Officials said the instructions were issued last week after a high-level ‘video conference’ meeting chaired by Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairperson Anita Kapur along with other Members of the board and top officials of the I-T department from across the country.
The board, according to sources, asked I-T officials to bolster their efforts and give special emphasis on tax collections under the Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) and Advance Tax categories.
Officials said the growth in TDS collections is less by 50 per cent this time as compared to the last period. In the 2013-14 financial year, the growth under this head was 16.73 per cent while in the current fiscal of 2014-15 the growth percentage is just 7.84 per cent.
The CBDT, the apex policy making body of the I-T department, also asked the taxman to ensure that those assessees who have made “handsome” self-assessment tax declarations should be tapped to deposit it as advance tax so that the figures could be collated and reflected in this fiscal, which will end December 31.
The budgeted target under the direct tax category is fixed at Rs 7.36 lakh crore for the current fiscal and as per the CBDT it has collected Rs 5,46,661 crore till January 23.
In order to ensure better TDS and Advance Tax collections, the sources said, I-T officials have been asked to make on-spot visits to defaulting organisations and also interact with officials and individuals responsible under the established official mechanism in this regard.
“The contribution of TDS to the overall gross direct taxes collections during 2013-14 fiscal was Rs 2,71,069 crore. This is a 17.88 per cent growth over the collections shown under this head from Rs 2,29,943 crore during 2012-13. Thus, the TDS category contributes over 37 per cent to the gross direct taxes collections, emphasising its ever growing importance,” a vision statement of the I-T department said.
The department is also facing a big challenge on this front because of the issuance of large amounts of refunds.
“The department, however, is confident of achieving and even surpassing the budgeted tax target despite issuing refunds,” a senior I-T officer said.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley have been talking about large number of refunds being given out by I-T authorities.
The government has also said actual tax mobilisation through direct and indirect taxes in current financial year would depend on factors such as growth in GDP and performance of the economy in the remaining part of the current fiscal.
In the current fiscal, the government has budgeted to collect over Rs 13.6 lakh crore as tax revenue, which requires a 16 per cent growth in direct taxes and 20 per cent growth in indirect taxes to meet the target.