Government banks on advance tax to meet direct tax target

New Delhi: In the wake of sluggish tax collection for the current fiscal, the government has now turned to advance tax collection numbers to meet the revised Budget target of Rs 12 lakh crore for 2018-19. According to sources, efforts are being made to make up for the shortfall in direct tax collection, but the revised target seems to be daunting. The government had earlier estimated Rs 11.5 lakh crore mop-up from direct tax collection.

The increase of Rs 50,000 crore in the interim Budget 2019-20 has made the task of achieving the revised target a difficult proposition for the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), sources said adding the shortfall seems to be imminent. However, the clarity on the exact quantum of shortfall would emerge only after the final figure of advance tax collection comes, sources said.

Net direct tax collection during April-January of this fiscal stood at Rs 7.89 lakh crore against Rs 12 lakh crore targeted for the entire fiscal. To meet the shortfall, CBDT chairman P C Mody held a meeting with senior tax officials to review collection figures ahead of the deadline of advance tax payment on Friday.

Besides, the board has been issuing an advisory asking the taxpayers to pay the fourth and last installment of advance tax for the current fiscal. Under the Income Tax Act, any assessee, including salaried employee whose estimated tax liability for a year exceeds Rs 10,000 needs to pay advance tax.

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