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What is Direct Taxes? Its Types, Rates, and Advantages

Direct taxes are crucial to a country's fiscal policy, influencing economic behavior and contributing to social and economic goals.

  • 2,221 Views | Updated on: Apr 03, 2024

Direct tax is characterized as a form of taxation wherein both the impact and burden of the tax are borne by the same entity. Consequently, the payment of direct taxes cannot be shifted to another individual or entity, placing the responsibility for payment on the organization or individual upon whom the tax is imposed.

Furthermore, the system of direct taxes in India operates on the principle of an individual’s or entity’s financial capacity to pay. As a result, this type of tax typically adheres to a progressive tax structure, where the tax rate increases in tandem with the taxpayer’s ability to pay. A notable illustration of this is evident in the income tax slab rates, wherein individuals with higher incomes are subject to higher tax rates compared to those with lower incomes.

Types of Direct Taxes

Understanding the various types of direct taxes is essential for comprehending how governments generate funds to finance public services and infrastructure.

Income Tax

Income tax is one of the most common types of direct taxes and is levied on the income earned by individuals, corporations, and other entities. It is progressive in nature, meaning that higher-income earners pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes.

Corporate Tax

Corporate tax is imposed on the profits earned by businesses and corporations. Like income tax, corporate tax rates can vary, and they often depend on the level of profits generated by the company.

Capital Gains Tax

Capital gains tax is applied to the profits earned from selling assets such as real estate, stocks, or other investments. The rates may differ based on the holding period and the type of asset sold.

Inheritance Tax

Inheritance tax, also known as estate tax, is levied on the value of an individual’s estate after their death. The rate may vary based on the relationship between the deceased and the inheritor.

Rates of Direct Taxes

Based on the age and income of the individual, they will be categorized into a specific tax bracket. The following outlines the distinct tax brackets:

For resident individuals and Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs) who are below the age of 60 years

Tax slab

Income tax

Up to ₹2.5 lakh

Nil

From ₹2,50,001 to ₹5,00,000

5% of the total income that is more than ₹2.5 lakh + 4% cess

From ₹5,00,001 to ₹10,00,000

20% of the total income that is more than ₹5 lakh + V12,500 + 4% cess

Income of above ₹10 lakh

30% of the total income that is more than ₹10 lakh + ₹1,12,500 + 4% cess

For senior citizens who are above the age of 60 years and below the age of 80 years

Tax slab

Income tax

Up to ₹3 lakh

Nil

From ₹3,00,001 to ₹5,00,000

5% of the total income that is more than ₹3 lakh + 4% cess

From ₹5,00,001 to ₹10,00,000

20% of the total income that is more than ₹5 lakh + ₹10,500 + 4% cess

Income of above ₹10 lakh

30% of the total income that is more than ₹10 lakh + ₹1,10,000 + 4% cess

For resident Indians who are above the age of 80 years (Super Senior Citizens)

Tax slab

Income tax

Up to ₹5 lakh

Nil

From ₹5,00,001 to ₹10,00,000

20% of the total income that is more than ₹5 lakh + 4% cess

Above ₹10 lakh

30% of the total income that is more than ₹10 lakh + ₹1,00,000 + 4% cess

New Income Tax Slab for Individuals

Tax slab

Income tax

Up to ₹2.5 lakh

Nil

From ₹2,50,001 to ₹5,00,000

5% of the total income that is more than ₹2.5 lakh + 4% cess

From ₹5,00,001 to ₹7,50,000

10% of the total income that is more than ₹5 lakh + 4% cess

From ₹7,50,001 to ₹10,00,000

15% of the total income that is more than ₹7.5 lakh + 4% cess

From ₹10,00,001 to ₹12,50,000

20% of the total income that is more than ₹10 lakh + 4% cess

From ₹12,50,001 to ₹15,00,000

25% of the total income that is more than ₹12.5 lakh + 4% cess

Income above ₹15,00,001

30% of the total income that is more than ₹15 lakh + 4% cess

Advantages of Direct Taxes

Direct taxes play a pivotal role in the financial landscape of a nation, providing governments with a direct means of generating revenue. Some of its advantages include:

Progressive Nature

One of the primary advantages of direct taxes is their progressive nature, which ensures that those with higher incomes contribute a larger percentage of their earnings. This promotes social equity and helps redistribute wealth within society.

Stability of Revenue

Direct taxes, particularly income tax and corporate tax provide a stable source of revenue for governments. The income generated through these taxes is relatively predictable, allowing governments to plan and allocate resources more effectively.

Encourages Fiscal Responsibility

Direct taxes encourage fiscal responsibility among citizens and businesses. Knowing that a significant portion of their income or profits will go towards taxes, individuals and corporations are motivated to manage their finances more prudently.

Targeted Policy Implementation

Governments can use direct taxes to implement targeted policies, such as offering tax credits or deductions to promote specific activities, industries, or social objectives. This flexibility allows for the implementation economic and social policies tailored to the nation’s needs.

Final Thoughts

Direct taxes are a fundamental component of a country’s fiscal policy, serving as a means to generate revenue, promote social equity, and fund government initiatives. Understanding the various types, rates, and advantages of direct taxes is crucial for policymakers and citizens alike. A well-designed direct tax system contributes to a fair and sustainable financial framework that supports a nation’s economic and social development.

Key takeaways

  • Direct taxes offer stable revenue sources, encourage fiscal responsibility, and allow governments to allocate resources strategically.
  • Income tax stands out as a primary direct tax, exhibiting a progressive structure where rates vary based on income levels.
  • Corporate tax is applied to business profits, with rates varying across jurisdictions.
  • The nature of direct taxes ensures a fair distribution of the tax burden, with higher-income earners contributing a higher percentage.

- A Consumer Education Initiative series by Kotak Life

Amit Raje
Written By :
Amit Raje

Amit Raje is an experienced marketer who has worked in various Fintechs and leading Financial companies in India. With focused experience in Digital, Amit has pioneered multiple digital commerce in India. Now, close to two decades later, he is the vice president and head of the D2C business department. He masters the skill of strategic management, also being certified in it from IIMA. He has challenged his challenges and contributed his efforts in this journey of digital transformation.

Amit Raje
Reviewed By :
Prasad Pimple

Prasad Pimple has a decade-long experience in the Life insurance sector and as EVP, Kotak Life heads Digital Business. He is responsible for developing user friendly product journeys, creating consumer awareness and helping consumers in identifying need for life insurance solutions. He has 20+ years of experience in creating and building business verticals across Insurance, Telecom and Banking sectors

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