India is a country of close knitted families and having lot of reasons to celebrate owing to its diversified culture, customs and religion. Numerous occasions arise where gifts are exchanged. In fact gifting each other is a symbol of love and affection.

The Government introduced gift tax in April 1958 regulated by Gift Tax Act, 1958 (The GTA) with an objective to impose taxes on giving and receiving gifts under certain specific circumstances. Gifts in the form of cash, demand draft, bank cheques or anything having a value were covered. However, the GTA was abolished in October 1998 and made all gifts tax free. But, Gift Tax was reintroduced in a new form and included in the Income tax provisions in 2004.


As per Income Tax Act 1961, gift means tangible, intangible, movable and immovable assets which can be given voluntarily and without considering it in money or it’s worth and includes

  • Immovable property such as land and building
  • Movable property such as jewellery, shares, paintings
  • Money given in cash/cheque



The provisions relating to gift tax have been dealt with under Section 56(2)(x) of the Income-tax Act, 1961. These provisions have been briefly captured in the form of the table below:

Kind of gift covered

Monetary threshold

Quantum taxable

Any sum of money without consideration

Sum > 50,000

Entire sum of money received

Any immovable property such as land, building etc without consideration

Stamp duty value > Rs 50,000

Stamp duty value of the property

Any immovable property for inadequate consideration

Stamp duty value exceeds consideration by > Rs 50,000

Stamp duty value Minus consideration
Example 1:Stamp duty value Rs 2,00,000 Consideration Rs 75,000.Taxable amount is Rs 1.25 lakhs (stamp duty value exceeds consideration by > Rs 50,000) 
Example 2
In Example 1, if consideration  is Rs 1,60,000, taxable gift is  Nil as stamp duty value does not exceed consideration by > Rs 50,000

Any property (jewellery, shares, drawings etc) other than immovable property without consideration

Fair market value (FMV) > Rs 50,000

FMV of such property

Any property other than immovable property for a consideration

FMV exceeds consideration by > Rs 50,000

FMV Minus consideration (Same example in case of immovable property can be referred)

Value adopted by stamp duty authority for the purpose of stamp duty



  1. Any sum of money received (as gift) without consideration up to Rs. 50000/- in one year is not taxable.
  2. Following receipts without consideration are exempt
  3. a) Gifts received from a relative
  4. b) Gifts received on occasion of marriage of an individual
  5. c) Gifts received under a will or by way of inheritance
  6. d) Gifts received in contemplation of death of payer
  7. e) Gifts received from local authority as defined in explanation to section 10(20)
  8. f) Gifts received from educational or medical institution or fund etc. referred to u/s 10(23C)
  9. g) Gifts received by any fund/ trust/ institution/ university/ other educational institution /hospital/ other medical institution referred to in sub-clause (iv) or (v) or (vi) or (via) of clause (23C) of section 10
  10. h) Gifts received from an individual by a trust created or established solely for the benefit of relative of the individual.


By Matri Badani

(Article Assistant)