- What is Income-tax?
It is a tax levied by the Government of India on the income of every person. The provisions governing the Income-tax Law are given in the Income-tax Act, 1961.
- What is the administrative framework of Income-tax?
The revenue functions of the Government of India are managed by the Ministry of Finance. The Finance Ministry has entrusted the task of administration of direct taxes like Income-tax, Wealth tax, etc., to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). The CBDT is a part of Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance.
CBDT provides essential inputs for policy framing and planning of direct taxes and also administers the direct tax laws through the Income-tax Department. Thus, Income-tax Law is administrated by the Income-tax Department under the control and supervision of the CBDT.
- What is the period for which a person’s income is taken into account for the purpose of Income-tax?
Income-tax is levied on the annual income of a person. The year under the Income-tax Law is the period starting from 1st April and ending on 31st March of next calendar year. The Income-tax Law classifies the year as (1) Previous year, and (2) Assessment year.
The year in which income is earned is called as previous year and the year in which the income is charged to tax is called as assessment year.
e.g., Income earned during the period of 1st April, 2015 to 31st March, 2016 is treated as income of the previous year 2015-16. Income of the previous year 2015-16 will be charged to tax in the next year, i.e., in the assessment year 2016-17.
- Who is supposed to pay Income-tax?
Income-tax is to be paid by every person. The term ‘person’ as defined under the Income-tax Act covers in its ambit natural as well as artificial persons.
For the purpose of charging Income-tax, the term ‘person’ includes Individual, Hindu Undivided Families [HUFs], Association of Persons [AOPs], Body of individuals [BOIs], Firms, LLPs, Companies, Local authority and any artificial juridical person not covered under any of the above.
Thus, from the definition of the term ‘person’ it can be observed that, apart from a natural person, i.e., an individual, any sort of artificial entity will also be liable to pay Income-tax.
- How does the Government collect Income-tax?
Taxes are collected by the Government through three means: a) voluntary payment by taxpayers into various designated Banks. For example, Advance Tax and Self Assessment Tax paid by the taxpayers, b) Taxes deducted at source [TDS] from the income of the receiver, and c) Taxes collected at source [TCS]. It is the constitutional obligation of every person earning income to compute his income and pay taxes correctly.
- How will I know how much Income-tax I have to pay?
The rates of Income-tax and corporate taxes are available in the Finance Act passed by the Parliament every year. You can also check your tax liability by using the free online tax calculator available at www.incometaxindia.gov.in
- From where can I take the help of any expert on Income-tax related matters?
You can take the help of tax professionals or the help of Public Relations Officer [PRO] in the local office of the Income-tax Department. You may also take assistance from Tax Return Preparers [TRPs]. You can locate your nearest TRP at www.trpscheme.com
- When do I have to pay the taxes on my income?
Generally, the tax on income crystallizes only on completion of the previous year. However, for ease of collection and regularity of flow of funds to the Government for its various activities, the Income-tax Act has laid down the provisions for payment of taxes in advance during the year of earning itself. It is called as ‘pay as you earn’ concept. Taxes may also be collected on your behalf during the previous year itself through TDS and TCS mode. If at the time of filing of return you find that you have some balance tax to be paid after taking into account the credit of your advance tax, TDS & TCS, the shortfall is to be deposited as Self Assessment Tax.