FM Warning to Taxpayers Leads to Higher Mopup

Finance ministrys stern warnings to corporates and service providers and threatening letters to the thousands of taxpayers seems to have worked. Despite the sluggish economy,tax collections have accelerated in the last month of the financial year helping the government exceed its revised tax estimates for the year.”We will exceed the revised estimates marginally by.2,000 crore -. 3,000 crore… The letters sent out by tax authorities had their impact, a senior finance ministry official told ET, adding that a clear picture will be available by April 10. In his February 28 budget for 2013-14, finance minister P Chidambaram had revised down gross tax collection target by about.40,000 crore to.10.38 lakh crore. Even the revised target had looked steep,but a collection drive by both the indirect tax and direct tax departments has helped minister exceed the revised estimates.The income tax department had issued letters to over 70,000 assesses seeking reasons why they had not filed income tax returns.Many of them subsequently filed returns and paid up tax.Chidambaram had said that when the final numbers come in the fiscal deficit could come out better than the revised 5.2% of GDP,which looks very likely now with tax revenues exceeding the revised estimates. The final expenditure is also likely to be lower than the revised estimates,helping the government improve upon the fiscal deficit target.After revising the fiscal deficit target upwards in middle of the financial year to 5.3% of GDP against 5.1% estimated in the previous budget,the government presented an improved number of 5.2 % in the budget for 2013-14. Finance minister P Chidambaram has already indicated that the final number could even be better.

Economic Times, New Delhi, 04-04-2013

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