Different Types of Taxes & Tax Structure in India

Types of Taxes

The Indian tax system is a vital component of the country's financial framework. It empowers the government to collect revenues necessary for public works and economic development. Understanding the intricacies of the Indian tax system is essential for both individual taxpayers and businesses to make informed financial decisions. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the features of the Indian tax system, the income tax structure in India, the overall tax structure, major taxes in India, and the different types of taxes that exist within the system.

Features of the Indian Tax System

The Indian tax system is characterized by its division into two main categories: direct taxes and indirect taxes. Direct taxes are levied directly on individuals or entities' income, while indirect taxes are imposed on goods and services during their purchase and sale. Let's explore these tax categories in more detail.

Direct Taxes in India

Direct taxes are managed by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and are categorized into different types:

  • Income Tax: Income tax is levied on an individual's or entity's annual income. It applies to both salaried and self-employed individuals. Under the Indian tax system, individuals under the age of 60 can claim a tax exemption of up to Rs. 2.5 lakh per year.
  • Tax on Securities Transactions: This tax is applicable to stock market and securities trading. It is known as the securities transaction tax and is imposed on share prices and traded securities on the Indian Stock Exchange.
  • Wealth Tax: The wealth tax is no longer applicable in India.
  • Gift Tax: The gift tax has been abolished in India.
  • Tax on Expenditure: The Indian tax system has replaced this with the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which we'll discuss under indirect taxes.

Read More: Navigate through the various income tax slabs to understand how they impact your earnings. Check out our comprehensive guide!

Indirect Taxes in India

Indirect taxes in India are levied on goods and services during their purchase and sale. The introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has significantly simplified the indirect tax structure. The GST covers various aspects of indirect taxation that were previously handled separately:

  • Goods and Services Tax (GST): GST is a consumption tax that applies to the provision of goods and services. It has replaced multiple indirect taxes, including Value Added Tax (VAT), OCTROI, and Central Value Added Tax (CENVAT). GST is applicable at every stage of the production and distribution process, promoting transparency and efficiency in taxation.
  • Other Forms of Indirect Taxes: While GST has streamlined many indirect taxes, there are still some exceptions. Certain items and services, such as electricity, alcoholic beverages, and petroleum products, remain excluded from GST taxation. These items continue to be taxed based on the previous tax framework established by state governments.

Major Taxes in India

India's tax structure comprises various significant taxes, with income tax and GST being the most prominent. Let's take a closer look at these major taxes:

  • Income Tax: Income tax is a crucial component of the Indian tax system. It is levied on the income of individuals and entities. The tax structure is progressive, with varying tax rates depending on income levels. Income tax returns must be filed annually, and the tax collected is used to fund government initiatives and public services.
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST): GST is a unified consumption tax that has replaced a multitude of indirect taxes. It applies to the sale of goods and services at each stage of production and distribution. The introduction of GST has streamlined the taxation system, reducing complexities and ensuring uniformity in tax rates across states.

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Different Types of Taxes in India

Beyond the major taxes, there are various other taxes and duties that contribute to the Indian tax system's complexity. Some of these include:

  • Tax on Securities Transactions: This tax applies to the trading of securities, such as stocks, on the stock exchange. It is important to understand the tax implications when engaging in securities trading.1
  • Tax on Dividend Distribution: Corporations in India are subject to dividend distribution tax when distributing dividends to their shareholders. This tax affects both the company and the investors.
  • Real Estate Tax: Property transactions in India are subject to various taxes, including stamp duty and registration fees. The rates can vary between states, making it essential to consider these costs when buying or selling real estate.
  • Education Cess: An education cess is levied to fund education-related initiatives. This additional tax contributes to educational development in the country.
  • Tolls and Road Tax: Tolls and road taxes are imposed on the use of highways and roads. These taxes help maintain and improve the country's infrastructure.'

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Understanding the Indian tax system and its various components is essential for individuals and businesses to comply with tax regulations and make informed financial decisions. Whether it's income tax, GST, or other taxes, staying informed about the tax structure in India is the key to efficient tax planning and financial management. It's crucial to consult with tax professionals and experts to navigate the complexities of the Indian tax system and ensure compliance with all tax regulations.


*Tax benefits are as per the Income Tax Act, 1961, and are subject to any amendments made thereto from time to time’

The article is meant to be general and informative in nature and should not be construed as solicitation material. Please read the related product brochures for exclusions, terms and conditions, warranties, etc. carefully before concluding a sale. Make responsible financial decisions. Consult with your financial advisor before making any decisions on insurance purchase.

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