Wealth tax is an annual tax like income tax. It is another type of direct tax by which tax is imposed on individuals coming within its purview. Pensioners, retired persons or senior citizens have not been accorded any special benefits under this Act.  The important provisions concerning the Act are mentioned below -

1.   Wealth Tax

Wealth tax is charged for every assessment year in respect of net wealth of corresponding valuation date, inter alia, on every individual Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) and company at the rate of one per cent (1%) of the amount by which net wealth exceeds Rs. 15 lakhs. “Valuation Date” is 31st March immediately preceding the assessment year [S.2(a)], Assessment year, as under the Income-tax Act, means a period of 12 months commencing from 1st day of April every year falling immediately after the valuation date [S.2(d)]. Net wealth means taxable wealth. It means the amount by which the aggregate value of all assets (excluding exempted assets) belonging to the assessee on the valuation date including assets required to be included in the net wealth, is in excess of the aggregate value of all debts owed by the assessee on the valuation date which have been incurred in relation to the taxable assets.

2.   Incidence of Wealth Tax

Incidence of tax in the case of an individual depends upon his residential status and nationality. Residential status is decided as per the provisions of the Income-tax Act (Chapter I Supra).

The scope of liability to wealth tax is as follows :

  1. In the case of an individual who is a citizen of India and resident in India, a resident—HUF and company resident in India;
    Wealth tax is chargeable on net wealth comprising of 

    1. All assets in India and outside India;
    2. All debts in India and outside India are deductible in computing the net wealth.
  2. In the case of an individual who is a citizen of India but non-resident in India or not ordinarily resident in India, HUF, non-resident or not ordinarily resident in India and a company non-resident in India;
    1. All assets in India except loan and debts interest whereon is exempt from income-tax under section 10 of the Income-tax Act are chargeable to tax.
    2. All debts in India are deductible in computing the net wealth.
    3. All assets and debts outside India are out of the scope of Wealth Tax Act.
  3. In the case of an individual who is not a citizen of India whether resident, non-resident or not ordinarily resident in India:
    Same as in (b):


The credit balance in a Non-resident (External) Account is exempt from wealth tax provided the depositor is a person resident outside India as defined in the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1973.

Valuation Date

Wealth Tax is levied on the net wealth of a person as on a particular date. This date is known as valuation date. According to section 2(Q) the valuation date is the last day of the previous year relevant to the assessment year. Hence, valuation date is March 31, immediately proceeding the assessment year.

3. Assets

The assets liable to wealth tax as per the definition given in section 2(ea) of the Wealth Tax Act are as under :

(1) Any building or land appurtenant thereto which shall include :

  1. commercial buildings;
  2. residential buildings;
  3. any guest house;
  4. a farm house situated within 25 kilometres from the local limits of any municipality (whether known as Municipality, Municipal Corporation or by any other name) or a Cantonment Board.

However, the following buildings will not be included to assets:

  1. a house meant for residential purposes which is allotted by a company to an employee or an officer or a director who is in whole time employment, having a gross annual salary of less than Rs. 5,00,000/-.
  2. any house for residential or commercial purposes which forms part of stock-in-trade;
  3. any house which the assessee may occupy for the purposes of any business of profession carried on by him.

The following buildings shall also not be an asset w.e.f. A.Y. 1999-2000:

  1. any residential property that has been let out for a minimum period of 300 days in the previous year.
  2. any   property   in   the   nature   of  commercialestablishments or complexes.

(2)  Motor Cars (excluding those used by the assessee in the business of running them on hire or as stock-in-trade).

(3)   Jewellery, bullion, furniture, utensils or any other, article made wholly or partly of gold, silver, platinum or any other previous metal or any alloy containing one or more of such precious metals (excluding those held as stock-in-trade by the assessee). Jewellery includes:

  1. ornaments made of gold, silver, platinum or any other precious metal of any alloy containing one or more of such precious metals, whether or not” containing any precious or semi-precious stones, and whether or not set in any furniture, utensils or other article or worked or sewn into~any wearing apparel;
  2. precious or semi-precious stones, whether or not set in any furniture, utensils or other articles or worked or sewn into any wearing apparel.

For the removal of doubts it has been clarified by explanation 2 to section 2(ea) that the term jewellery does not include the Gold Deposit Bonds issued under the Gold Deposit Scheme, 1999 notified by the Central Government.

(4)  Yachts, boats and aircrafts (excluding those used by the assessee for commercial purposes).

