India’s net direct tax collections for the first half of 2018-19 was at Rs 4.44 trillion, a growth of 14% over the year-ago period as a higher outgo on refunds dented overall collections.

The direct tax collections in the six months ended September are at 38.6% of the budgeted estimates of Rs 11.5 trillion for 2018-19, reflecting the challenge for the central government to stick to its fiscal deficit targets at a time revenues from GST are also lagging behind targets.

The tax department in a statement said that last year’s collections also included one-time revenues collected under the income disclosure scheme leading to a higher base.

In the six month ending September 2018, gross direct tax collections rose 16.7% to Rs 5.47 trillion as compared to the year-ago period. However, refunds amounting to Rs 1.03 trillion were issued in the six-month period, a growth of 30.4% that impacted growth of net collections. Net collections are arrived at after subtraction refunds from gross tax collections.

While gross corporate tax collections rose 19.5%, personal income tax was up 19.1%.

After adjusting for refunds, the net growth in corporate tax collections was 18.7% and personal income tax was 14.9%.

The statement added that advance tax collections were up 18.7% at Rs 2.1 trillion, with a 16.4% growth in corporate tax collections and 30.3% in personal income tax.

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