India spends 57 paise to collect every Rs 100 of income tax

By DECCAN CHRONICLE | dc correspondent

3 February 2023

HYDERABAD: In what must come as a revelation, the cost to collect income-tax in India is the second lowest in the world. “We spend just 57 paise to collect every hundred rupees in income-tax,” said Shishir Agarwal, Chief Commissioner of Incom-Tax, Hyderabad, here on Thursday.

Addressing a seminar hosted by FTCCI, ‘Post Union Budget: Implication for trade and industries,’  in their Red Hills office, Agarwal said that the UK spendt 73 paise, Japan 174 paise, Germany 135, Canada 150 and France 111.  “Only the USA spends less than us,” he said.

“I come from a department which people love to hate. No one wants us to visit them in our official capacity.  But, we are doing really well. The numbers reflect our performance. For 2021-22, we have collected an all-time high tax. The net direct tax collections (income-tax and corporate tax) reached an all-time high of Rs 14.09 lakh crore. This year also has been good at Rs 14.08 lakh crore from April to December, which is 24 per cent higher than the previous year."

The I-T commissioner said, “We are now quicker in providing refunds than ever before. Around 65 per cent of I-T returns that were filed were processed and refunded within 24 hours of filing.”

He said that the country had moved to a faceless tax process, which was a first in the world.  "We understand tax payers’ aspirations and bring tailor-made initiatives for tax payers' benefit for a better tomorrow.  India’s time has come now," Agarwal added.

Terming the Union Budget as ‘progressive’, Agarwal said that it was in tune with the Centre's policies and Vision 2047 and moving to a new tax regime that would be simple and more transparent.

In his address, D.P. Naidu, commissioner, Central tax, Secunderabad commissionerate, said it was a budget of openness. “There have been no surprises and shocks unlike in the past. When I joined the department 30 years back, more legislative changes were proposed in the Budget,” he said.

He said that the Union finance minister had made a sincere effort in simplifying indirect taxes compliance, encouraging exports and manufacture of green products. He said that a reduction in customs duty on lithium batteries, mobile phones components and others will boost their manufacture in a phased manner.

"Except for a few legislative changes, not many changes were made to GST. This will also help to have a stable revenue from GST, which now stands at Rs 1.5 lakh crore,” he added.

"It is not an election budget nor an annual budget but one that lays the foundation for the next 25 years," said Hari Govind Prasad, chairman, direct taxes committee of FTCCI.  It is a neutral budget, said V.S. Sudhir, chairman, GST & Customs committee of FTCCI. The budget should not have been silent on setting up GST tribunals. The taxpayers were hopeful of its announcement in the budget, he said.

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