Wealth Tax Act 1967: A Study - Corpbiz Advisors | Blogs (2023)

The Wealth Tax Act of 1967, enacted by the Government of India, was an important step towards promoting the equitable distribution of wealth in the country. The Act aimed to address the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few individuals and promote social justice by imposing a tax on the net wealth of individuals, Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs)[1], and companies. In this blog, we will delve into the key provisions and implications of the Wealth Tax Act 1967.

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The Wealth TaxAct is legislation enacted by the Government of India to impose a tax on thenet wealth of individuals, Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs), and companies. TheAct was first introduced in 1957 and underwent subsequent amendments, with theWealth Tax Act of 1967 being a significant milestone in the evolution of thistax.

Here’s an overview of the Wealth Tax Act 1967:


TheWealth Tax Act 1967 applies to individuals, HUFs, and companies whose netwealth exceeds the specified threshold. The Act defines net wealth as theaggregate value of assets owned by the taxpayer, reduced by the value of debtsowed by them.

Assets Covered:

The Actincludes a broad range of assets in its definition of wealth. These assetsinclude land, buildings, residential houses, commercial properties, jewellery,bullion, vehicles, yachts, aircraft, cash in hand exceeding a certain limit,and more. However, certain assets like productive business assets,stock-in-trade, and certain specified properties are exempted from wealth tax.

Net Wealth Calculation:

Tocalculate net wealth, the Act requires taxpayers to determine the total valueof their assets as per the prescribed valuation rules. These rules provideguidelines on the valuation of various assets, such as the market value forimmovable properties, the fair market value for shares and securities, andprescribed methods for valuing other assets.

Exemptions and Deductions:

TheWealth Tax Act provides certain exemptions and deductions to ensure thatgenuine hardships are not faced by taxpayers. These exemptions includeproperties used for commercial purposes, certain specified assets like artworksand antiques, certain rural properties, and specified small businesses.Additionally, loans taken for acquiring, constructing, or repairing a propertyare deductible from the net wealth.

Tax Rates and Slabs:

The Actprescribes a progressive tax rate based on the net wealth of the taxpayer. Thetax rates range from 0.25% to 1%, depending on the wealth bracket. Higher ratesare applicable for individuals with higher net wealth.

Compliance and Filing Requirements:

Under the Wealth Tax Act, taxpayers are required to file wealth tax returns providing details of their assets, liabilities, and net wealth. The Act also empowers tax authorities to conduct assessments, audits, and inquiries to ensure proper compliance.

Repeal of the Act:

TheWealth Tax Act 1967 was repealed by the Finance Act 2015, with effect from thefinancial year 2016-17. The government took this step as part of its efforts tosimplify the tax structure and reduce compliance burdens. However, the wealthtax provisions still apply for the financial years prior to 2016-17.

It’s importantto note that the information provided here is a general overview of the WealthTax Act 1967, and specific details and provisions may vary. It is alwaysadvisable to consult with a tax professional or refer to the relevantlegislation for accurate and up-to-date information.


The Wealth TaxAct, during its existence, had several implications for individuals, HinduUndivided Families (HUFs), and companies subject to its provisions. Here aresome key implications of the Wealth Tax Act:

Equitable Distribution of Wealth:

The primaryobjective of the Wealth Tax Act was to promote a more equitable distribution ofwealth. By imposing a tax on individuals and entities with substantial netwealth, the Act aimed to reduce wealth disparities and promote social justice.

Revenue Generation:

Thewealth tax served as a significant source of revenue for the government. Thetax collected under the Wealth Tax Act contributed to funding various welfareand development programs aimed at benefiting society as a whole.

Asset Evaluation and Planning:

The Actprompted individuals and entities to evaluate their asset portfolios in orderto determine their net wealth. This process encouraged individuals to assesstheir wealth holdings, plan their investments, and make informed financialdecisions.

Compliance and Disclosure:

TheWealth Tax Act required taxpayers to provide accurate declarations of theirassets and liabilities. This enhanced transparency and accountability in wealthmanagement and discouraged tax evasion practices.

Administrative and Compliance Burden:

The Actimposed administrative and compliance burdens on taxpayers. They were requiredto maintain proper records, file wealth tax returns, and comply with assessmentprocedures. This increased the compliance workload for individuals and entitiessubject to the Act.

Impact on Investment Decisions:

Theimposition of wealth tax influenced investment decisions, especially forhigh-net-worth individuals and entities. The tax liability associated withcertain assets, such as real estate and valuable personal possessions, had an impacton investment strategies and asset allocation choices.

Repeal and Simplification:

TheWealth Tax Act 1967 was eventually repealed in 2015, with effect from thefinancial year 2016-17. The decision to repeal the Act was driven by thegovernment’s aim to simplify the tax structure and reduce compliance burdens.

It is worthnoting that the implications mentioned here relate to the time when the WealthTax Act was in force. Since its repeal, the specific implications of the Actare no longer applicable. However, understanding its historical implicationsprovides insights into the evolution of tax policies and their impact on wealthmanagement and distribution.


The Wealth TaxAct held significant importance during its existence. Here are some key aspectsthat highlight the significance of the Wealth Tax Act:

Promoting Economic Equality:

TheWealth Tax Act aimed to address wealth disparities and promote economicequality. By levying a tax on individuals and entities with high net wealth,the Act sought to redistribute wealth and reduce the concentration of wealth inthe hands of a few.

