Introduction to Professional Tax:

In India, the Professional Tax Act is a state-level tax law that requires people in trades, professions, callings, and employment to pay taxes.

In India, state governments levy professional taxes on individuals who work as paid professionals, including doctors, lawyers, chartered accountants, and other professionals. In states where the Act is in force, employers are obliged to withhold taxes from workers’ salaries.

Professional Tax Act Image

History of the Professional Tax:

The Professional Tax Act in India has its historical roots in the early attempts by state governments to raise more money by directly taxing the income of people working in a variety of trades, jobs of work, and occupations.

The 1960s and 1980s saw the implementation of professional tax legislation in many states. This legislation was usually in the form of income slabs, meaning that higher earners paid a higher tax rate.

Several states, including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh, enacted professional tax acts and adjusted the structure to suit their own budgetary needs.

Every state has its own laws, exclusions, and compliance standards, which are frequently customized to fit the financial and administrative resources of the region.

Pre-Independence Era

  • During the pre-independence era in India, colonial and princely state governments implemented a range of direct and indirect taxes to generate revenue for administrative and public services.
  • Some princely states did impose income or occupation taxes to generate funds.

Post-Independence Fiscal Policies

  • Following India’s independence, the country adopted a federal structure, with taxation powers divided between the central and state governments as outlined in the Constitution of India.
  • Taxation of professions, trades, callings, and employments was given to state governments under Entry 60 of the State List in the Seventh Schedule.
professional taax

Professional taxation is still a significant source of funding for many state governments today. The basic ideas of the tax act have not changed over time, despite changes to its rates and structures.

Employers are obligated to withhold professional tax from their employees’ wages and submit it to the state government, whereas self-employed individuals must personally remit the tax.

Constitutional Amendments and Updates

In compliance with the Profession Tax Act of 1987 (as amended), the Commercial Taxes Department has been designated as the principal agency in charge of obtaining Professional Tax payments from professionals within the State. The Department is currently engaging in one-on-one interactions with taxpayers as part of its endeavour to highlight the urgent need for prompt settlement of Profession Tax obligations.

Significant Events

  • 1950: The Constitution of India incorporates regulations for professional tax in Article 276.
  • 1960s-1970s: States commence the implementation of professional tax laws.
  • 1988: The Constitution (Sixtieth Amendment) Act raises the maximum professional tax limit to INR 2,500.
  • 1990s-Present: Ongoing enhancements and adjustments to professional tax laws by states to improve collection and adherence.
Indian Labour laws

indian constitution

Constitutional Provisions in Professional Tax

The Indian Constitution’s Article 276 expressly gives state governments the authority to tax occupations, trades, vocations, and employment.

The annual maximum for professional tax was initially set at INR 250. However, the Constitution (Sixtieth Amendment) Act, 1988 changed this to INR 2,500 annually.

  • According to the Constitution, the Profession Tax can be levied up to a maximum of Rs.2500/- per annum, with a minimum slab as low as Rs.110/- per annum. This equitable levy is based on the principle of ability to pay.
  • Taxpayers fulfil their Income Tax obligations by the deadline of 31st March. It is important to note that, absent any additional levies, the profession tax paid by individuals and organizations is fully reimbursable against their income tax obligations.
  • In fact, the Commercial Tax Department considers the Profession Tax to be a benevolent and advantageous tax. It serves as a reciprocal arrangement between taxpayers and their own community and city. The Department has faith that businesses and people will fulfil their Profession Tax obligations on time and with pride in their community.
  • Constitutional amendments and updates played a crucial role during this time. In particular, the Constitution (Sixtieth Amendment) Act of 1988 was a landmark act that raised the maximum professional tax limit in India from INR 250 to INR 2,500 annually. This adjustment aimed to reflect the changing economic conditions and inflation prevalent during that period.

Provisions in Professional Tax Act in India

In India, the Professional Tax Act is a comprehensive piece of legislation that governs the assessment, collection, and administration of professional tax. These regulations are designed to ensure that professionals, traders, workers, and employees contribute to the state’s revenue, while also incorporating provisions for exemptions, appeals, and grievance resolution mechanisms to uphold fairness and adherence to the law.

  • The Act is applicable to individuals who are engaged in professions, trades, callings, or employments within the state.
  • Various terms such as “employer,” “employee,” “profession,” “trade,” “calling,” and “employment” are defined in the Act to provide clarity on the individuals who are liable to pay professional tax.
  • Professional tax must be deducted by employers from employee pay checks and submitted to the state government.
  • Freelancers and company owners who work for themselves are required to pay professional tax directly to the state.
  • Professional tax rates vary across different states and are usually based on income slabs. Each state specifies a maximum limit.
  • For instance, in Maharashtra professional tax rates range from INR 200 per month to INR 2,500 per year, depending on the income slab.

