Income tax on Gifts/Gift tax in india


If a person receives Gifts (either in cash or in kind) from any person, gift tax is to be paid by recipient of gift. Such income would be taxable in the year in which the gift is being received and taxable under head income from other sources. After adding the value of Gift so received to income under head other sources, the gross total income would be computed and the tax would be levied on the gross total income as per the income tax slab rates.

Income Tax on Gift received by an individual or HUF is governed by provisions of Section 56(ii) of the Income Tax Act.
Gifts received from Relatives – Fully not taxable for recipients
Gift received from Specified Relatives is fully exempted and no income tax would be levied on such Gifts.

The persons who constitute relatives for this purpose are defined as under:

  • Spouse of the Individual
  • Brother or Sister of the Individual
  • Brother or Sister of the spouse of the Individual
  • Brother or Sister of either of the parents of the Individual
  • Any Linear ascendant or descendent of the Individual
  • Any Linear ascendant or descendent of the spouse of the Individual
  • Spouse of the person mentioned above

There is no maximum limit on the value of gifts received to be exempted from Gift Tax. All gifts received from relatives (irrespective of value) are exempted from the levy of Gift Tax.

If the aggregate value of gifts received is less than Rs. 50,000(Non-relatives): Income tax Act has defined Rs. 50,000 as the exemption limit. If the total value of gifts (whether in cash or in kind) received from a persons (except relatives as specified above) in any financial year does not exceed Rs. 50,000/-, then such gift are not liable to Gift Tax. However, if the value of gifts received exceeds Rs. 50,000/-. Then the entire gift so received is taxable as Income from other sources.

On the occasion of Marriage of the Individual: Gifts received by an individual on his own marriage are fully exempted from Gift Tax. It has also been clarified that the gifts received by a person on his own marriage are exempted and not on the marriage of their son/daughter/brother/sister.

Gift Tax on Property received
Gift Tax on Assets received in kind would be levied in the following manner:-

  • In case the property is received without any consideration,the value mentioned in the registered value of the property(stamp duty value) would be taxable (provided the stamp duty value exceeds Rs. 50,000);
  • In case part consideration is being paid by the person receiving the gift, and the difference between the part payment made and the stamp duty value is more than Rs. 50,000/-, such difference would be taxable.

In case of Immovable Properties, the stamp duty value would be considered and in case of Movable Properties, the fair market value would be considered.

The meaning of property has also been defined and Property means:-

  • Immovable Property being land or Building or both
  • Shares and Securities
  • Jewellery
  • Archaeological Collections
  • Drawings
  • Paintings
  • Sculptures
  • Any other work of Art

Tax on Property received as Gift would only be levied in case of the above mentioned properties. Thus, in case any property is not listed above, tax on those properties received as gift would not be levied. Examples of such properties on which gift tax would not be levied are Cars, Laptops, and Mobiles etc.
Gifts received under a Will or by way of Inheritance or in contemplation of death of the payer
Any amount received under a will or by way of inheritance or in contemplation of death of the payer is fully exempted in the hands of the person receiving the gift. There is no maximum limit in this case and the whole gift received is considered as tax free.

– Venkata Ramani

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