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Taxes in India

Income Tax
Wealth Tax
Gift Tax
Service Tax
Sales Tax
Securities Transaction Tax
Customs Duty
Excise Duty
Municipal/Local Taxes



Other State Taxes
      a. Stamp duty on the transfer of assets
      b. Property/building tax that is levied by local bodies
      c. Agriculture income tax levied by the State Governments on the income from plantations
      d. Luxury tax that is levied by certain State Government on specified goods 

I. Income Tax

Person Liable for Payment of Income Tax

1. Individuals (including Non Residents), Hindu Undivided Families, Association of Persons, Body of Individuals (where the share of members are known or specified) and artificial juridical persons (such as deities of temples) having taxable income exceeding Rs.200000/-,  in case of resident senior citizens Rs. 2,50,000/-.

2. Societies and Charitable/Religious trusts having taxable income exceeding Rs. 2,00,000/-

3. All Partnership firms irrespective of their income

4. Co-operative Societies irrespective of Income

5. Companies irrespective of Income

6. Local authorities irrespective of Income

7. Association of Persons/ Body of Individuals where shares of the members are indeterminate or unknown irrespective of income.

Heads of Income

1. Income from Salary including allowances, value of perquisites, profits in lieu of salary and pension
2. Income from House Property - Whether residential or Commercial, Let out or self occupied

3. Profits and gains of Business or Profession

4. Capital Gains

5. Income from Other Sources including bank interest, interest on securities, lotteries, crossword puzzles, races, games, gifts from unrelated persons exceeding the specified limit.

Gross Total Income
The aggregate income computed under various heads of income calculated after set-off of unabsorbed depreciation/loss carried forward from earlier years.


II. Wealth Tax
Persons Chargeable to Wealth Tax
(i)  Individuals and HUFs having net wealth exceeding Rs. 30 lacs on the Valuation date
(ii) All Companies having net wealth exceeding Rs. 30 Lacs


Wealth Tax Liability - 1% of Net Wealth Less Rs. 30 lacs

Assets included in Taxable Wealth
(i) A Guest House
(ii) a Residential or Commercial House with land appurtenant thereto
(iii) a farm house situated within 25 KMs from the local municipal limits
(iv) motor cars
(v) Jewellery, bullion and furniture, utensils or any other article made wholly or partly of gold, silver, platinum, or any other precious metal or any alloy containing one or more of such precious metals
(vi) Yachts, boats and aircrafts
(Vii) urban land situate within the municipal limits of municipality or cantonment board having a population of not less than 10000 or within 8 KMs of such limits
(viii) cash in hand, in excess of Rs. 50,000 in case of individuals and HUFs, and any unrecorded amount in any other case.



Assets not included in taxable wealth
(i) a house meant exclusively for residential purposes and allotted to a whole time employee, officer or director of a company, whose gross annual salary is less than Rs. 5 lakhs.

(ii) a residential or commercial house, jewellery, bullion and other precious articles, used as stock-in-trade.
(iii) any house occupied by the assessee for the purposes of his business or professio
(iv) any residential property let out for at least 300 days in previous year
(v) any property in the nature of commercial establishments or complexes whether vacant or let out
(vi)motor cars used in the business of running them on hire or as stock-in-trade
(vii) Yachts, boats and aircrafts used for commercial purposes
(viii) urban land on which construction is not permissible under any law
(ix) urban land occupied by any building which has been constructed with the approval of the appropriate authority
(x) any unused land for industrial purposes for a period of two years from the date of its acquisition and
(x) urban land held by the assessee as stock-in-trade for a period of ten years from the date of its acquisition by him 


Assets Exempt from Wealth Tax
1. Property held under a trust
2. Coparcenaries interest in a Hindu Undivided Family
3. Residential building of a ruler
4. Heir loom jewellery of ex-ruler
5. Assets acquired out of money brought in by NRI/Person of Indian original permanently returned to reside in India is exempt for successive 7 years.
6. One house or part of house or plot of land belonging to an individual or a Hindu undivided family provided the plot of land comprises of an area upto 500 sqm.
7. In case of an individual who is not a citizen of India, or of an individual or HUF not resident in India, or resident but not ordinary resident in India during the year ending the valuation date.
 (i) the value of assets and debts located outside India; and
 (ii) the value of any assets in India, the income from which is exempt u/s 10 of Income Tax Act.


III. Gift Tax
I. Income tax is chargeable on the gifts received in cheque/cash by an individual, HUF without any consideration, exceeding Rs. 50000/- in a financial year (Section 56(2)(vi).

Transactions on or after 1.10.2009 without consideration or inadequate consideration are also will be taxed. Thus, immovable/movable property received without consideration will be included in the income of the recipient as under:

Incase of Immovable Property
1. Property is transferred without consideration and if stamp duty value exceeds Rs. 50,000

Tax Treatment in the hands of recipient
Whole value of stamp duty calculated will be taxable

In case of Movable Property
2. Property is transferred without consideration and if stamp duty value exceeds Rs. 50,000

Tax Treatment in the hands of recipient
Market value shall be base of taxation

3. For inadequate consideration and difference in fair market value and consideration exceeds Rs. 50,000.

Tax Treatment in the hands of recipient
Difference in fair market value and declared value taxable

Movable property to include shares and securities; jewellery; archaeological collections; drawings; paintings; sculptures; or any work of art.

