How many people in India actually pay tax? Income tax department clarifies PM Modi’s claim

FE Online
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The income tax department on Thursday said that only 1.46 crore people pay tax on their income in the country. It comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that of a total population of 130 crore people, only 1.5 crore pay income tax. In a series of tweets, the CBDT said: "Only around 1.46 crore individual taxpayers are liable to pay income-tax. Further, around 1 crore individuals disclosed income between Rs. 5-10 lakh and only 46 lakh individual taxpayers have disclosed income above Rs.10 lakh". CBDT clarified that tweets are in response to certain misinformation being circulated on social media platforms pertaining to individual return filers.

"During the current financial year, 5.78 crore individuals filed returns disclosing income of financial year 2018-19", CBDT tweeted. Of these,1.03 crore have shown income below Rs 2.5 lakh and 3.29 crore individuals disclosed taxable income between Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh, it added. Of the 5.78 crore returns filed during this financial year,4.32 crore individuals have disclosed income up to Rs 5 lakh, it also said.

Since budget 2019 exempted individual taxpayers having income up to Rs 5 lakh, so 4.32 crore individual taxpayers having income up to Rs 5 lakh would not be liable to pay tax for the current FY20 and following years. Only 3.16 lakh individual taxpayers have disclosed income more than Rs 50 lakh.

"The number of individual tax payers who have disclosed income above Rs 5 crore in the whole of the country is only around 8,600," it also said. CBDT also said that only about 2200 doctors,chartered accountants, lawyers, and other professionals have disclosed annual income of more than Rs 1 crore from their profession excluding other incomes like rental, interest, capital gains among others in the returns filed in the ongoing fiscal. Meanwhile, in budget 2020, the gross tax revenue has been pegged at Rs 24,23,020 crore, which is slightly lower than the Rs 24,61,194.93-crore Budget Estimate for FY20, implying a 12 per cent increase over the Revised Estimate of Rs 21,63,423 crore for the ongoing fiscal.