New Delhi, March 19, 2017

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has asked its field formations to concentrate on recoveries of arrears and pending tax demands in the remaining two weeks of the fiscal.

“Maximum amount of confirmed demand must be recovered immediately,” CBDT Chairman Sushil Chandra has written in a recent letter, adding that the performance of the department is much below the annual target for 2016-17.
Tardy collections

The CBDT’s Central Action Plan had targeted collecting Rs.53,983 crore from arrears demand for 2016-17, but the actual collections till now have amounted to just 55.2 per cent of the target or Rs.29,811 crore.

Similarly, against the target of collecting 20 per cent from the current demand or Rs.72,141 crore by February 2017, the department has managed to raise only Rs.11,846 crore.

“This is the situation when an entire last quarter of the year has been dedicated to the recovery work as the time-barring assessments were finalised by December 31 last year,” Chandra noted.

Stressing that there is no reason why the targets can’t be met, the CBDT Chairman said the maximum amount of confirmed demand in high value cases of over Rs.100 crore must be collected immediately.

Further, all officers should be asked to make “concerted efforts” towards recoveries to ensure that targets are met for the fiscal.
Advance tax payments

According to official data, net direct tax collections till February end, 2017 grew 10.7 per cent to Rs.6.17 lakh crore. This was just 72.9 per cent of the Budget Estimates for Direct Taxes for 2016-17.

Advance tax payments by companies in the last tranche in March are also estimated to have been lower than expected.

[The Hindu Business Line]