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What is Income From Other Sources?


What is Income From Other Sources?

The Income Tax Department categorizes income into five distinct heads: Salary, House Property, Business/Profession, Capital Gains, and Income from Other Sources. The last of these, Income from Other Sources, is a catch-all for earnings that do not fall under the other specified heads. This includes various income types, such as interest on savings accounts and fixed deposits, dividends from investments, rental income, and gifts. Given this category’s broad and varied nature, taxpayers often find it confusing to navigate. This guide aims to demystify the “Income from Other Sources,” providing a comprehensive overview of the incomes it encompasses and detailed instructions on calculating and reporting these in your income tax e-filing.

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Heads of Income

As mentioned above, Under the Income Tax Act, the income or earnings of a taxpayer are classified into five distinct categories. Correctly categorizing income under these heads is crucial for precise tax computation. The five heads of income are outlined below:

  • Income from Salary: This category captures all earnings from employment, including basic salary, allowances, bonuses, commissions, and other benefits provided by an employer.
  • Income from House Property: This includes all income from owning and renting residential or commercial properties. It covers rental income and the deemed rental income from self-occupied properties.
  • Income from Business or Profession: This section includes all income generated from conducting a business or practising a profession. This could be income from consulting, freelancing, trading, or similar activities.
  • Income from Capital Gains: This head concerns the profit or loss arising from the sale of capital assets such as real estate, stocks, mutual funds, and other investments.
  • Income from Other Sources: This category encompasses all other income sources that don’t fit the above categories. This includes interest on savings, dividends, lottery winnings, and any miscellaneous income not classified elsewhere.

What is Income from Other Sources?

According to Section 56(1) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, “Income from Other Sources” includes all the income that does not fit into the other specified heads of income—salary, house property, business or profession, and capital gains. Essentially, this category is a catch-all for any income that cannot be classified elsewhere.

Some common examples of income that fall under this category include:

  • Interest Income: Interest income is a frequent type of income under “Income from Other Sources.” It encompasses interest from savings accounts, fixed deposits, recurring deposits, and other financial instruments. This income is added to the taxpayer’s total income and taxed according to the applicable slab rates.
  • Rental Income: Income from renting out residential or commercial properties falls under this category. The taxable amount is the rent received minus standard deductions and municipal taxes.
  • Dividends and Mutual Funds: Dividends from domestic companies are tax-free, while foreign companies are taxable. Income from dividends and mutual funds, including capital gains, is classified under “Income from Other Sources.”
  • Family Pension: Pensions received by family members after a taxpayer’s death are taxable. The amount subject to tax depends on the pension rules and the relationship with the deceased.
  • Lottery and Gambling Winnings: Winnings from lotteries, card games, betting, and gambling are taxable under this category. These earnings are often taxed at a higher rate, and TDS may be deducted by the payer.
  • Gifts and Cash Prizes: Gifts and cash prizes that exceed a certain threshold are taxable under “Income from Other Sources.” However, gifts from relatives and on certain occasions may be exempt.
  • Income from Royalties: Authors, artists, and creators receive royalties for their intellectual property and are taxed under this category, with rates varying by the nature of the work and the agreement.
  • Club Membership Fees: Fees from club memberships are added to the taxpayer’s income and taxed under “Income from Other Sources.
  • Income from Agricultural Activities: While agricultural income is generally exempt, it becomes taxable under this category if it exceeds a specific threshold.
  • Commission Income: Commissions and brokerage, whether from stockbroking, real estate, or other services, are taxable under this head.
  • Annuity Payments: Annuity payments from insurance companies or other entities are taxable under “Income from Other Sources.
  • Income from Subletting: Income from subletting a rented property falls under this category and must be added to the total income for tax purposes.
  • Interest on Income Tax Refunds: Interest received on income tax refunds is categorized under “Income from Other Sources” and must be reported on tax returns.
  • Scholarships and Fellowships: These are included under this category and are taxed accordingly if they are for academic or research purposes beyond stipulated exemptions.
  • Income from Freelancing and Consultancy: Earnings from freelancing or consultancy services are included under this head.
  • Prizes and Awards: Cash or kind prizes and awards from competitions or ceremonies are taxable under this category.
  • Income from Savings Bonds: Interest from government savings bonds and similar instruments is taxed under “Income from Other Sources.
  • Income from Foreign Assets: Income from foreign bank accounts, investments, or properties must be reported and taxed under this category.
  • Advances and Gifts on Occasions: Gifts received during occasions like weddings are taxable if they exceed the exemption limit.
  • Income from Intellectual Property Transfer: Under this category, consideration received for transferring intellectual property rights, such as patents, copyrights, or trademarks, is taxable.
  • Income from Lease: Income from leasing machinery, equipment, or land is classified and taxed under this head.
  • Earnings from Digital Platforms: Income earned by content creators, influencers, or others on digital platforms fall under this category.
  • Income from Crowdfunding: Income from crowdfunding activities is part of “Income from Other Sources.”
  • Honorarium: Payments received as an honorarium for services are considered taxable income.
  • Interest on Loans: Interest earned on loans given to individuals or businesses is included in this category for taxation purposes.

Alternative Classification

The following types of income can be classified as Income from Other Sources if not taxed earlier under the head “Profits and gains of business or profession”:

  • Any contribution to a fund for the welfare of employees received by the employer.
  • Income received by way of interest on securities.
  • Income from letting out or hiring of plant, machinery or furniture.
  • Income from letting out of the plant, machinery or furniture along with building, in a circumstance wherein the lettings are inseparable.
  • Money received under a Keyman Insurance Policy, including bonus.

