Holes In Indian Census Data Point to Cash Economy

03.11.2016 • Emerging Markets

By Vivek Kaul – Vivek Kaul’s Diary (India) – 

In yesterday’s column, I had explained how only a minuscule portion of India’s population pays a bulk of the personal income tax collected by the government.

This conclusion was drawn based on the detailed income tax data for the assessment years 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, recently released by the government. The income tax returns for the income earned during the financial years 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 were filed during the assessment years 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, respectively.

In late April, earlier this year, the government had released income tax data for the assessment year 2012-2013. Based on this data some interesting observations can be made. In today’s piece, I will look at income from house property declared by Indian taxpayers.

Let’s look at Figure 1. It has details regarding individuals who declared a positive income from house property. Income from house property can also be negative.

Those declaring a negative income from house property would include individuals who have taken on a home loan. Interest paid on a home loan is allowed as a deduction against taxable income within a certain limit, on self-occupied property.

For the assessment years under consideration an interest of up to Rs. 1.5 lakh paid on a home loan could have been taken as a deduction against taxable income.

But that is not of importance in this piece. What we are considering here are taxpayers who are making some money from the homes that they own. These taxpayers are essentially landlords who own homes, rent them out and make money in the process.

Read more here.

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