Direct tax collections are showing “good buoyancy” so far till the end of August, with net collections at Rs 4.8 lakh crore having achieved one-third of the Budget target for financial year 2022-23, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman Nitin Gupta said. In an interview with Aanchal Magazine, Gupta said that out of the overall collections, about Rs 10,000 crore has been collected as securities transaction tax and going ahead, if this trend continues, tax collections may exceed Budget targets. Edited excerpts:
What has been the direct tax revenue trend so far? What are your expectations for the whole year in terms of direct tax targets. Is the buoyancy better than last year?
The Budget collection targets laid down Rs 14.20 lakh crore. As against that, we have a very healthy net collections as of now of around Rs 4.8 lakh crore, up from Rs 3.6 lakh crore (in corresponding period last year), after accounting for the higher refund outgo of about 80 per cent vis-à-vis last year. So there is a good buoyancy of tax collections so far. And if this trend continues in the second instalment as well, we do expect a fairly good tax collection over and above the Budget targets laid down in the Finance Bill.
What has been the trend in corporate tax because corporate profits have now picked up post pandemic?
Corporate tax, as of now, is growing about 25-26 per cent.
Do you expect it to improve?
Can’t say as of now. Let us see September 15, we will know the better position.
What have been the collections from securities transactions tax?
It stands at about Rs 10,000 crore, up 7.7 per cent from corresponding period last year.
Are there figures about how many companies opted for the new corporate tax regime and how many individuals for the new personal income tax regime?
For the corporate, the new companies which are being registered, we don’t have separate data maintained for that. So I can’t say how many have opted for that. That data is not available per se but I think there is an encouraging trend with an overall growth rate of 26 per cent. So far, it’s quite encouraging. For personal income tax, we don’t have separate data for the people opting for the new regime. We are looking into what has been the outcome of the new regime. We’ll examine that.
On cryptocurrencies, are other actions being planned? How is that segment being monitored?
For crypto, we have already taken note of at the stage of the Finance Bill and legislation for the deduction at tax at source has been introduced. New sections have been introduced to define what are virtual digital assets and the necessary regime for their effective taxation. So, TDS provisions are applicable as of now and we will get the quarterly return from the relevant players in the month of October. So, we will know that real trend from crypto at that point in time.
On the black money front, is there any progress in the exchange of information with other countries or in the probe for Panama and Paradise papers?
These probes are continuing, they are never closed except when everything is explained or the person concerned has been non-resident at that point in time when he made the investment abroad. So these are continuing, it takes a lot of time to obtain information from the foreign jurisdictions. So, we keep on adding into whatever data we get. It’s a work in progress. They do culminate into orders as well.
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Coming to the recent Supreme Court ruling against benami which says that transactions registered till October 25, 2016 will be now null and void. So is it a setback to your campaign against black money?
The campaign against black money is a continuing campaign, we have been working very hard upon it. And a lot of enforcement actions are being taken. The law has been analysed by the honourable Supreme Court and we are analysing the decision. We will take an appropriate call after analysing the decision on how to go about it.
How many cases are going to be affected?
Can’t say because each case will have its own facts when the transactions took place.
We don’t have any data pre or post 2016, statistics is a mixed number.