Only 1.7% Indians paid income tax in 2015-16: IT Department

Just over 2 crore Indians, or 1.7 per cent of the total population, paid income tax in the assessment year (AY) 2015-16, according to data released by the I-T department.

The number of income-tax return filers increased to 4.07 crore in assessment year 2015-16 (FY 2014-2015) from 3.65 crore in the previous year but only 2.06 crore actually paid tax as the others claimed income below taxable limits.

In the previous AY 2014-15, 1.91 crore out of 3.65 crore who filed returns, had paid income tax.

But the total income tax paid by individuals declined to Rs 1.88 lakh crore in AY 2015-16 from Rs 1.91 lakh crore in AY 2014-15.

The data, released last week, indicates just over 3 per cent of the 120 crore population filed returns. Of these, 2.01 crore paid nil income tax, 9,690 paid tax of over Rs 1 crore.

Only one individual paid over Rs 100 crore in taxes (Rs 238 crore to be precise).

Maximum among of 19,931 crore was collected from 2.80 crore tax filers who paid between Rs 5.5 lakh to Rs 9.5 lakh in taxes.

As many as 1.84 crore returns were filed for payment of income tax of less than Rs 1.5 lakh or an average of Rs 24,000.

Of the 4.07 crore tax returns filed in AY 2015-16, close to 82 lakh showed zero or income less than Rs 2.5 lakh.

Currently, no income tax is for income up to Rs 2.5 lakh.

In AY 2014-15, 3.65 crore filed tax returns with 1.37 crore showing zero or less than Rs 2.5 lakh income.

The combined income of all individual tax filers rose to Rs 21.27 lakh crore in AY 2015-16 from Rs 18.41 lakh crore in the previous year.

Maximum number of 1.33 crore individuals were in Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 3.5 lakh income group in AY 2015-16.