The finance ministry has set a "realistic target" of 15 per cent growth in direct tax collection at Rs 13.80 trillion for next year, which is lower than the 20 per cent increase estimated in the current fiscal, Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey said on Monday.
The Interim Budget 2019-20 has estimated to collect Rs 13.80 trillion from direct taxes, which include Corporate tax and Personal Income Tax, compared to Rs 12 trillion in the current fiscal -- representing a growth of 15 per cent.
"For three successive years, if you had a good revenue growth, then at some time you have to make a realistic estimate because any increase that you do is on a much higher base," Pandey told PTI.
The increase in the direct tax collection was 15 per cent in 2016-17, 18 per cent in 2017-18, and 19.76 per cent in 2018-19. The mop-up was Rs 8.50 trillion in 2016-17, Rs 10.02 trillion in 2017-18 and is estimated at Rs 12 trillion in the current fiscal (2018-19).
"If you see our past record, the nominal GDP growth rate as 10-11 per cent, whereas we collected 18 per cent, before that 15 per cent direct taxes. This year we are trying to collect around 20 per cent and next year we have given estimate of 15 per cent. So 3 years -- 18 per cent, 20 per cent, 15 per cent, whereas the nominal growth rate was 10-11 per cent."
"We have achieved those numbers. Now, based on our experience in the last few years, the way we are adding new taxpayers, we are increasing our tax-base, without increasing the tax rates. Also, because of formalisation and digitisation, we are quite hopeful that we will achieve the number which we have given," Pandey said.
Finance Minister Piyush Goyal in the Budget had said that the NDA government in the last five years had reduced tax rates, more for the common man and middle class, and made the interface with the tax department much simpler and largely faceless.
"Due to this, the tax collections increased significantly from Rs 6.38 trillion in 2013-14 to almost Rs 12 trillion this year. The number of returns filed have also increased from 37.9 million to 68.5 million showing 80 per cent growth in tax base," Goyal said.