Update 08/09/2016: India’s income taxpayer base has touched 7.4 crore as per CBDT which is a significant increase from the 5 crore number from the recent past.
As per data from CBDT – tax to GDP ratio in India is 17 percent compared to 24 percent which is the global average.
Two states, Maharashtra (39.9%) and Delhi (13.1%) pay 53% of India’s total income tax.
In the year 2010 – 11 only 33739124 people from India paid taxes which is roughly 3% of the Indian population according to Press Information Bureau (link). While roughly around 45% of the population in United States pays taxes.
The number is increasing but marginally.
Every year around a million students graduate from universities across India so the number of tax payers should increase by at-least a million, right? But not all students manage to get a salary which exceeds the basic Income Tax slab.
Newly appointed CBDT chairperson Sudha Sharma told in a press release that the current number of tax payers in India is too small.
3.5 crore people (estimate 2012 – 13) i.e. 2.9% of the Indian population pay taxes.
The government plans to collect over Rs 6.68 lakh crore in direct taxes during 2013-14, up from Rs 5.65 lakh crore in the previous fiscal.
Update – [3rd September 2015]
The tax base for this financial year has gone up by a marginal amount. Its just over 4 crore people, i.e. 3 odd percent of the population.
The government aims to collect Rs 7.98 lakh crore in direct taxes in the current financial year. [source]