The increase in advance tax can be due to higher bank deposits, increased demand for working capital credit
Despite sluggishness in economic activity, initial figures of the advance corporate tax paid by leading Mumbai-based Indian companies was higher by around 9 per cent in the first quarter of 2012-13 at Rs.10,100 crore against Rs.9,278 crore in the same period last year, according to sources in the Income-tax Department.
The sources said factors such as lack of confidence led to a holding back of large investments by companies in several sectors although banks and financial institutions, by and large, paid more tax during the period.
Companies pay advance tax on estimated earnings every quarter and these figures provide an insight into their likely profitability. Mumbai-based companies account for around a third of the country's total advance tax.
Among banks, State Bank of India paid Rs.1,170 crore advance tax for the quarter under review against Rs.1,100 crore in the year-ago quarter. Leading housing finance company HDFC paid almost 20 per cent higher tax at Rs.300 crore (Rs.255 crore) while HDFC Bank's outgo rose 25 per cent to Rs.500 crore (Rs.400 crore). ICICI Bank paid 25 per cent more at Rs.500 crore (Rs.400 crore), Bank of Baroda paid 17 per cent more at Rs.315 crore (Rs.270 crore) while Bank of India's outgo was marginally higher at Rs.175 crore (Rs.170 crore), according to sources. The growth in advance tax could be due to higher bank deposits and increased demand for working capital credit.
Among multi-national banks and financial institutions, Citibank paid 33 per cent more tax at Rs.200 crore, StanChart paid 22 per cent more at Rs.270 crore, while that of HSBC and Bank of America were flat at Rs.250 crore (Rs.240 crore) and Rs.57 crore (Rs.55 crore), respectively, although JP Morgan Chase paid four times more tax at Rs.60 crore.
Following government's huge bailout package announced for oil marketing companies earlier this year, Indian Oil Corporation significantly paid Rs.125 crore (nil), but Hindustan Petroleum Corporation and Bharat Petroleum Corporation paid lower tax of Rs.40 crore (Rs.60 crore) and Rs.70 crore (Rs.75 crore), respectively.
Among large corporates, Reliance Industries paid a lower tax of Rs.768 crore (Rs.900 crore) and Larsen & Toubro Rs.160 crore (Rs.180 crore). Life Insurance Corporation paid 8 per cent more tax at Rs.630 crore (Rs.582 crore) and FMCG major Hindustan Unilever saw tax payout rise to Rs.140 crore from Rs.95 crore).
From the Tata Group, IT major TCS paid 28 per cent more advance tax at Rs.320 crore (Rs.250 crore) and Tata Steel paid a marginally higher tax of Rs.270 crore (Rs.260 crore). In the automobile sector, Tata Motors paid a lower tax of Rs.55 crore (Rs.60 crore). Bajaj Auto paid 20 per cent more tax at Rs.150 crore (Rs.125 crore), while Mahindra & Mahindra's tax outgo was flat at Rs.90 crore.
Aditya Birla Group companies Hindalco paid Rs.50 crore (Rs.70 crore), Ultratech Cement paid a significantly higher tax of Rs.110 crore (Rs.40 crore) while Grasim paid Rs.20 crore (Rs.30 crore).
The advance tax payout by top 100 corporates in the city is up by only 10 per cent, sources in the Income Tax Department said after the filing of returns for the June quarter ended.
The Mumbai region, which accounts for the largest chunk of tax receipts across the country, is targeting a 16 per cent jump in income tax collections at Rs.1.78 lakh crore for the fiscal.
“Overall, the figures seem encouraging,” a senior tax official said. The growth, though below target, in advance tax collections comes amidst a slew of negative news flows on the macroeconomic front such as a slowdown in economic growth, depreciating currency and high cost of capital, which dents investment plans, all of which have a bearing on a company's bottomline.
In the consumer space, Adi Godrej-led Godrej Consumer Products paid a lower tax of Rs.15 crore against Rs.17 crore in the corresponding period in the previous year, the sources said.