Direct tax collections soared 18.2 per cent during the first nine months of current fiscal at Rs 6.56 lakh crore, the finance ministry said on Tuesday. In a statement, the ministry said provisional numbers for direct taxes collections showed an 18.2 per cent growth during April-December. Direct taxes are made up of income tax paid by individuals, wealth tax and corporation tax paid by companies. "The net direct tax collections represent 67 per cent of the total Budget Estimates of direct taxes for FY2017-18 (Rs 9.8 lakh crore)," the statement said. Gross collections (before adjusting for refunds) have increased by 12.6 per cent to Rs 7.68 lakh crore during April to December, 2017. As many as Rs 1.12 lakh crore refunds have been issued in the period. The ministry said advance tax collection was up 12.7 per cent at Rs 3.18 lakh crore. While the growth in corporate income tax advance tax is 10.9 per cent, that in personal Income Tax advance tax is 21.6 per cent.