The revenue department has launched measures to boost tax collections for the next four collection months, asking senior officers to achieve targets, said finance ministry officials.
The directive to boost both direct and indirect tax collections has been sent to members of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, Central Board of Direct Taxation and Principal Chief Commissioners and Chief Commissioners as well as field officers, they said. The officers have been asked to ensure that no taxpayer is “overreached or troubled” during field visits, the finance ministry officials said, asking not to be named.
In September, the government cut corporate tax rate to 22 pecent from 30 percent, forgoing nearly Rs 1.45 lakh crore in revenue. Direct tax collections have grown only 3 percent in the first six months of the April-March fiscal year.
Revenue secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey held a video conference meeting with all senior officers of these departments on December 16, said the ministry officials. Pandey said the monthly target for goods and services tax collections for the next four months have been set at Rs 1.1 lakh crore. Tax officials must achieve a target of Rs 1.25 lakh crore for at least one out of these four months, the persons quoted above said.
Officers have been told that the corporate tax relief worth Rs 1.45 lakh crore should not be taken as an excuse for lesser direct tax collection target. Officers must push themselves to reach the target of Rs 13.5 lakh crore in direct taxes as well.
Senior tax officers will now make field visits regularly every week. Despite pressures of budget preparation, Bhushan himself will visit across regions every weekend to monitor the collection efforts.
Information of GST and income tax and other financial dealings will be shared and tax evaders will be brought to book, said the ministry officials. If any taxpayer has missed out on sharing correct tax information, he or she will be asked to file the revised return. The department will ensure genuine taxpayers are not troubled or harassed.
GST officers have been told to make sure that GSTR1 and GSTR3B forms are filed by taxpayers. Failing to do that will invite strict action such blocking of e- way bill, blocking of input tax credits and cancellation of registration.
Data from GST returns will be provided to income tax departments so that cases of suppression of turnover and income tax can be detected and recovery can be launched. The latest tax collection drive will also attempt to recover arrears.