ANDHRA PRADESH

Vizag I-T Department collects Rs. 507 crores

Staff Reporter

VISAKHAPATNAM: With the Income-Tax collection target for the current fiscal pegged at Rs. 834 crores, a whopping 62 per cent more than the previous year, the Visakhapatnam Region of Income-Tax Department has so far collected Rs. 507 crores. The all-India increase in the target for tax collection is a mere 35 per cent.

Giving these details at a media conference here on Thursday, Chief Commissioner of Income-Tax Prashant Gupta said, "The Visakhapatnam region comprising the north coastal Andhra and Godavari districts has collected Rs. 534 crores during the previous year against a target of Rs. 515 crores.''

He called upon assessees to remit voluntarily the tax payable, because the rates were comfortable and one of the lowest in the world.

Of the 2,65,514 assessees in the region, 1,500 were corporates, Mr. Gupta said, and disclosed that against Rs. 64.24 crores paid up to December last by Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, the cumulative amount paid during the current year was Rs.293.11 crores. One of the reasons was the upswing in international prices of steel, though there was a dip, of late, which might result in reduced advance tax payment.

As many as 1,81,170 assessees had filed returns up to November 30, he said. While returns could still be coming, the department would issue notices to those not filing returns and levy penalty in spite of paying taxes.

Refunds being sent

On the issue of refunding excess collection, the I-T chief said that of the returns received till November-end, 1.49 lakh had been processed and 36,398 assessees issued refunds to the tune of Rs.134.49 crores which included amount from appellate orders. It would take four months to process the returns and refunds would be issued thereafter in one to two months.

A process for automatic generation of refunds would be in place shortly to issue cheques faster, he stated. Any greivances could be addressed to the respective Commissioners, he said and assured assessees that even if the cheques issued towards refund lapsed for some reason, they would be re-issued.

Stating that surveys and searches would be taken up against tax-evaders, Mr. Gupta revealed that 65 surveys under Section 133(A) had brought to light an additional income of Rs. 8.64 crores. Besides, searches of the premises of 10 assessees at 41 places unearthed an income of Rs. 44 crores, against a mere Rs.4.02 crores last year.

Assistant Commissioner of I-T K.V. Ramana Murthy was present.

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