Social Justice:

TheAct was driven by principles of social justice. It sought to ensure that theburden of taxation was borne by those who possessed significant wealth, therebypromoting a fairer distribution of resources and opportunities within society.

Revenue Generation:

The wealth tax served as a revenue-generating mechanism for the government. The tax collected under the Act contributed to the overall revenue pool, which could be utilized for various developmental projects, social welfare programs, and infrastructure initiatives.

Encouraging Asset Diversification:

TheWealth Tax Act fostered transparency and compliance among taxpayers. Byrequiring individuals and entities to declare their assets and liabilities, theAct promoted greater accountability and discouraged tax evasion practices.

Evaluating Wealth Distribution:

The Actprovided insights into the distribution of wealth within the country. The datacollected through wealth tax assessments and declarations helped policymakersand researchers analyze wealth patterns, identify areas of concern, and devisestrategies for inclusive economic growth.

Historical Context:

TheWealth Tax Act played a significant role in shaping India’s tax policy andlegislative framework. It represented a proactive step by the government toaddress wealth disparities and promote social justice. It also contributed tothe overall evolution of tax laws in the country.

It is importantto note that the Wealth Tax Act 1967 was repealed in 2015, and the significancementioned above pertains to its historical context. While the Act is no longerin force, it remains a significant chapter in the country’s tax history andprovides insights into the government’s efforts to promote equitable wealthdistribution.

Important Sections

The Wealth TaxAct 1967 contained various sections that outlined the provisions, definitions,and procedures related to the taxation of wealth. Here are some importantsections of the Wealth Tax Act 1967:

Section 2:


Section2 of the Act provided definitions of key terms used throughout the legislation,such as “assessee,” “net wealth,” “specifiedasset,” “valuation date,” and more. These definitions wereessential for interpreting the provisions of the Act.

Section 3:

Charge of Wealth Tax

Section3 stated that a tax, known as wealth tax, shall be charged for every assessmentyear in respect of the net wealth of the assessee as of the valuation date.

Section 4:

Computationof Net Wealth

Section4 outlined the procedure for computing the net wealth of an assessee. Itspecified the assets and liabilities to be included in the net wealthcalculation and provided rules for the valuation of various assets.

Section 5:


Section5 listed the exemptions from wealth tax. It included exemptions for certainassets such as productive business assets, stock-in-trade, certain specifiedproperties, and assets used for commercial purposes.

Section 16:

Assessmentand Reassessment

Section16 dealt with the assessment and reassessment procedures under the Wealth TaxAct. It outlined the time limits for filing wealth tax returns, conducting assessments,and issuing notices to taxpayers.

Section 18:


Section18 provided provisions for filing appeals against the orders of the Wealth TaxOfficer. It specified the appellate authorities, time limits for filingappeals, and the procedures to be followed during the appellate process.

Section 22:


Section22 detailed the penalties for non-compliance with the provisions of the Act. Itspecified the penalties for failure to furnish returns, concealment of wealth,and other offences under the Act.

Section 27:

Repeal and Savings

Section27 addressed the repeal of the Wealth Tax Act 1967. It provided for the repealof the Act and clarified that the repeal should not affect any proceedingsinitiated or any rights accrued under the Act prior to the repeal.

These sectionsare a representative sample of the provisions found in the Wealth Tax Act 1967.It’s important to note that the Act has been repealed, and specific provisionsand sections may have been amended or replaced by subsequent legislation.


The Wealth TaxAct of 1967 imposed a tax known as “wealth tax” on the net wealth ofindividuals, Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs), and companies. The tax was leviedbased on the value of the taxable wealth owned by the taxpayer. The charges ofwealth tax were as follows:

Rate of Tax:

TheWealth Tax Act prescribed a progressive tax rate based on the net wealth of thetaxpayer. The rates ranged from 0.25% to 1%, depending on the wealth bracket.

Threshold Limit:

The Actspecified a threshold limit beyond which wealth tax was applicable.Individuals, HUFs, and companies whose net wealth exceeded the specifiedthreshold were liable to pay wealth tax.

Valuation of Assets:

The taxliability was calculated based on the valuation of the assets owned by thetaxpayer. The Act provided rules and methods for determining the value ofvarious assets, such as market value for immovable properties, fair marketvalue for shares and securities, and prescribed methods for valuing otherassets.

Exemptions and Deductions:

TheWealth Tax Act provided certain exemptions and deductions to reduce the taxburden on taxpayers. Exemptions included properties used for commercialpurposes, certain specified assets like artworks and antiques, certain ruralproperties, and specified small businesses. Additionally, loans taken foracquiring, constructing, or repairing a property were deductible from the netwealth.

It’s importantto note that the Wealth Tax Act 1967 was repealed in 2015, and the chargesmentioned above were applicable during its existence. The Act has been replacedby other tax laws, and the specific charges and rates may have changedaccordingly. It is always advisable to refer to the relevant legislation andconsult with a tax professional for accurate and up-to-date information on thecurrent tax charges.


The Wealth Tax Act of 1967 played a crucial role in addressing wealth disparities and promoting a more equitable distribution of wealth in India. It served as a significant revenue generator for the government and encouraged transparency and compliance. While the Act has been repealed in recent years, its impact on wealth planning and social justice remains noteworthy. Understanding the provisions and implications of this Act provides valuable insights into the historical evolution of tax policies and their contribution to the overall economic

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