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Net direct tax collections up 17.63%, exceed revised estimates target

Representational file image.

Representational file image.
| Photo Credit: S. Siva Saravanan

India’s net direct tax collections have risen 17.63% in 2022-23 to touch ₹16.61 lakh crore, as per provisional data released by the Finance Ministry on April 3, exceeding the revised estimates target for the year by 0.7%.

The contribution of corporate tax collections in the gross direct tax kitty was ₹10.04 lakh crore, just a tad higher than the ₹9.61 lakh crore paid by taxpayers as personal Income Tax and Securities Transaction Tax (STT).

At a gross level, the share of personal income tax and STT to the tax kitty has touched 48.9% in 2022-23 compared to around 47.4% in 2021-22, while corporate tax accounted for just 51.1% in the year gone by as opposed to 52.6% in 2021-22.

Moreover, the growth in corporate tax collections was also lower than revenues collected from personal income taxpayers, combined with STT inflows. The gross corporate tax kitty had risen 16.9% in the year, while personal income tax and STT yielded a growth of 24.23%.

The Ministry said gross tax collections grew 20.33% to ₹19.68 lakh crore in 2022-23, compared to ₹16.36 lakh crore in the previous financial year. Tax refunds jumped at a sharper 37.4% year-on-year to a little over ₹3.07 lakh crore from ₹2,23,658 crore in 2021-22.

Higher growth

Data shared by the Ministry on gross corporate and personal tax collections along with STT, however, put 2021-22 collections from these taxes at ₹16.32 lakh crore and the 2022-23 kitty at about ₹19.65 lakh crore, signalling a higher 20.38% growth.

When contacted for a clarification, a spokesperson said: “These are provisional figures only and other taxes will also need to be factored in.”

“The Budget Estimates [BE] for direct tax revenue in the Union Budget for FY 2022-23 were fixed at ₹14.20 lakh crore which were revised and the Revised Estimates [RE] were fixed at ₹16.50 lakh crore. The provisional direct tax collections [net of the refunds] have exceeded the BE by 16.97% and RE by 0.69%,” the Finance Ministry said.

Net direct tax collections had grown a little over 49% to ₹14.12 lakh crore in 2021-22. As of March 10, 2023, the net direct tax kitty had grown around 16.8% to ₹13.73 lakh crore over the corresponding period of last year. While officials expected the full year growth rate to moderate from that level, the provisional higher growth rate of 17.6% came as a pleasant surprise to most analysts.

“Data accumulation tools deployed by the tax department which leads to taxpayer data being pulled and automatically reconciled, along with the expansion of tax deduction and tax collection at source [TDS and TCS] provisions to track transactions from the source through the value chain, appear to be leading to substantial gains in collections,” said Vivek Jalan, partner, Tax Connect Advisory.

“The momentum is certainly welcome as it should lead to greater confidence in the outlook for the new financial year,” said Deloitte India president (tax) Gokul Chaudhri.

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