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This article was first published 8 years ago  » Business » Only 18,358 individual taxpayers declared income of over Rs 1 cr in FY12

Only 18,358 individual taxpayers declared income of over Rs 1 cr in FY12

By Dilasha Seth
April 30, 2016 08:26 IST
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Income-tax data released by FinMin after 15 years

Only 0.06 per cent of the total individual tax assessees fall in the 'super rich' category, with annual salary of Rs 1 crore or more and could be liable to pay the additional surcharge for the wealthy, according to the income-tax data released by the finance ministry on Friday.

Of the total 28.7 million individual tax assessees in 2011-12, only 18,358 earned Rs 1 crore a year, the data showed. The data bring to light the trend in income tax filings.

Although, many among these would not qualify for the 'super rich' surcharge - introduced in 2013-14 for the first time by then finance minister P Chidambaram - as it is levied on taxable income and not total income.

The surcharge on the wealthy has consistently risen from 10 per cent in 2013-14 to 12 per cent in 2015-16 and 15 per cent in 2016-17. However, the super rich tax is not only imposed on individuals but also firms.

Of the total Rs 3.89 lakh crore direct tax payable in 2011-12, 66 per cent or Rs 2.56 lakh crore was to come from only 21,819 entities, which constituted a meagre 0.07 per cent of 31.1 million return filers.

Also, 63 entities had tax payable at an average of Rs 1,485 crore (Rs 14.85 billion) per entity, which was essentially on business income. About 205 entities had business income of Rs 2,198 crore (Rs 21.98 billion) on an average.

FinMin responds to Piketty's request

The finance ministry released the data on Friday on the request of Thomas Piketty, economist and author of bestseller Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

After releasing the data, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: "Our government has taken the landmark decision of publishing the income tax data. It is a big step towards transparency & informed policy making. I am sure this data will be used by researchers & analysts & lead to enhanced insights for policy making on taxation."

The celebrated economist Piketty had told Business Standard in an interview in January that it was disturbing that there were no public statistics of income tax in India. "These used to be available. There used to be a big publication, the All India Income Tax Statistics, published in this country since Independence till 2000. Then, it was suppressed. For the past 15 years, many people, including myself, have been asking the tax administration to resume publishing this data," he had said.

Half of filers have no tax liability

Interestingly, the figures showed that around half of the returns filed with the tax department did not have any tax payable at all in 2011-12. Of the 31.1 million returns filed, 55.6 per cent paid no tax to the exchequer as their taxable income stood below the threshold.

Close to 20 million return filers, 62 per cent of total return filers, had no salary earnings, but had other sources of income from businesses, house property, interests, long-term and short-term capital gains tax, etc.

Among those with salaried income, the highest number of returns were filed by the ones who earned between Rs 550,000 and Rs 950,000 at 2.023 million followed by those earnings between Rs 250,000 and Rs 350,000 per annum in 2011-12.

1.1 mn tax-paying professionals

There were around 1.1 million professionals - belonging to various professions such as chartered accountancy, auditing, fashion designing, legal services, medical services - paid direct taxes in 2011-12.

An overwhelming majority of direct tax return filers were those who had income up to Rs 50 lakh in 2011-12. Professionals among them would be eligible for presumptive tax from the current financial year, where they need not maintain detailed books of accounts.

Direct tax growth at 7-yr low in FY16

The Centre's direct tax collection growth in 2015-16 was the slowest in seven years at 6.68 per cent at Rs 7.42 lakh crore. That the economy struggling to revive is reflected in the direct tax collection numbers. The tax deduction at source gained the largest share in direct tax collection in 14 years at 36.44 per cent in 2015-16.

Half the states post tax collection fall in FY15

Of the 30 states (including Delhi and Telangana), 14 posted a fall in the direct tax collection in 2014-15, according to the data made available on Friday. States including Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh saw a decline in direct tax collections.

Maharashtra remained the biggest source of tax at Rs 2.7 lakh crore in 2014-15, followed by Delhi at Rs 91,247 crore and Karnataka at Rs 60,595 crore.

Tax numbers

  • Only 0.06% of total individual tax assessees had annual salary income of over Rs 1 crore in FY12
  • Of Rs 3.89 lakh cr, total direct tax payable in FY12, 66% was by only 21,819 entities - or 0.07% of total I-T returns filed
  • Over half of the returns filed in FY12 had zero tax liability
  • 2.02 million declared salaried income between Rs 5.5 lakh and Rs 9.5 lakh

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/

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Dilasha Seth in New Delhi
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