President Ram Nath Kovind was on a three-day visit to his home state Uttar Pradesh. On June 26, while addressing a gathering in his hometown, Jhinjhak, he urged people to pay tax and consider it as a duty to the nation.
He also claimed, “Mere salary ka 50% se jyada toh Tax cut jata hai”. (More than 50% of my salary goes into tax.)
The video of the President went viral and many social media users raised questions over his claim of a 50% cut in his salary as a tax. Citing President’s (Emoluments and) Pensions Act, 1951 users claimed President’s salary is tax-free. (Archive)
The First Citizen Of Country doesn't know his salary is tax free The President’s (Emoluments) and Pension Act, 1951 ? https://t.co/LLGNrnWBBu
— Niraj Bhatia (@bhatia_niraj23) June 27, 2021
But President's salary is tax-free.
Why is he lying? pic.twitter.com/iJ0kihMA96
— Siddharth Setia (@ethicalsid) June 27, 2021
Part 1: Does the President of India Pay Income Tax?
According to the President’s emoluments and pension act, 1951, the President of India is paid Rs. 5 lakh per month. There is no clause in the Act that states that the salary of the President of India is tax-free.
We spoke to a senior Chartered Accountant, who confirmed us nobody is exempted from paying income tax. Everyone is required to file Income Tax Return (ITR) even if the income is under the tax slab.
We spoke to a senior journalist, who also confirmed to us that the President does pay tax. There is no evidence that says the President of India is exempted from paying Income tax. Akhilesh Sharma, the Executive Editor of NDTV, tweeted: “Yes. The President of India pays Income Tax. It is deducted at the source. Do not get mislead by contrary reports in a section of media.”
Yes. The President of India pays Income Tax. It is deducted at source. Do not get mislead by contrary reports in a section of media.
— Akhilesh Sharma (@akhileshsharma1) June 28, 2021
We also found another tweet from Siddharth Sharma, a former financial advisor to both Presidents Pranab Mukherjee and Ramnath Kovind. he assured that the President’s salary is fully subject to tax.
As a former Financial Advisor to both Presidents Pranab Mukherjee & Ram Kovind, let me assure you that the President’s salary is fully subject to tax. Please read the text of the President’s Emoluments and Pension Act, 1951 before trying to educate the Hon’ble President!
— Siddharth Sharma (@_SiddSharma) June 28, 2021
Part 2: Does the President of India pay more than 50% of his income as Taxes?
According to an article published in The Hindu on May 19, 2020, President had decided to forego his salary by 30% to aid the COVID-19 fight for a year. As mentioned above, the President is paid Rs. 5,00,000 a month, so overall he is paid Rs. 60,00,000 per annum. After a 30% cut, his salary gets reduced to Rs. 40,00,000 per annum.
— NDTV (@ndtv) June 28, 2021
We used the Income-tax calculator website to calculate the total tax he would be paying. According to the website, the total payable tax is Rs. 9,75,000. Whereas he claimed he pays Rs. 2,75,000 as tax in the above video.
Tax Payable Per month (9,75,000/12) = Rs. 81,250
After 30% cut in salary (20,00,00/12) = Rs. 1,66,666
Total Deduction from his regular salary = Rs. 2,47,916
As we explained above, there is a deduction of Rs. 1,66,666 per month due to his voluntary deduction of 30% from his salary.
Even if he didn’t give up 30% of his salary for the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic, the total payable tax amount is Rs. 18,44,000 which will be around Rs. 1,53,666 per month as a deduction. So the claim that he pays tax more than 50% of his income is found to be false as per our analysis.
Conclusion: The President pays income tax. However, there is a discrepancy in the President’s claim that more than 50% of his salary goes into tax.
(Note: FactO News has reached out to the President’s office for clarification on his statement. This article will be updated once we receive a clarification).