Agriculture income is exempt under the Indian Income Tax Act. This means that income earned from agricultural operations is not taxed. The reason for exemption of agriculture income from Central Taxation is that the Constitution gives exclusive power to make laws with respect to taxes on agricultural income to the State Legislature. However while computing tax on non-agricultural income agricultural income is also taken into consideration.
What does the term Agricultural Income mean?
As per Income Tax Act income earned from any of the under given three sources meant Agricultural Income;
(i) Any rent received from land which is used for agricultural purpose.
(ii) Any income derived from such land by agricultural operations including processing of agricultural produce, raised or received as rent in kind so as to render it fit for the market, or sale of such produce.
(iii) Income attributable to a farm house subject to the condition that building is situated on or in the immediate vicinity of the land and is used as a dwelling house, store house etc.
Now income earned from carrying nursery operations is also considered as agricultural income and hence exempt from income tax.
In order to consider an income as agricultural income certain points have to be kept in mind:
(i) There must me a land.
(ii) The land is being used for agricultural operations.
(iii) Agricultural operation means that efforts have been induced for the crop to sprout out of the land .
(iv) If any rent is being received from the land then in order to assess that rental income as agricultural income there must be agricultural activities on the land.
(v) In order to assess income of farm house as agricultural income the farm house building must be situated on the land itself only and is used as a store house/dwelling house.
Certain income which is treated as Agriculture Income;
(a) Income from sale of replanted trees.
(b) Rent received for agricultural land.
(c) Income from growing flowers and creepers.
(d) Share of profit of a partner from a firm engaged in agricultural operations.
(e) Interest on capital received by a partner from a firm engaged in agricultural operations.
(f) Income derived from sale of seeds.
Certain income which is not treated as Agricultural Income;
(a) Income from poultery farming.
(b) Income from bee hiving.
(c) Income from sale of spontaneously grown trees.
(d) Income from dairy farming.
(e) Purchase of standing crop.
(f) Dividend paid by a company out of its agriculture income.
(g) Income of salt produced by flooding the land with sea water.
(h) Royalty income from mines.
(i) Income from butter and cheese making.
(j) Receipts from TV serial shooting in farm house is not agriculture income.
Certain points to be remembered;
(a) Agricultural income is considered for rate purpose while computing tax of Individual/HUF/AOP/BOI/Artificial Judicial Person.
(b) Losses from agricultural operations could be carried forward and set off with agricultural income of next eight assessment years.
(c) Agriculture income is computed same as business income.