New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday placed before Parliament some revealing data indicating that India’s direct tax collection is not commensurate with the income and consumption pattern of the economy.
Among the 3.7 crore individuals who filed tax returns in 2015-16, 99 lakh showed income below the exemption limit of Rs 2.5 lakh per annum; 1.95 crore showed income between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 5 lakh; 52 lakh showed income between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh, and only 24 lakh people declared income above Rs 10 lakh.
Of the 76 lakh individual assessees who declared income of above Rs 5 lakh, 56 lakh are in the salaried class.
The number of people showing income more than Rs 50 lakh in the country is only 1.72 lakh, Jaitley said while placing before “certain data” to indicate that “direct tax collection is not commensurate with the income and consumption”.
“We can contrast this with the fact that in the last five years, more than 1.25 crore cars have been sold, and number of Indian citizens who flew abroad, either for business or tourism, is 2 crore in the year 2015,” he said.
He said India’s tax to GDP ratio is very low, and the proportion of direct tax to indirect tax is not optimal from the view point of social justice.
Jaitley informed that as against estimated 4.2 crore persons engaged in organised sector employment, the number of individuals filing return for salary are only 1.74 crore.
As against 5.6 crore informal sector individual enterprises and firms doing small business, the number of returns filed by this category is only 1.81 crore.
“Out of the 13.94 lakh companies registered in India upto March 31, 2014, 5.97 lakh companies have filed returns for Assessment Year 2016-17. Of the 5.97 lakh companies which have filed returns for Assessment Year 2016-17 so far, as many as 2.76 lakh companies have shown losses or zero income,” the Finance Minister said.
Only 2.85 lakh companies have shown profit before tax of less than Rs 1 crore, 28,667 have shown profit between Rs 1 crore to Rs 10 crore, and only 7,781 companies have profit before tax of more than Rs 10 crore.
“After demonetisation, the preliminary analysis of the data received in respect of deposits made by people in old currency presents a revealing picture.
“During the period November 8 to December 30, 2016, deposits between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 80 lakh were made in about 1.09 crore accounts with an average deposit size of Rs 5.03 lakh.
“Deposits of more than Rs 80 lakh were made in 1.48 lakh accounts with average deposit size of Rs 3.31 crore. This data mining will help us immensely expanding the tax net as well as increasing the revenues, which was one of the objectives of demonetisation,” the Finance Minister said.