From 1st June 2010, following amendments have taken effect:

1. Bullion is now added to the list of specified non monetary movable assets.
2. Presently, provision of transfer of shares without consideration or for inadequate consideration is applicable only to individual and HUF. However a new clause (viia) is inserted to provide that a firm or closely held company, would be liable to tax, if shares of a closely held company are received by such a firm or a closely held company without consideration or for inadequate consideration.

II. No income tax is chargeable on the following gifts, exceeding in aggregate value of Rupees 50000 in a financial year. Section 56 (vii)
(a) Received from the relatives (Section 56(2)(vii)
(b) Received on the occasion of marriage from any by wife and husband (both)/separately. Section 56(2)(vii)
(c) Received by way of will/ inheritance. Section 56(2) (vii).
(d) Received from local authority. Section 56(2)(vii)
(e) Received from any fund/foundation/university/other educational institution/hospital/other medical institution/ trust/ institution. Section 56(2) (vii)
(g) Received from any trust/institution, registered under section 12AA. Section 56(2) (vii).

III. Other relevant clarifications are:
(a) Deduction under Section 80-C is allowable, against the gifts treated as income.
(b) Gifts from employer are taxable under the head income from salary.
(c) Gifts received by minor, are to be clubbed in the hands of father/mother as case may be. Section 64 (1A)
(d) Exemption upto Rs. 1500 (One Thousand five hundred) is available to the father/mother as the case may be. Section 10(32).
(e) No exemption on the gifts received from the relatives of an HUF. Henceforth this exemption is restricted to the individuals.
(f) Gifts exceeding Rs. 50000 are chargeable to tax under the head 'Income from other Sources'.


IV. Service Tax
Payment of Service Tax
Every person, who is the provider of taxable service, is liable to pay service tax. Incase of any person who is use service of non-resident service provider then the user of service is liable to pay service tax instead of service provider.

Any payments received in advance also liable to pay service tax. The service tax should be deposited in the specified bank through challan Form GAR-7.

Due date for payment of Service Tax to the A/c of Government can be summarized as under :-

For Company :- Monthly liability. Deposit tax so collected by 5th of next month.
                      For month of march deposit by 31st March.
For other than Company :- Quarterly liability. Deposit by 5th of month next to the end of quarter. For month of quarter ended 31st March deposit by 31st March.

Quarter ended on Due Date for payment of Service Tax
30th June 5th July
30th September 5th October
31st December 5th January
31st March 31st March

NOTE :-Due Date of Payment is 6th of month, if the duty is deposited electronically through internet banking.

Due date for Filing Service Tax Return
25th April for half year ended October to March and 25th October for half year April to September

Service Tax Compliance
Service Tax has now become one of the major sources of yielding revenue to the exchequer. It has been extended to several items with enhanced rates in recent budgets. It's scope is very much likely to be widened and rates to be raised further.

The rules and regulations and various procedures laid down under service Tax are very cumbersome, tedious and best with the problem of interpretation , disputes and litigation all its provisions have to be completed with very strictly. Even a minor lathes can land you in soup. The tax has to be deposited in treasury with in the stipulated period and various returns are to be filed on prescribed forms with in specified dates failing which return penal action in called for.


V. Sales Tax

Sales Tax Liability
Central Sales tax is generally payable on the sale of all goods by a dealer in the course of inter-state Trade or commerce or, outside a State or, in the course of import into or, export from India.

Interstate Sale
A sale or purchase shall be deemed to take place in the course of interstate trade or commerce in the following cases:

When the sale or purchase occasions the movement of goods from one State to another;

When the sale is effected by a transfer of documents of title to the goods during their movement from one State to another.

Where the goods are delivered to a carrier or other bailee for transmission, the movement of the goods for the purpose of clause (b) above, is deemed to start at the time of such delivery and terminate at the time when delivery is taken from such carrier or bailee. Also, when the movement of goods starts and terminates in the same State, it shall not be deemed to be a movement of goods from one State to another.

To make a sale as one in the course of interstate trade, there must be an obligation to transport the goods outside the state. The obligation may be of the seller or the buyer. It may arise by reason of statute or contract between the parties or from mutual understanding or agreement between them or, even from the nature of the transaction, which linked the sale to such transaction. There must be a contract between the seller and the buyer. According to the terms of the contract, the goods must be moved from one state to another. If there is no contract, then there is no inter-state sale.

There can be an interstate sale even if the buyer and the seller belong to the same state; even if the goods move from one state to another as a result of a contract of sale; or, the goods are sold while they are in transit by transfer of documents.

Sales Tax payable to whom and By whom
Sales tax is payable to the sales tax authority in the state from which the movement of goods commences. It is to be paid by every dealer on the sale of any goods effected by him in the course of inter-state trade or commerce, notwithstanding that no liability to tax on the sale of goods arises under the tax laws of the appropriate state.

