Despite the overall gloom in the economy, advance tax collections from the top 100 companies were higher by 10 per cent for the September quarter, according to a senior tax department official.
The country’s largest bank, State Bank of India, led for a consecutive quarter, with advance tax outgo of Rs 1,820 crore compared with Rs 1,650 crore in the same period last year. HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank also paid higher taxes, at Rs 1,100 crore and Rs 815 crore, respectively. Standard Chartered Bank's tax outgo was marginally higher at Rs 475 core against Rs 450 crore in the same period last year. HSBC paid Rs 500 crore and Citibank paid advance tax of Rs 400 crore.
Companies are supposed to pay 30 per cent of total advance tax in this quarter. Reliance Industries, the largest company by market capitalisation, paid lower advance tax of Rs 1,530 crore against 1,800 crore last year. Life Insurance Corporation paid Rs 1,300 crore as advance tax this quarter, compared with Rs 1,160 crore in the year-ago period.
“Profits are certainly under pressure,” said Naresh Makhijani, partner at KPMG. “But companies are looking at strategies to cut costs, which have given a boost to their profits. Hence, companies have paid higher advance tax this quarter.”
Housing Development Finance Corporation paid Rs 560 crore as taxes compared with Rs 480 crore in the same period last year. Cement major UltraTech had a tax outflow of Rs 200 crore, up from Rs 100 crore last year. However, Crompton Greaves paid advance tax of Rs 42 crore against Rs 75 crore last year.
Tata Consultancy Services, the country’s largest information technology services provider, paid Rs 812 crore for the July-September quarter, compared with Rs 600 crore last year. In the pharmaceutical space, Lupin paid Rs 99 crore as taxes (Rs 39 crore last year). Glenmark Generics’ advance tax outflow was a tad lower at Rs 15 crore (Rs 18 crore). Cipla paid advance tax of Rs 80 crore.
Tata Power’s tax outflow was a tad higher at Rs 75 crore, from Rs 70 crore earlier. Godrej Consumer Products’ taxes fell to Rs 32 crore from Rs 40 crore in the same quarter of 2011-12.