(5)   Urban land; “Urban Land” means land situated :

  1. in any area which is comprised within the jurisdiction of a local authority and which has a population of not less than ten thousand according to the last proceeding census of which the relevant figures have been published before the valuation date; or
  2. any area within such distance, not being more than eight kilometres from the local limits of a local authority as the Central Government may, having regard to the extent, and scope for urbanisation of that may, and other relevant considerations, specify in this behalf by notification in the Official Gazette.

However, the following urban land shall not be included in assets;

  1. land on which construction of a building is not permissible under any law for the time being in force in the area in which such land is situated;
  2. land occupied by any building which has been constructed with the approval of the appropriate authority;
  3. any unused land held by the assessee for industrial purposes for a period of two years from the date of its acquisition by him.
  4. land held by an assessee as stock-in-trade for a period of five years from the date of its acquisition by him. (Ten years w.e.f. A.Y. 1999-2000).

Note: Agricultural land situated in urban area is not liable to wealth-tax.

(6)   Cash in hand;

  1. In case of an individual and HUF cash in hand in excess of Rs. 50,000/- shall be included in assets.
  2. In cash of any other person cash in hand not recorded in the books of account shall be included in assets.

4. Deemed Assets

In computing the net wealth of an assessee, the following assets are included as belonging to the assessee by virtue of section 4(l)(a) of the Wealth Tax Act, 1957.

  1. Assets transferred by one spouse or another.
  2. Assets held by minor children.
    Whether the assets are held by a physically or mentally handicapped minor child (specified in section SOU of the Income Tax Act) such assets will not be clubbed with the net wealth of the parent. In such a case the net wealth of the handicapped minor child shall be determined separately and assessee in his hands.
  3. Assets transferred to a person or an Association of Persons for immediate  or deferred benefit of the transferrer,   his   or   her   spouse   without   adequate consideration.
  4. Assets transferred under revocable transfer.
  5. Assets transferred to son’s wife.
    Assets   transferred   to   a   person   or  Association   of Persons for the benefit of son’s wife.

5. Exempt Assets

The following assets are totally exempt from Wealth Tax (Section 5).

  1. Property held under a trust or other legal obligation for any public purpose of a charitable or religious nature  in India subject to the  satisfaction of the stipulated conditions;
  2. Coparcenary interest in a HUF property;
  3. One residential building belonging to a former Ruler;
  4. Former   Ruler’s  jewellery   (excluding   his   personal jewellery) which has been recognized as a heirloom by the Central Government before 1.4.1957 or by the CBDT after that date;
  5. Assets belonging to the Indian repatriates for 7 years on fulfillment of the conditions prescribed;
  6. One  house  or  part  of a  house   (with  effect  from 1.4.1999 one house or part of a house or a plot of land) belonging to an individual or HUF is exempt from Wealth Tax.

6. Debts Owned

Wealth tax is levied on the ‘net wealth’ which means that from the aggregate of all assets (including deemed assets but excluding exempt assets) the value of debts owed on the valuation date shall be deducted subject to the satisfaction of the following two conditions viz.

  1. Only debts which are ‘owed’ on the valuation date are deductible.
  2. Debts should have been incurred in relation to those assets which are included in the net wealth of the assessee.

Broadly, a debt could be defined as an obligation to pay a liquidated or certain sum of money. A sum which may or may not become due or the payment of which depends upon contingencies which may or may not happen is not a debt. (See Sardar C.S. Angre v. CWT (1968) 69 ITR 336 (MP).

7. Wealth Tax Liability—Whether a Debt Owed?

Wealth tax liability is not deductible in computing the net wealth liable to tax. This position has been made clear by the amendment of section 2(m) with effect from the assessment year 1993-94. Liability under the Wealth-tax Act has been considered as a ‘debt owed’ by the assessee incurred in relation to the assets taxable under the Wealth-tax Act. Such a liability has been considered to be the personal liability of the assessee and is not a debt incurred but a debt created by statute. Hence is deduction is not permissible (See CBDT’s circular No. 663 dated 28th September, 1993).

8. Valuation of Assets

For the purpose of Wealth-tax the value of any asset (other than cash) shall be its value as on the valuation date determined in the manner laid down in Section 7(2) and in Schedule III to the Wealth Tax Act.

9. Return of Wealth Tax

Every person is requaired to file a return of net wealth in Form ‘A’ if his net wealth or net wealth of any other person in respect of which he is assessable under the Act on the valuation date is such an amount as to render ‘ him liable to wealth tax. The dates of filing the return are the same as under the Income-tax Act for filing returns. Where wealth tax is payable on the basis of return to be furnished, the assessee is required to pay the tax before filing of the return and such return is to be accompanied by the proof of payment.

