Economy

FinMin sets monthly target of ₹1.1-lakh cr GST mop up

Shishir Sinha New Delhi | Updated on December 17, 2019 Published on December 17, 2019

The Income Tax department is looking to boost the tax collection (File photo)   -  iStockphoto

Revenue Dept stepping up effort to improve collections in the rest of the fiscal year

With a high possibility of fiscal slippage, the Finance Ministry has drawn a fresh strategy to boost the tax collection during the remaining period of the current fiscal ending on March 31, 2020.

Data shows that the net direct tax collection for the period from April to November was Rs 5.56 lakh crore, as against Rs 5.47 lakh crore. Similarly, the net GST collection (CGST+IGST+Compensation cess) was Rs 3.98 lakh crore as against Rs 5.82 lakh crore during last fiscal.

These figures are below expectations and there is strong possibility that the fiscal deficit might widen at least 50 basis points (100 basis points means one percentage point) more than the budget estimate of 3.3 per cent of GDP (Gross Domestic Product).

Setting targets

According to sources, Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey chaired a meeting with all the Members of the Boards – CBIC (Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs) and CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes), Principal Chief Commissioners and Chief Commissioners and other senior officers. He is learnt to have told them that the GST target for the next four collection months are put at Rs 1.10 lakh crore for every month, besides the target of Rs 1.25 lakh crore for one of these four months.

Also read: Finance Minister sets Rs 1.1 lakh crore monthly GST collection target

Sources also mentioned that Revenue Department is taking measures to augment revenue collections for the next four collection months and has exhorted its senior officers, including Members of the Boards — CBIC and CBDT, Principal Chief Commissioners and Chief Commissioners — and other field machinery to achieve tax targets both for direct and indirect taxes.

“Officers have been particularly urged to ensure that during such field enforcement drive and visits, no taxpayer is overreached or troubled,” one of the sources said on the condition of anonymity.

It was clarified to the officers that the corporate taxes relief worth Rs 1.45 lakh crore should not be taken as an excuse for lesser direct tax collection target. Officers must exhort themselves to reach the target of Rs.13.5 lakh crore in the direct taxes as well.

Field visits

The senior officers including Members of the Boards — CBIC and CBDT, Principal Chief Commissioners and Chief Commissioners — and other field machinery were urged to make field visits on a regular basis every week.

“The Revenue Secretary, despite pressures of budget preparation, will himself be visiting across the regions every weekend to monitor and peruse the collections efforts,” source added.

The plan

The plan is that information regarding GST, income tax and other financial dealings will be shared, and the tax evaders will be brought to book.

If any taxpayer has missed out on sharing the correct tax information, s/he will be asked to file the revised return. Efforts are to exhort officers at all levels to maximise tax collection, and at the same time ensure that genuine taxpayers are not troubled or harassed.

Source confirmed that the GST officers have been told to make sure if the GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B are filed by the taxpayers, failing which strict action will be taken against them. These include blocking of e-way bill, blocking input tax credits and cancellation of registration.

The industry and traders have been advised to ask their suppliers to file their GST returns, including GSTR-1, in a timely manner, failing which buyers may not able to get input tax credits on those supplies for which tax has not been paid by their suppliers.

Also, the data from the GST return information will be provided to income tax departments, so that any cases of suppression of turnover and income tax can be detected, and proper tax can be recovered.

Further, a drive will also be conducted to recover past arrears during the next three months.

Published on December 17, 2019
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