Concept of Income under the Income-tax Act, 1961

Regular receipt vis-a-vis casual receipt:

Income, in general, means a periodic monetary return which accrues or is expected to accrue regularly from definite sources. However, under the Income-tax Act, 1961, even certain incomes which do not arise regularly are treated as income for tax purposes e.g. Winnings from lotteries, crossword puzzles.


Revenue receipt vis-a-vis Capital receipt:

Income normally refers to revenue receipts. Capital receipts are generally not included within the scope of income in general parlance. However, the Income-tax Act, 1961 has specifically included certain capital receipts within the definition of income e.g., Capital gains i.e., gains on sale of a capital assets like land.


Net receipt vis-a-vis Gross receipt:

Income means net receipts and not gross receipts. Net receipts are arrived at after deducting the expenditure incurred in connection with earning such receipts. The expenditure which can be deducted while computing income under each head is prescribed under the Income-tax Act, 1961. Income from certain eligible businesses/ professions is also determined on presumptive basis i.e., as a certain percentage of gross receipts.


Due basis vis-a-vis receipt basis:

Income is taxable either on due basis or receipt basis. For computing income under the heads “Profits and gains of business or profession” and “Income from other sources”, the method of accounting regularly employed by the assessee should be considered, which can be either cash system or mercantile system. Some receipts are taxable only on receipt basis, like, income by way of interest received on compensation or enhanced compensation.

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