A smarter way to tax

Last year, the tax department refunded a record sum as excess revenue collected while this year those refunds have juddered to a halt. Net tax collection, for instance, is far higher than gross receipts, as per finance ministry data. But to make up for these shortages, an inefficient tax administration plans fresh levies that stretch its limited capacity even further. Without reforms in this cycle, the rich cannot be fully tapped, nor can the tax department make do with smaller, more neutral taxes, that seek to make business pay willingly.

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