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Monday, Aug 19, 2019

Outstanding tax revenue for Maharashtra at Rs 89,000 crore

The figures of the outstanding tax revenue were revealed in the state’s budget document, tabled earlier this week in the legislature.

mumbai Updated: Jun 24, 2019 08:33 IST
Surendra Gangan
Surendra Gangan
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
The major chunk of the outstanding amount, Rs 65,396 crore, is accrued from sales and value added taxes on motor spirits and lubricants.
The major chunk of the outstanding amount, Rs 65,396 crore, is accrued from sales and value added taxes on motor spirits and lubricants. (HT Photo)
         

The state exchequer, which is burdened with a debt of Rs 4.71 lakh crore, has an outstanding tax revenue of Rs 89,661 crore, which it is yet to recover from traders and companies. While a whopping Rs 65,908 crore of this amount is mired in litigations and disputes, pending in various courts for years, the state has failed to recover Rs 23,753 crore owing to various other reasons over the past few years.

The figures of the outstanding tax revenue were revealed in the state’s budget document, tabled earlier this week in the legislature.

The major chunk of the outstanding amount, Rs 65,396 crore, is accrued from sales and value added taxes on motor spirits and lubricants.

The second highest outstanding amount is from central sales taxes, amounting to Rs 19,456 crore.

Besides taxes on motor spirits and lubricants and central sales tax, the outstanding amount is also accrued from taxes on professions and employments; minor and major minerals; taxes on vehicles, goods and passengers; stamp duty and registration among others.

“The outstanding amount is due to the disputes. For instance, we have raised tax of Rs 459 crore on a Thane land, but the owner has moved the Supreme Court. Lottery traders owe Rs 900 crore since 2006-09, but they are not traceable now.

“We expect at least Rs 12,000 crore to be generated from the amnesty scheme which is getting a good response.

“Major part of the pending taxes is penalty and interest amount on the actual taxes, which are just 20-25% of the outstanding,” said state finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar.

The budget document has two parts — specifying the number of years of the dispute and the outstanding amount due to non-recovery and disagreement between government and the traders.

“The companies that owe us the tax amount have appealed in court pointing at the ambiguities in the existing laws. “The major outstanding is from the oil industry due to the dispute over the legal provisions in the law.

“More than Rs 22,000 crore is due from oil companies including state-run public sector companies,” said an official from the finance department.

“We expect our amnesty scheme, launched two years ago and extended by a month till July 31, to settle at least 15,600 cases worth Rs 2,000 crore of outstanding amount in the next few months. Further, we are amending the existing Act to weed out the ambiguities and expect a few hundred more cases to be settled,” said the official.

Some of disputes between the government and the taxpayers date back to the early 1990s and are pending before either the Sales Tax Tribunal or in the courts. “In some cases we received the orders in our favour, but could not recover the money as the mortgaged property had rights of secured creditors. Some of the dealers and traders are either not traceable or have changed their business,” another official from the department said.Officials are of the opinion that even if all the cases are settled in the courts, not more than 20% of the outstanding amount is likely to be recovered owing to the disparities and ambiguities in laws, their wrong interpretation by officials, and the heavy concessions given in the amnesty scheme. The official said outstanding amount from the central taxes is more owing to the failure of dealers and traders failing to secure bills for inter-state trades.

First Published: Jun 24, 2019 01:20 IST

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