The centre's direct tax collections for 2020-21 came in at Rs 9.45 lakh crore, higher than revised estimates of Rs 9.05 lakh crore, Central Board of Direct Taxes chairman PC Mody said on April 9.
Out of the total provisional net direct tax collections, around Rs 4.57 lakh crore have been garnered in corporate taxes, Rs 4.71 lakh crore in income tax, and around Rs 17,000 crore in Securities Transaction Tax. Mody said the net direct tax collections were 10 per cent lower than 2019-20.
Addressing reporters, Mody said that these are provisional figures and will be updated pending final collation of data of collections.
“Refunds amounting to Rs. 2.61 lakh crore have been issued in the F.Y. 2020-21 as against refunds of Rs. 1.83 lakh crore issued in the F.Y. 2019-20, marking an increase of approximately 42 per cent over the preceding Financial Year,” Mody said.
In the 2021-22 Budget, the estimate for 2020-21 net direct tax collections was slashed to Rs 9.05 lakh crore from Rs 13.19 lakh crore due to the Covid-19 induced economic slowdown.
For 2021-22, the centre has budgeted direct tax collections at Rs 11.08 lakh crore, as per the budget documents. When asked if this target was in danger of not being met as Covid-19 cases rise again and economic activity is expected to be hit because of localised lockdowns, Mody said that the tax department is confident of meeting the targets.
“We know that times are difficult. We are helping taxpayers through initiatives like faceless assessment and faceless appeal. We are confident that we will be able to meet the current targets,” he said.
In the backdrop of the United States pitching for a global minimum corporate tax rate, Mody said that the central government has no plans to tweak its own corporate tax rates.
“Whatever proposals have come in OECD, those are in progress and India is moving in the same direction. A further calibration is not on the agenda at the given moment given that corporate tax rates were cut in September 2019,” he said.
Earlier this week, United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called on other countries to join Washington in setting a global minimum corporate tax rate. Yellen is seeking international cooperation, crucial for funding President Joe Biden's ambitious $2 trillion+ infrastructure plan.
The plan seeks to increase the US corporate tax rate to 28 percent from 21 percent. "We are working with G20 nations to agree to a global minimum corporate tax rate that can stop the race to the bottom," she said. The plan has been publicly backed by France and the International Monetary Fund.
Speaking at the interaction with reporters, Mody also said that while the Vivaad se Vishwaas scheme to reduce tax litigations has been successful, for now there is no plan to bring out another similar scheme.