The slow pace of economic growth was reflected in the advance tax paid by top 100 companies in Mumbai till the December quarter. Sources in the department said that these companies paid around Rs 500 crore less advance tax till December this year, as compared to last year.
The income tax (I-T) department collects advance tax in four quarters — June, September, December and March. It has to be paid latest by 15th of the month in every quarter. Advance tax collection contributes to 35% of the overall direct tax collection.
Sources said that the top 100 companies paid advance tax of around Rs 43,500 crore this year, as against Rs 44,000 crore last year till December. In the December quarter alone, these companies paid around Rs100 crore less in advance tax.
The official said that in banking sector, quiet a few public sector banks paid less advance tax this year as compared to last year whereas private banks performed better.
Officials said that State Bank of India (SBI), one of the highest taxpayers, has paid Rs 4,484 crore in advance tax till December this year, as compared to Rs4,618 crore last year. In the December quarter, SBI paid Rs1,730 crore this year as compared to Rs 1,864 crore of last year.
Besides, performance of petroleum companies was gloomy. In the December quarter, the major oil companies paid nil advance tax this year. The engineering sector performed poorly with major companies not doing well.
Officials said that if this trend continues, it would be difficult to achieve the direct tax collection target for the current financial year. The target for Mumbai for 2011-2012 is Rs 2.04 lakh crore.
Authorities are also concerned because of the ongoing agitation of I-T officials, who are not taking part in search operations and surveys since December 5. The officials are protesting against the pending promotions of officers from the rank of income tax officer (ITO) to the rank of assistant commissioner of income tax (ACIT)/deputy commissioner of income tax (DCIT) for the last two years.