5 Important Income Tax Terms You Need to Know

Published On: Jun 28, 2024Last Updated: Jul 3, 20245.1 min read


Navigating the complex world of income taxes can be daunting, especially if you’re new to filing returns. There are so many different forms, there is one form for ITR for short term capital gain, one for salary, one for capital gains, and so on and so forth. And on top of that, the terms that are referred to within each of those forms are also confusing! However, understanding a few key terms can make the income tax return filing process much smoother and help you maximize your savings. In this article, we’ll explore five crucial Income tax terms in India that every taxpayer should know. We will delve into understanding what is Form 26AS, GTI, NTI etc.

1. Gross Total Income (GTI)

The first and most important of the 5 Income tax terms in India is GTI. The Gross Total Income (GTI) represents all your income before any slices are taken out of it. It includes all your taxable earnings, such as salary, business profits, rental income, interest, dividends, and capital gains. Accurately reporting your GTI is the foundation for calculating your tax liability, so it’s essential to get this number right.

GTI is the starting point for determining your tax obligations. It’s crucial to include all sources of income and report them accurately to avoid any discrepancies with the tax authorities. By understanding the concept of GTI, you can ensure that your tax return reflects your complete financial picture. It further serves as a solid foundation for calculating your taxes.

2. Net Taxable Income (NTI)

Now, let’s understand what is NTI. In many ways this is the most importamt type of income when it comes to taxes. NTI is calculated by subtracting allowable deductions and exemptions from your GTI. Think of it as trimming the fat. Expenses such as tax-saving investments, housing loan interest, medical bills, and charitable donations can all help reduce your NTI and, consequently, your tax bill. Mastering Income tax terms in India like NTI is key to optimizing your tax savings.

NTI is the amount of income that is actually subject to taxation. By understanding the various deductions and exemptions available, you can strategically plan your expenses and investments to lower your NTI and minimize your tax liability. This knowledge empowers you to make informed financial decisions and maximize your tax savings throughout the year.

Note: This article only deals with some important terms, to understand income tax even better, you should check out our Quick Guide for Income Tax Return.

3. Tax Deduction at Source (TDS)

Imagine your employer or bank automatically taking a part of your income beforehand and handing it to the government on your behalf as taxes. That’s the essence of Tax Deduction at Source (TDS). Your employer deducts TDS from your salary, and banks deduct it from interest earned on savings and fixed deposits. Companies also deduct TDS on dividends paid to shareholders. TDS ensures regular tax payments throughout the year, making it easier for the government to collect taxes efficiently. Knowing how to calculate TDS is very important for people who want to pay Self-Assessment Tax.

TDS is a convenient way for the government to collect taxes as you earn your income. By understanding how TDS works, you can keep track of the taxes being deducted from your various sources of income and ensure that they are accurately reflected in your tax return. This knowledge also helps you plan your finances better, as you can anticipate the impact of TDS on your cash flow.

4. Advance Tax

What if you could divide your income into four equal parts and hand them to the government at specific intervals? That’s the idea behind Advance Tax. If your estimated tax liability exceeds a certain amount, you must pay your taxes in four installments: June 15, September 15, December 15, and March 15. By planning your tax payments, you can avoid a massive tax bill at the end of the year and stay on top of your obligations. In addition to TDS, being able to calculate advance tax is very important for people who want to pay Self-Assessment Tax.

Advance Tax is one of the most important Income tax terms that individuals should know. Understanding it is vital for managing your tax obligations throughout the year. By making regular payments, you can avoid a large tax burden at the end of the year and ensure that you are compliant with tax laws. Understanding the Advance Tax concept allows you to plan your finances better and avoid any penalties or interest charges for late payments.

5. Form 26AS

The last of the most important income tax terms in India is Form 26AS. Imagine having a detailed pie chart that shows exactly how your income has been divided up for tax purposes. That’s what Form 26AS is all about. This statement from the Income Tax Department includes information on your tax deductions, payments, and other tax-related details. Knowing what is Form 26AS and reviewing it regularly helps you ensure the accuracy of your tax records and catch any discrepancies before filing your return.

Form 26AS is a valuable tool for verifying the accuracy of your tax records. By reviewing this statement, you can ensure that all the taxes deducted from your income have been properly accounted for. Also, helps ensure that there are no discrepancies in your tax payments. This knowledge helps you file your tax return with confidence and avoid any issues with the tax authorities.


Understanding the basics of Income Tax is vital. Knowing these five income tax terms in India is crucial for accurate filing, compliance with tax laws, and maximizing your savings. Be it filing for ITR for short term capital gains, for salary or for anything else, by understanding GTI, NTI, TDS, Advance Tax, and Form 26AS, you can confidently file your taxes. By keeping accurate records, consulting tax professionals when needed, and filing on time, you can navigate the tax landscape smoothly. Remember, knowledge is power when it comes to taxes. The more you understand, the better equipped you’ll be to make informed financial decisions and keep more of your hard-earned income for yourself.

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Monjima Ghosh
About the Author

Monjima Ghosh

Monjima is a lawyer and a professional content writer at LegalWiz.in. She has a keen interest in Legal technology & Legal design, and believes that content makes the world go round.

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