FM tells tax officials to target 'big fish'

FM tells tax officials to target 'big fish'

Aiming a near 20 per cent rise in indirect tax collection in fiscal 2014, Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday told revenue officials to target top 100 assesses who account for 80 per cent of indirect taxes collected, but asked them to be friendly to tax payers and treat them as clients.

 The finance minister also emphasised on service tax collection that contributes a third of total indirect tax revenues. The government is targeting Rs 1.8 lakh crore through services tax revenue out of total indirect tax target of Rs 5.63 lakh crore this year.

 “Non-filers and stop-filers have mounted in service tax. The number exceed 12 lakh or so. We are targeting them," Chidambaram told reporters after inaugurating the two-day annual conference of Central Board of Excise and Customs.

 The large number of non-filers in the service tax, according to him, was because people are not used to the idea of paying service tax. “The assessees are used to the idea of excise duty but they don't realise that that service tax is only other side of excise dutys...somehow there is mindset that why should I pay service tax”.

 “People must get to the idea that GDP is made up of goods and services,” he said.

 He, however, exuded confidence that tax collection target will be achieved this year. "We will achieve revenue target. Just like we will achieve in direct taxes side, we will achieve in the indirect taxes side as well," the minister said.

 The government has set a total tax collection target for the current fiscal at Rs 12.35 lakh crore.

The indirect tax collection target is Rs 5.63 lakh crore, which is 19 per cent higher than last year.  "In 2012-13, we achieved 21 per cent increase over the previous year's collection. With economy expected to grow close to six per cent, we should be able to collect 19 per cent more than last year," Chidambaram said.

 On the one-time voluntary compliance scheme announced in the Budget for service tax, Chidambaram said the tax department will soon come out with a FAQ on the compliance scheme as so far the response to it has been very less.

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