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A chronology of Income Tax since 1950s

Upset with your income tax deductions? Then how about going back to 1973-74, when the effective rate at the top was 97.5 per cent and there were 11 rate slabs?

     Print Edition: July 12, 2009

Upset with your income tax deductions? Then how about going back to 1973-74, when the effective rate at the top was 97.5 per cent and there were 11 rate slabs?

1950s
Maximum rate of income tax reduced from 5 annas to 4 annas. Wealth tax comes in.

1960s
The highest marginal rate on unearned income cut from 88.25 per cent to 81.25 per cent and that on earned income from 82.5 per cent to 74.75 per cent.

1973-74
Eleven tax slabs, with rates from 10 to 85 per cent. The top marginal rate is effectively 97.75.

1985-87
Finance Minister V.P. Singh (1985-87) reduces number of IT slabs to four, cuts top marginal IT rate to 50 per cent.

1990-91
In five Budgets between 1991-96, FM Manmohan Singh reduces IT slabs to three (20, 30 and 40 per cent).

1997-98
P. Chidambaram’s ‘dream budget’ cuts peak rate of income tax to 30 per cent for 150k and above. Manmohan Singh, then in Opposition, criticises the rate cut.

1998-99
Exemption limit raised to Rs 50k. Standard deduction raised to Rs 25k.

2001-02
All surcharges abolished except surcharge at the rate of 2 per cent for the National Calamity Fund.

2002-03
Two rates of personal IT slabs: 20 per cent up to Rs 4 lakh per annum and 30 per cent for income more than Rs 4 lakh.

2007-08
Basic exemption limit for all assessees raised from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1,10,000. Similar increase provided to women and senior citizens.

2009-10
Experts suggest keeping just two tax slabs of 10 per cent and 20 per cent. Wait till July 6 to see if this happens.

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