You can download the Wealth Tax Return Form 2BA – here

10. An Illustration

For the assessment year 2001-2002, ‘R’ an Indian National and resident and ordinary resident in India furnishes the following particulars regarding his assets and liabilities.

1 Residential House outside India
2 Jewellery in India
3 Loans taken:
i) For residential house outside India
ii) For   acquiring jewellery
Computation of taxable wealth :
1 Jewellery in India
Less: Debt owed concerning jewellery
Net value of jewellery
2 Property outside India
Less : Debt owed
Net value of property
Total net wealth

In cases of non-resident or resident but not ordinarily resident or a foreign national who is a non-resident, no wealth tax would be leviable on property outside India. In their cases, wealth-tax would be leviable on a sum of Rs. 45,00,000 lakhs only.

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89 Comments on Wealth Tax in India

  1. Rucs says:

    Wealth Tax exemption is enhanced to 30 lakhs. Kinfly verify and change accordingly

    • admin says:

      Yes, you are right. Tax rate is 1% on amount by which ‘net wealth’ exceeds Rs 30 lakhs from AY 2010-11. (Till 31-3-2009, the limit was Rs 15 lakhs). No surcharge or education cess is payable.
      Also, DTC (Direct Tax Code) has proposed to increase the threshold limit for wealth tax significantly, from Rs 30 lakh to Rs 1 crore which should be applicable from April 1, 2012.

  2. abhay says:

    suppose i have 50 lac valution flat and 5 lac gold then how do i calculate the wealth tax . is wealth tax is payable in india or wealth tax is tax free.

    • CA Swati Bajaj says:

      Assuming flats & Jewellery both are assets and not held as stock in trade and also not having any loan over them..and also flat is not held for business purpose or commercial purpose

      Flat 50,00,000
      Jewellery 5,00,000
      total 55,00,000
      Exemption 30,00,000
      Net Wealth 25,00,000
      Tax @ 1% 25,000/-

  3. DEGALA LOKESH says:

    sir present exemption amount how much ? please reply

  4. DEGALA LOKESH says:

    sir please reply present assessment year exemption in wealth tax and interest on wealth tax rate

  5. SNC says:

    I am an NRI from 1992 as also is my wife. Out of income earned overseas by both, assets like Houses/ NRO bank deposits have been acquired in India. What is the wealth tax implication

  6. MK GOENKA says:





  7. Dr.S.K. Pathak says:

    What is % of Taxes? If i shell out my property a Building witch is partial commercial and rest residential and being should in one carore what shall be tax liability ? These questions may also be replied.

  8. Abdul Razack says:

    sir please reply present assessment year exemption in wealth tax and interest on wealth tax rate i.e. 2011-2012

  9. Mukesh says:

    I have a land which i have paying wealth tax in current year. is it wealth tax charge accordingly to declare value in books or market value ?
    Also confirm if we paid wealth tax for this land in current year then have i need to pay in another year again wealth tax for this land.. pls. confirm..

  10. hiren says:

    house purchase in p.y but did is not complet to the date it is included or not

  11. Tabassum says:

    Please reply, how to process wealth tax entry

  12. Vishwas Surana says:

    Can anyone tell me that what is the due date of filing wealth tax return for the A.Y.11-12. And what is the rate of interest to be paid if the wealth tax is paid on february 2012..???

  13. satish says:

    office address in hyderabad, A.P.

  14. raj says:

    is any amount given to your son/daughter (major) also considered for wealth tax?

  15. Leena says:

    Is their a way to check the status on wealth tax meaning if the wealth tax has been filled or not.

  16. G M NAIR says:

    I wish to know that once an individual filed wealth tax return covering the value of his commercial building, residential building, agricultural land, vehicles and bank deposits is filed, then he need to pay pay wealth tax for the next year also if he has no additional possession of assets except his annual income. For that he is paying income tax also. Please confirm sir ?

  17. Who can claime refund of wealth tax ?

    • ashish says:

      Hi..Has the limit of wealth tax limit been increased to 1 crore fro 30 lakh.Or it is still 30 lakh per individual from 1st April-12…???I am not sure weather the DTC has been implemented properly or not.If anybody has some information please share…

  18. Er. Zahur Shaikh says:

    What is the exception for Urban land or Plot? At which distance it is not considered as urban Land or Plot?

  19. Vivek says:

    I have leased a flat from Noida authority (local municipal body) for 99 years. Which costed me 34 lakhs. Will this leased flat be counted for wealth tax?


