NEW DELHI : Even as more than one-third income tax return (ITR) filers had no tax liability, latest data from the income tax department shows that there were more than 16,000 individual taxpayers who shelled out taxes worth over 1 crore in financial year 2017-18.

According to a report on ITR statistics released by the I-T department recently, India had 16,759 people whose tax liability was at least 1 crore. Out of this, most of them (15,408) had tax liability of less than 5 crore. A small club of 7 super-rich taxpayers had tax liability in the 100-500 crore bracket.

The income tax department's data reveals some interesting insights on tax liability in India. Here are 5 such things to know:

1) Around 5.5 crore people had filed income tax returns in FY 2017-18, out of which 2.2 crore, more than a third, had had no tax liability.

2) A majority of the taxpayers (2.94 crore) had income tax liability of less than 1.5 lakh. Their average liability was around 23,000.

3) A small exclusive group of seven super-rich individuals gave a revenue of 1,060 crore to the income tax department, with each of them paying at least 100 crore in income tax. Due to privacy issues, the finance ministry does not reveal their names in public.

4) In 2017-18, the government collected a total of 3.17 lakh crore in direct taxes from individual assessees.

5) India had no individual taxpayer who paid more than 500 crore as income tax. In fact, there were only 3 persons who earned more than 500 crore, as declared in their ITRs.

Earlier this year, Mint had reported that the Narendra Modi government is planning an unconventional plan to reward India’s top income taxpayers by offering them the privilege of being invited to tea with the finance minister or the prime minister, among other non-monetary incentives.

This year's Economic Survey, authored by Chief Economic Adviser Krishnamurthy Subramanian, had also recommended that the government should start offering special privileges and recognition for top tax payers like quick boarding at airports, special lane at immigration counters, fast-lane privileges on roads and toll booths, etc. It had even suggested naming important buildings, monuments, roads, trains, initiatives, schools and universities, hospitals and airports in their names.

For the first time this year, the income tax department ran an e-mail campaign thanking all those who filed their ITRs within the last date of August 31.

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