The income tax (IT) department recently published detailed data on individual Indian taxpayers for the assessment year 2017-2018 (financial year 2016-2017). The statistics reveal interesting points. Here are some:
1. Around 4.67 crore returns were filed by individuals during the assessment year and personal
income tax collected stood at ₹273,405 crore. The average tax paid by an individual was ₹58,576. In comparison, 3.65 crore returns were filed during assessment year 2014-15 (financial year 2013-14) whereas the personal income tax collected was ₹169,338 crore. The average tax paid by a person was ₹46,377. Even after adjusting for inflation, there has been some improvement in the income tax collected per individual over the years.
2. Of the total 4.67 crore returns filed by individuals, around 2.02 crore or 43.4 percent paid zero tax. In 2014-15, it was around 1.74 crore or 47.7 percent. So, more individual tax filers are paying tax, which is good news.
3. A bulk of individual tax filers (2.34 crore) paid tax of up to ₹1.5 lakh. The total tax paid in this bracket amounted to ₹62,823 crore or around 23 percent of the total tax collected. The average income tax paid in this bracket amounted to ₹27,000. Around 1.72 crore individuals paid a tax of up to ₹1.5 lakh in 2014-15. The total tax paid in this bracket amounted to ₹43,964 crore or 26 percent of the total tax collected. The average income tax paid was ₹26,000. There has been an increase in the total amount of tax paid in this bracket. It is a clear case of the government finding fortune at the bottom of the pyramid.
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(This story appears in the 28 December, 2018 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)