Possible offences, which may be committed, that are liable to be penalized and penalties for such offences

The offences that may be committed and, the penalties, prescribed for can be summarized as under. Offences, under section10, are punishable with simple imprisonment (up to 6months) with or without fine.

Giving false declaration in Form C, E-I, E-II, F or H, which he knows or has reason to believe it to be false.

Not getting registered under the CST Act, when required to be registered or not complying with provisions relating to security.

False representation by a registered dealer that the goods, purchased are covered under his certificate of registration for a concessional rate.

Falsely representing that he is a registered dealer, though he is not.

Misusing or using for different purpose, the goods, obtained under C form at a concessional rate.

Having possession of form C, which is not obtained as per provisions of the CST Act.

Collecting any amount, representing as sales tax, by an unregistered dealer or by a registered dealer in contravention of the provisions of the CST Act.

Liability of a Company in liquidation, with respect to payment of Central Sales Tax and the liability of the directors of a private company

If a liquidator or receiver is appointed in the case of a company, he should inform the Sales Tax authorities within 30 days of his appointment. The Sales Tax Authority shall intimate him the amount of tax due from the company in liquidation within 3 months. The Sales Tax authorities are "preferential creditors' in a case of liquidation.

The Liquidator shall not dispose of assets of the company before setting aside the amount of dues as intimated by sales tax department. The liquidator may, however, part with such assets or properties in compliance with any order of a court or for the purpose of payment of the tax, payable by the company under the CST Act or, for making any payment to secured creditors whose debts are entitled under law to priority of payment over debts due to the government, on the date of liquidation or, for meeting such costs and expenses of the winding up of the company, as are in the opinion of the appropriate authority, reasonable.

Liability of the directors of a private company with respect to payment of Central Sales Tax

If a private limited company is in liquidation and, any tax, assessed on the company, cannot be recovered, it becomes the personal liability of the directors, jointly and severally.

Directors can however avoid this liability; if they prove that the non-payment of tax was not on account of neglect, misfeasance or breach of duty on the part of the directors, in relation to affairs of the company.

The power to levy Sales tax
1.No state can levy sales tax on any sale or purchase where such sale or purchase takes place outside the state and in the course of import of goods into or export of goods outside India.

2.Only the parliament can levy tax on inter-state sale or purchase of goods

Main Principles in State Sales Tax Laws
1.A sale or purchase of goods is said to take place when the transfer of property in the existing goods or future goods takes place for consideration of money.

2.The goods have been divided into different categories and different rates of sales tax are charged for different categories of goods.

3.In most of the cases related to the sales tax, the tax on the sale or purchase of goods is at single point.

4.Under the provisions of some state laws the assesses are divided into several categories such as manufacturer, dealer, selling agent etc. and such as assess is required to obtain a registration certificate to that effect. The sales tax or the purchase tax is levied on that assessee on the basis of his category such as dealer, manufacturer etc. on production of certain forms or certificates (and differential rates of sales tax are levied).

5.Generally , a quarter return of sales or purchases is insisted upon and the assessee is required to furnish the return in the prescribed form.

6.At the time of assessment, the assessee has to furnish all the documentary evidence and satisfy the concerned sales tax / commercial tax officer.

7.The sales tax laws of the states prescribe the procedure to be followed in case an assessee prefers to make an appeal.

8.Every dealer should apply for registration and obtain a registration certificate to that effect. The registration certificate number should be quoted in all the bill / cash memos.

Transactions not amounting to inter-state sales
Not all dispatches of goods from one state to another result in inter state sales rather the movement must be on account of a covenant or incident of the contract of sales. There are some instances wherein the goods are moved out of the selling state and yet they are not considered inter state sales :-
Intra-state sales
Stock transfer from head office to branch & vice versa
Import and Export sales or purchases
Sale through commission agent / on account sales
Delivery of Goods for executing works contract

Sales Tax ID number
A state sales tax ID number is basically a business version of your Social Security number under which you collect and pay tax for any service or product you sell that qualifies for taxation in your state. The state department of taxation provides sales tax ID numbers and it takes about a month to get one.

The rule of thumb for sales tax is that most services are exempt and most products are taxable except for food and drugs. However, states have been gradually adding to the list of services that are taxable for the last few years. Check with your state department of taxation to determine if the product or service you sell is taxable in your state.

Exception in the sales taxes
Sales to resellers such as wholesalers and retailers that have a valid state resale certificate.
Sales to tax-exempt institutions such as schools or charities

forms to be filled
-Form C;
-Form D;
-Form G;
-Forms E-I & E-II.


VI. Securities Transaction Tax
VII. Customs Duty
VIII. Excise Duty
IX. Municipal/Local Taxes
XI. Other State Taxes
      a. Stamp duty on the transfer of assets
      b. Property/building tax that is levied by local bodies
      c. Agriculture income tax levied by the State Governments on the income from plantations
      d. Luxury tax that is levied by certain State Government on specified goods  


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