Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday, attributed Goods and Services Tax (GST) for a significant jump in the tax collection and in the number of tax payers. Mr Jaitley said in a Facebook post that the total number of income tax returns filed stood at 6.86 crore in fiscal 2018. The number of new assesses who filed the tax returns last fiscal were 1.06 crore, he informed. Importantly, there has been a gross increase of 44 per cent in the personal tax category and 17 per cent in the corporate tax category, he said.
This is what Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said ahead of GST's one-year anniversary:
Advance tax rise: The first big news for this year is that the advance tax deposit during the first quarter of this year has seen a gross increase of 44 per cent in the personal income tax category and 17 per cent in the corporate tax category. Since GST had been imposed in the middle of the year, it will be more apparent this year. After repayment of refunds due to some excess tax paid in earlier years, which are usually paid back in the first quarter, the net amount would be somewhat lesser.
Boosting growth: If the trend of higher tax collection continues in the next three quarters, one expects a significant increase in the direct tax collection this year. The first indication is that the spending is higher, consumption is higher and corporate houses are seeing increased sales and a greater prospect of profitability.
Widening of tax net: Since more people have come into the income tax net, there has been an increase in the total amount of collections. The impact of GST is visible this year in widening of the tax net. This unprecedented taxation growth is a result of the anti-black money measures, use of technology, demonetisation and the GST. This is just the medium-term impact of some of these measures. The long-term impact would be significantly higher. Large tax collection would enable us to continue with the developmental programmes in the country, not to impose any extra burden on the taxpayers and yet maintain the targeted fiscal deficit.
Tax collection rose significantly: India's tax to GDP ratio in four years rose by almost 1.5 per cent. In four years, the number of assesses increased by 64.6 per cent. The total number of returns filed was 6.86 crore in fiscal 2018. The number of new assesses who filed returns in fiscal 2018 were 1.06 crore. The total income tax collection for the year 2017-18 is Rs.10.02 lakh crore, a four year increase of 57 per cent. Last year, the income tax collection managed to grow by over 18 per cent.