Every salaried individual, working and earning a monthly income with a payslip would be aware of the term ‘professional tax’ as it’s mentioned in the payslips/Form 16 issued to them. But why is it deducted from the salary income? Here, we have explained everything about professional tax including its slab, online payment and frequently asked questions.

What is Professional Tax?

Every salaried individual, working and earning a monthly income, is liable to pay a certain part of his/her earnings to the respective state governments in the form of professional tax. This tax, often referred to as P tax, is reflected in an individual’s salary slip as well. An employer directly deducts this tax amount from an employee’s monthly income before handing out the remuneration.

Apart from salaried employees, professionals cab pay it directly to the state government. They can also claim a tax deduction for this tax paid during the financial year as per the Income Tax Act 1961.   

 Where is Professional Tax Applicable?

Since the state governments decide the quantum of this taxation, it tends to differ between the various states in India. Therefore, an individual employed in Gujarat will not pay the same amount as professional tax as another person employed in Maharashtra.

Self-employed individuals, such as chartered accountants, doctors, lawyers and others also need to bear the professional tax. However, in these cases, the professionals will need to clear their tax liabilities on their own. The tax rate applied depends on the individual’s income and state of practice.

What is the Professional Income Tax Limit?

The professional tax was introduced in 1949. At that time, the limit for this tax was set at Rs.250. However, in 1988, the limit was increased Rs.2500. The exact liability, however, depends on the employee’s income slab and state of employment. However, regardless of these two factors, professional tax for a month cannot exceed Rs.2500.

Who Levies Professional Tax?

Even though Article 276 of the Indian Constitution grants the Parliament to make decisions and laws regarding taxes implemented on an individual’s income, professional tax is an exception to this rule. One must remember that even though all states have the power to levy this tax, not everyone chooses to. 

The following table highlights the states where this particular tax is applicable and where it is not.

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States Where P Tax is Applicable States (and UTs) Where P Tax Does Not Exist
Gujarat Jammu & Kashmir
Madhya Pradesh Uttarakhand
Bihar Punjab
Jharkhand Haryana
West Bengal Delhi
Sikkim Uttar Pradesh
Meghalaya Rajasthan
Assam Arunachal Pradesh
Tripura Daman & Diu
Nagaland Dadra & Nagar Haveli
Manipur  Goa
Mizoram Lakshadweep 
Orissa Andaman & Nicobar Islands
Chhattisgarh Himachal Pradesh
Maharashtra Chandigarh
Andhra Pradesh
Tamil Nadu

Who collects PT?

The Commercial Tax Department is responsible for collecting this tax. Individuals who are employed at a firm or business need not pay this tax separately since it is already deducted by the employer and cleared on behalf of employees. Moreover, if the employer is a person, instead of being an entity, he/she is liable to bear professional taxes on profession or trade as well.

To charge and pay taxes, employers need to register for two specific certificates. These are – 

  1. Professional tax registration certificate – This is a document certifying the employer to pay professional tax on his/her business or trade.
  2. Professional tax enrolment certificate – This is another document that authorises an employer to deduct professional tax from his/her employees for the sole purpose of clearing the liabilities with the state government.

Other certificates and registrations may be necessary as well, depending on the particular state’s legislation and guidelines. However, in some cases, the state may waive off professional tax liabilities for certain categories. For instance, Karnataka exempts all such tax liabilities for blind individuals working and earning within the state.

How to Pay Professional tax – Professional Tax Online Payment Procedure

According to Professions, Trades, Callings and Employments Act of 2000, self-employed individuals, not actively engaged with a third party organisation or firm, also need to bear this tax similar to professional tax for employees. The only difference, in this case, is that the self-employed individuals are responsible for paying this tax on their own.

Doctors, technology expert, chartered accountants, medical professionals and freelancers are some of the self-employed categories who need to pay professional tax where applicable. The first thing that they require to proceed in this respect is a professional tax registration number. After acquiring this number, one can choose to pay professional tax online or offline.

  • Offline method

Taxpayers can visit one of the numerous tax offices and fill up the relevant professional tax form with all their necessary details. Submitting this form, along with the outstanding professional tax amount, clears their liabilities.

  • Online method

One would need to register on the online professional tax portal of the state where the business is located. This should provide the taxpayer with the registration number. Once the details are verified and the certificates issued, individuals can start clearing their professional taxes online. One can pay using debit or credit cards or internet banking.

Using the online portal is more convenient and saves time. One does not need to visit tax offices to pay the sum physically, and simply transfer the outstanding funds with a click of a button.

Penalty for Non-Payment of Professional Tax

An individual or business may have to pay extra if they fail to clear the tax dues on time. The exact penalty varies from one state to the next, but all states impose such fines for late payment. 

Similarly, businesses that fail to register and obtain the professional tax registration certificate and enrolment certificate on time are also penalised. Again, the extent of the penalty is different in every state. 

Lastly, one may need to bear hefty penalties if he/she is found to have misled the state government with incorrect information about the business. Under Section 5(6) of the Profession Tax Act, misinformation in the registration or enrolment certificate can increase an individual’s professional tax burdens by up to three times. Therefore, it is essential to check all your details when applying for one of these professional tax certificates.

Paying Professional Tax in Advance

While one can continue clearing professional tax payments every month, businesses and individuals can also clear these tax liabilities in advance. Doing so can be highly beneficial as some states offer discounts and rebates in such cases. However, to prepay professional taxes, one needs to be extremely familiar with the various slabs of the state where his/her business or employment is located.

  • Maharashtra Professional Tax Slabs

Monthly Income  P Tax Deduction Each Month
Up to Rs.7500 for men and up to Rs.10000 for women Nil
Rs.7501-Rs.10000 for men Rs.175
More than Rs.10000 Rs.200 (Rs.300 in February only)
  • West Bengal Professional Tax Slabs

Monthly Income P Tax Deduction Each Month
Up to Rs.8500 Nil
Rs.8501-Rs.10000 Rs.90
Rs.10001-Rs.15000 Rs.110
Rs.15001-Rs.25000 Rs.130
Rs.25001-Rs.40000 Rs.150
More than Rs.40000 Rs.200
  • Tamil Nadu Professional Tax Slabs

Monthly Income P Tax Deduction Each Month
Up to Rs.3500 Nil
Rs.3501-Rs.5000 Rs.16.66
Rs.5001-Rs.9000 Rs.40
Rs.9001-Rs.12500 Rs.126.67
More than Rs.12500 Rs.182.50

These are just the slabs for some of the states where the government levies the professional tax. Residents of other states need to determine the slabs followed there to assess their professional tax liabilities effectively. 

Professional Tax Karnataka Slabs

Monthly Salary Professional tax Applicable
Up to Rs.14,999 Nil
More than 15,000 Rs.200 per month

Professional Tax – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Ques. How to calculate Professional Tax?

Ans. Professional tax is calculated on the basis of preset slabs which depends on the monthly or yearly salary. The important thing is these slabs differ from state to state in India. Generally, it is Rs 200 per month provided the maximum tax in a financial year should not be above Rs 2,500.

Ques. Which category of people is exempted from Professional Tax? 

Ans. The following category of people are exempted from PT

  • Any individual who is more than 65 years of age
  • Members of the forces as per the Air Force Act, 1950, the Army Act, 1950 and the Navy Act, 1957 which includes members of auxiliary forces or reservists, serving in the state
  • Parents of disabled children
  • An individual who is suffering from a permanent physical disability which also includes blindness
  • Temporary textile industry workers

Ques. How to obtain a professional tax certificate?

Ans. One can get a Professional tax certificate by registering for it on the professional tax website of the respective state.