Staff Reporter

Intense and scientific scrutiny of tax returns marks the phase

50 per cent increase in tax collection last year

Checks on gold merchants will continue

KOCHI: Steps will be taken to intensify collection of commercial tax by scientific scrutiny of tax returns filed by merchants and comparing it with the records of goods movement from check-posts at the entry points to the State, Minister for Finance T.M. Thomas Isaac has said.

He was inaugurating the second phase of the ‘From Walayar to Ernakulam’ project, which is being enforced by the Commercial Taxes Department, here on Wednesday. Tax returns are being intensively scrutinised in this phase.

Last year, the State witnessed a 50 per cent increase in collection of taxes, which is a record. No such achievement was recorded after 1958, Mr. Isaac said. During November itself, there had been an increase of 31 per cent in the collection of Value-Added Tax, he added.

Checks on gold merchants who refuse to compound the sales tax would continue, he said. After one-percent compounding of tax was implemented, the tax returns from the gold market shot up from Rs.21 crore to Rs.100 crore.

Tax returns

Personnel have been deployed on temporary basis to sort out pending tax returns. Sorting would be completed by January and a scientific scrutiny of the records would be made after that, he said.

Critics do not realise the changes that have affected revenue. For example, Kochi Refineries Limited was among the top tax payers. After its take over by Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, movement of oil from KRL to BPCL was not taxable, as it was only stock transfer, he pointed out.

Deputy commissioners of Commercial Taxes Department N.C. Chacko, K.A. Soman and J. Julius Smith were present.