Corporate advance tax collections this quarter went up by 15 per cent with State Bank of India and Life Insurance Corporation continuing to lead the numbers.
State Bank of India, the country's largest bank, led the pack despite paying lower advance tax compared to last year. This quarter the bank paid Rs 1,701 crore compared to Rs 1,730 crore last year. Life Insurance Corporation of India, the country's largest insurer paid Rs 1,297 crore.
Among private and foreign banks, HDFC Bank has paid the highest advance tax of Rs 1,000 crore compared to Rs 900 crore last year, while its peer ICICI Bank Rs 675 crore compared to Rs 500 crore. Standard Chartered Bank tax outflow stood at Rs 490 crore whereas Deustche Bank’s payout doubled at Rs 300 core from Rs 150 crore in the same period last year.
“If regular collections also witness a rise then we will be able to meet this year's target,” said a senior income tax official. This financial year's target is pegged at Rs 1.78 lakh crore while the target for corporate tax collection is Rs 1.25 lakh crores.
In the pharma space, Lupin paid significantly taxes of Rs 133 crore compared to Rs 43 crore last year, while Cipla saw a rise of 31.5 per cent at Rs 125 crore. Glaxo Smith was higher at Rs 90 crore this quarter. While Tata Motors has not pay any this quarter, Mahindra & Mahindra paid Rs 295 crore compared to Rs 207 crore in the same quarter last year.
“There has been a slight revival in the economic environment also, companies are conservative in the first half of the fiscal. Once they get more clarity on their rsults they pay higher taxes in the second half of the year,” said Krishan Malhotra, head taxation at Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A. Shroff & Co.
Among metal companies JSW Steel's advance tax outflow was Rs 130 core compared to Rs 50 crore last year, while Tata Steel's tax outflow was down by 52 per cent to Rs 520 crore.
Cement companies have also paid higher advance tax this quarter, Tech, the cement major under the Aditya Birla Group paid lower taxes at Rs 250 crores compared to Rs 200 crore last year. Ambuja Cement paid taxes worth Rs 150 crore and ACC Cement paid Rs 112 crore.
Advance tax is paid by companies in four instalments (in June, September, December and March) based on an assessment of their profits during the quarter. Advance tax out flows is likely to have drained Rs 50,000 crore to Rs 60,000 crore liquidity from the system.
TCS, India's largest software exporter saw its tax outflow at Rs 810 crore compared to Rs 530 crore last year, while Tech Mahindra's tax outflow remained stagnant at Rs 60 crore.
FMCG major Hindustan Unilever paid the IT department advance tax of Rs 450 crore compared to Rs 290 crore last year while Colgate paid Rs 60 crore compared to 39 crore in December quarter of the previously financial year.
Oil refining and marketing company Indian Oil Corporation, the largest fuel retailer has not paid the advance tax department, while Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd has paid Rs 201 crore. The National Stock Exchange paid higher advance tax of Rs 41 crore, compared to Rs 39 crore in the same period last year.