  20. A.L.Chaudhary says:





  21. A.L.Chaudhary says:

    Whether following are exempted from wealth tax:-
    1 Investment in equith , debenture and mutual fund
    2 Balance in NRO bank account,
    3 Fixed deposits in bank and companies in India.
    4. House construction of which was completed in January could not be let out for minimum period of 300 day in that year.

    • ashok kumar says:

      pls reply for GPF, Gratuity, Leave Encashment paymnet if received from his employer are taxable under Wealth Tax in India.

  22. ashok says:

    What will be value of house which purchase in 1985, whether it would be the purchase price or present value as per circle rate for calculation wealth tax of house property.


    • A . B. Jain says:

      One residential house/flat is exempt. However other flat is taxable The Value of such other flat is determined on 31st March each year as per value mentioned in the manual as published by the state govt. or the valuation report which ever is higher.

  23. jayesh patel says:

    what is a current slab of wealth tax i herd that it has increses to 1 crore

  24. Raju Gubbi says:

    plz send top 20 wealth tax payers list in India. i am useing in project work

    plz send………………

  25. ravindra yadav says:

    Pl.let me know what is the exemption limit for 2012-2013 whether 30 lacs or 1 crore.

  26. yoggesh yadav says:

    Current limit is 30 lacs.

  27. CHANDRAMOHAN says:


  28. Vijay says:

    I inherited jewellery from my Mother and live in the US. What do I need to do to show this has been transferred to the US and no longer is subject to wealth tax in India since the jewellery is no longer in INdia?

    • ajay rawat says:

      Q-6 Compute the net wealth and wealth tax liability of R Ltd. as on 31-3-2011. The company is engaged in jewellery business-exports and domestic sales:

      Factory buildings 43,00,000
      Bank balance 12,20,000
      Unaccounted cash balance 6,50,000
      Silver ware 94,00,000
      Gold ornaments 96,00,000
      Motor cars 15,00,000
      Guest house in London 8,00,000

      The company has taken a loan of Rs. 6,00,000 by mortgaging guest house and built the factory premises.

  29. Rohit says:


    Is wealth tax is calculated every year? Suppose Some one has taxable wealth Rs 50 Lac in 31 march 2012, and paid Tax as well. On 31 march 2013, the total value of the same wealth is only 55 Lac, is some body is liable to pay wealth tax on 31 march 2013, if yes than how much?

  30. JEET GANDHI says:

    if i have wealth which is earned from my ancenterns.
    than why it is taxable in my hands????

  31. M.K.PARAMESWARAN says:

    have family coffee plantation for 3 generations.the same is registered as coffee plantation.Now it is a municipal area.Does this attract wealth tax


  32. shiv gautam says:

    thanks for satiating the queries so nicely.

  33. shiv gautam says:

    ……but most queries are yet to be replied.

  34. SUBHASH says:

    Is it necessary to make the valuation of the residantial property which is exempted from the valuer? ( One can have only one house). Please reply as earliest.

  35. prasad says:


    This article is a useful information for me

    Thanks for your efforts


  36. UMESH says:

    I heard that recently Maharashtra Government increased the wealth Tax. If you have second house after June 2013 then the wealth tax will be charged as high as 35% of the property value, is it true?

  37. patil Ashok Govindrao says:

    Sir , Can you sugesst any book on wealth tax . I want to know the previuous rates of wealth tax . As I have not filed wealth tax return since 1998. I want evaluate my position wther I am liable to pay or not. Please send me abstrct of rate on my email id.

    thanking you ,
    Ashok Patil

  38. krishan goyal says:

    we are a partnership firm .kindly tell if we are liable to file wealth tax returns

  39. ashok g.w. says:

    Wheather Cash in Business exceeding 50000 recorded in business cash book of an individual will exempt from the Wealth Tax. Kindly suggest.

  40. ashok g.w. says:

    Cars say about 2-3 Nos used in business for carrying out the business activities other than business of hiring, which are controlled from Head Office of an individual at a dustance about 50 Km and the Cars are shown in the individuals balance sheet and the depreciation at appropriate rate is being claimed and allowed since, the cars are used for business purpose. Whether these cars are exempted from Wealth Tax.

  41. ashok kumar says:

    Please reply if GPF, Gratuity, Leave Encashment if received on retirement from the Employer are taxable under Wealth Tax in India

  42. I am not sure where you are getting your info,
    but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.
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  43. DN says:

    I will inherit cash value of 55lacs as an inheritance. Do I have to pay wealth tax in India. Currently, I am a resident of USA.
    Please advise, who pays the wealth tax?
    Thanks for your co-operation.

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