  • Employers are required to register with the state’s professional tax department and obtain a registration certificate.
  • Employers must enrol their employees and deduct professional tax from their salaries.
  • Self-employed professionals must enrol with the professional tax department and directly pay the professional tax act.
  • Employers need to apply for a professional tax registration certificate and register with the state’s professional tax department.
  • Self-employed professionals need to enrol and obtain a professional tax enrolment certificate from the state’s professional tax department.
  • The Act designates various tax slabs according to occupations, income levels, and other factors.
  • There may be a maximum limit on the amount of professional tax payable annually as prescribed by the Act.

  • In compliance with the Profession Tax Act of 1987 (as amended), the Commercial Taxes Department has been designated as the principal agency in charge of obtaining Professional Tax payments from professionals within the State. The Department is currently engaging in one-on-one interactions with taxpayers as part of its endeavour to highlight the urgent need for prompt settlement of Profession Tax obligations.
  • The Act specifies the  due date for payment of professional tax for remitting the deducted tax to the government, usually on a monthly or quarterly basis.
  • Employers generate challans online to deposit the deducted tax with the government.
  • Employers must file monthly or quarterly returns with details of the professional tax deducted from employees’ salaries.
  • Self-employed folks usually just have to file their taxes once a year and pay their dues directly to the government.
  • Employers, subject to state regulations, are required to file professional tax returns and pay the deducted tax either monthly or quarterly.
  • Self-employed people typically file and pay professional taxes on a yearly basis.
  • The Act imposes penalties on employers or individuals for non-compliance, such as failure to register, deduct, or pay professional tax on time.
  • Non-compliance with professional tax regulations, such as failure to register, deduct, or pay tax on time, may result in penalties.
  • Professional tax interest charges may also be incurred by late payments.
  • Interest could be assessed for late professional tax payments.
  • It is crucial for both employers and self-employed individuals to acquaint themselves with the specific provisions of the Act applicable in their respective states to guarantee compliance with the legal requirements.
  • Some people are not required to pay professional tax, such as those who are 65 years of age or older, people with disabilities, and certain employee categories that have been defined by the state governments.

State wise Professional tax rate in India:

In India, state-by-state variations in professional tax rates are based on income brackets. Rate tables for a few well-known states are shown below, providing a general idea of how professional tax levies are typically structured.

Important Considerations

Each state’s laws determine how often tax returns must be filed, be it monthly, quarterly, or annually.

Employers are accountable for withholding professional tax from their workers’ pay checks and submitting it to the state government. Self-employed people, on the other hand, must pay the tax directly according to their income.

Professional tax payments that are made after the due date are subject to penalties in every state as well as interest charges.

Professional tax may not be required to be paid by some people. Members of the armed forces, the elderly, and people whose income falls below a certain level are all included in this.

Registration and Enrolment of professional tax Act:

Who Must Register: The professional tax department of the applicable state requires registration from all employers (aside from government offices) whose workers are subject to professional tax.

Required Documents:

  • Proof of establishment (Certificate of Incorporation, Partnership Deed-Examples)
  • PAN card of the business entity
  • Business address proof
  • Employee details and salary structure

Registration Process of professional tax Act:

  • Application Submission: Fill out and submit the registration form (usually available online on the state’s professional tax department website).
  • Verification: The documents and application will be examined by the tax authorities.
  • Certificate Issuance: The employer will get a Professional Tax Registration Certificate (PTRC) following a successful verification process.

Who Must Enrol: Anyone who works in a profession, trade, calling, or employment and is responsible for paying professional tax must register with the state’s professional tax department.

Required Documents:

  • PAN card
  • Address proof
  • Proof of profession (e.g., professional degree, trade license)


Application Submission: Complete and submit the enrolment form.

Verification: The tax authorities will review the application and documents.

Certificate Issuance: Upon successful verification, the individual will be issued a Professional Tax Enrolment Certificate (PTEC).

Common Steps in Registration and Enrolment in Professional Tax

Professional Tax Common Steps in Registration

Compliance Obligations:

  • Employers must withhold professional taxes from their workers’ pay-checks and send them to the state government by the deadline.
  • Self-employed individuals are responsible for directly paying taxes based on their income brackets.
  • Employers must submit periodic tax returns (monthly, quarterly, or annually) that provide details of the professional taxes deducted and paid.
  • Individuals who work for themselves must also file tax returns in accordance with state regulations.
  • Payroll payments, professional tax deductions, and tax payments must all be accurately documented by employers and enrolled individuals.
  • These records should be readily available for inspection by tax authorities if necessary.

Late Registration/Enrolment:

Penalties will be imposed for failure to register or enrol within the specified timeframe after becoming liable.

Non-Payment or Late Payment:

Professional taxes that are not paid on time will result in interest and penalties.

Non-Filing of Returns:

Failure to file tax returns by the specified deadline will result in penalties.

Conclusion of professional tax Act:

In India, state-level legislation known as the Professional Tax Act is in place to ensure that people working in various professions and jobs pay their taxes. States vary with regard to their tax rates, exemptions, and compliance requirements. To avoid fines and interest charges, it is critical that self-employed individuals and employers adhere to the rules established by their individual states.

According to Indian labour laws, professional tax contributes significantly to state government revenue, which is then used to finance a range of public services and developmental initiatives.