct tax mop-up now just 0.7%

Shishir Sinha/Richa Mishra New Delhi | Updated on March 09, 2020 Published on March 09, 2020

Government confident of meeting the revised target

The shortfall in direct tax collection has narrowed to less than one per cent during the current fiscal, making the Income Tax Department hopeful of meeting the revised target.

Direct taxes include personal income tax (PIT) and corporate tax (CT). “As on date, the shortfall is around 0.7 per cent on a year-on-year basis,” a senior government official told BusinessLine. He added that the situation on the personal income tax front is better, but corporate tax still remains a concern. This is despite revenue foregone on account of new measures announced in September last year. The Budget in July last year set a gross income-tax collection target of ₹5.69 lakh crore, which was lowered to ₹5.59 lakh crore in the revised estimate, a figure that was retained in the Budget for 2020-21.

Similarly, the gross collection target for corporate tax was ₹7.66 lakh crore, which was revised to ₹6.10 lakh crore in February. The revised estimate of direct tax for 2019-20 reflects a growth of 2.9 per cent over the previous year. Corporate tax saw a decrease of over ₹1.55 lakh crore over the BE (Budget Estimate).


Now, the tax department is keeping its finger crossed for March 15, which is the last date for the payment of the fourth and final instalment of advance tax. Any corporate or individual taxpayer, having tax liability of ₹10,000 or more, can pay in advance. There are four dates (June 15, September 15, December 15 and March 15) for the payment of instalments.

Twenty-five per cent of advance tax liabilities are to be paid as last instalments. Keeping this in mind, the government is hoping for an improvement in tax collection. Improvement in collection is key to meeting the revised fiscal deficit (the gap between income and expenditure of the government) for the current fiscal. The government has raised the deficit by 50 basis points for the current fiscal.

GST collections

Now, the problem is collection from the Goods & Services Tax (GST) and revenue through disinvestment, which are lower than the original estimate. Hence, actual direct tax collection will be key to achieving the revised deficit target. The gross tax revenue (GTR) has been revised lower to ₹21.63 lakh crore in the Budget, reflecting a decrease of nearly ₹3 lakh crore from the Budget estimate. For the next fiscal – 2020-21 – the GTR is expected to be ₹24.23 lakh crore, which works out to 10.8 per cent of the GDP. Overall, a year-on-year growth of 4 per cent and 12 per cent is expected in 2019-20 and 2020-21, respectively

The direct tax collection target has also been revised to ₹13.19 lakh crore in 2020-21, whereas indirect tax collection is budgeted at nearly ₹11 lakh crore, which, as a percentage of the GDP, works out to be 5.9 per cent and 4.9 per cent, respectively. Direct tax collections are anticipated to reach 6 per cent of the GDP in 2022-23.

Published on March 09, 2020

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