Interest Earned on Savings Accounts

Interest income from savings accounts is a prevalent form of income categorized under ‘Income from Other Sources.’ This income is taxed according to the individual taxpayer’s applicable income tax slab rates. It’s essential to be aware that banks or financial institutions deduct tax at source (TDS) on interest from savings accounts if the interest exceeds certain thresholds:

  • Rs. 5,000 for regular individuals.
  • Rs. 40,000 for senior citizens per year.

Taxpayers must report the interest earned on their savings accounts when filing their income tax returns. This interest income can be easily determined by reviewing the bank statement or examining the passbook entries. These records provide a clear view of the interest accrued over the financial year, which must be reported to comply with tax regulations.

Deduction on Interest Income Under Section 80TTA

Under Section 80TTA of the Income Tax Act, individuals can claim a deduction for interest income earned from savings accounts. This deduction applies to interest earned on savings accounts maintained with banks, cooperative societies, or post offices.

The maximum deduction under this section is Rs. 10,000 in a financial year. If the interest earned from these savings accounts exceeds Rs. 10,000, the amount over Rs. 10,000 is taxable under the head ‘Income from Other Sources’.

It’s crucial to note that the deduction under Section 80TTA does not apply to interest earned on fixed deposits, recurring deposits, or any other types of time deposits.

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Tax on Fixed Deposits

Interest income from fixed deposits is categorized under ‘Income from Other Sources’ and is taxed according to the income tax slab rates applicable to the individual. Banks or financial institutions deduct tax at source (TDS) on the interest earned from fixed deposits when it exceeds certain thresholds:

  • Rs. 5,000 for individuals.
  • Rs. 40,000 for senior citizens per year.

Senior citizens have the advantage of an income tax exemption of up to Rs. 50,000 on the interest income from fixed deposits held with banks, post offices, and other financial institutions under Section 80TTB.

It’s important to note that TDS is deducted if the total interest earned on all fixed deposits during the financial year exceeds the specified thresholds. However, even if the interest earned on a fixed deposit is below these thresholds, individuals must report this interest income when filing their income tax returns. This ensures that all income is accurately reported and taxed as necessary.

How to Compute Net Earnings Under ‘Income from Other Sources’

To determine your net earnings under the ‘Income from Other Sources’ category in your income tax return, follow this straightforward formula:

  • Net Income from Other Sources
  • Gross Income from Other Sources
  • Deductions Allowed Under Section 57

Net Income from Other Sources=Gross Income from Other Sources−Deductions Allowed Under Section 57

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you calculate this:

  • Identify Your Gross Income: Sum up all the income under this category. This includes all types of income, such as interest on savings accounts, fixed deposits, dividends, winnings from lotteries and games, rental income from machinery, and any other miscellaneous income that doesn’t fit into other income heads.
  • Calculate Allowable Deductions: Under Section 57, several expenses can be deducted from your gross income from other sources. These deductions might include expenses related to earning the income, like commission or rent of a property used to earn that income, and depreciation of assets used for earning income.
  • Subtract Deductions from Your Gross Income: From your total gross income from other sources, subtract the total allowable deductions per Section 57 to arrive at the net income from other sources.

Example Calculation

Suppose you have the following details:

  • Interest on savings accounts: Rs. 4,000
  • Dividend income: Rs. 6,000
  • Rental income from machinery: Rs. 10,000
  • Expenses related to machinery rental: Rs. 2,000

Here’s how you would calculate your net income:

  • Gross Income: Rs. 4,000 + Rs. 6,000 + Rs. 10,000 = Rs. 20,000
  • Total Deductions: Rs. 2,000 (related to machinery rental)
  • Net Income from Other Sources: Rs. 20,000 – Rs. 2,000 = Rs. 18,000

How to Report Interest from Fixed Deposits and Recurring Deposits on Your Tax Return

Interest income from fixed and recurring deposits is taxed under ‘Income from Other Sources’ according to your applicable income tax slab rate. Therefore, including this interest income when you file your income tax return is essential.

To accurately report the interest earned on these deposits, follow these steps:

  • Calculate Total Interest Earned: Sum up the interest earned from all fixed and recurring deposits during the financial year. The interest certificate issued by the bank or financial institution where your deposits are held provides this information.
  • Include in Your Tax Return: Enter the total interest income under your income tax return’s ‘Income from Other Sources’ section.
  • Understand the Tax Implications: The interest income from these deposits will be added to your total income for the year and taxed at your regular income tax rate.

By carefully calculating and reporting the interest from these deposits, you ensure compliance with tax laws and avoid any discrepancies in your income tax return.

Tax Deduction NOT Allowed

The following deductions cannot be claimed while computing income from other sources:

  • Personal expenditure
  • Interest chargeable and payable outside India on which tax has not been paid or deducted at source
  • Amount paid which is taxable under the head “Salaries” and payable outside India on which tax has not been paid or deducted at source
  • Any amount paid on account of wealth tax
  • Deductions for transactions made at other than arm’s length price under Section 40A

To know about dividend distribution tax, click here.


Understanding the diverse components of “Income from Other Sources” is crucial for every taxpayer in India. This category encompasses various incomes, from interest and rental earnings to dividends, gifts, and more, each with tax implications. By familiarizing yourself with these rules, you can effectively manage your finances and ensure compliance with the Income Tax Act.

Tax laws are subject to change, so it’s important to stay informed about the latest regulations. You should seek guidance from a tax professional to guarantee precise tax reporting and adherence to tax laws.

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