What is Ordinary Income?
Ordinary income is the income earned from the business, employment in the form of wages or salaries, rent, commissions or , short term capital gain, etc and get taxed at the normal tax rate, however, income from long term capital gains and qualified dividends are taxed at special tax rates.
- Ordinary income is the type of income that is taxed at ordinary rates and it is earned regularly from day to day operations. It does not include capital gains and qualified dividends which are taxed at lower rates.
- Unqualified dividends are taxed at ordinary rates of tax, for example, dividends paid by REIT (Real Estate Investments Trust), income paid on ESO (Employee Stock options), income from money market operations.
- Salaries and wages received by the individual from his employment can be considered as the best example. There are so many examples, it may be rent received, business and trading income, etc.
Ordinary Income Examples
- Tips received by hotel staff due to its periodic nature.
- Salaries, wages earned by engaging in
- Unqualified dividends
- Business income
How Does Ordinary Income Works?
- Ordinary Income can be in two forms i.e. business income and personal income.
- Business income is earned from day to day business operations except for income from capital gains i.e. income from the sale of capital assets, or example income earned from the regular sale of land, buildings, etc.
- Personal income means any cash inflow which is subject to income tax as defined by IRS (Internal Revenue Service)
#1 – If the transaction involves income either in present or in the future then that transaction is considered as ordinary income.
For Example: If the business is engaged in buying cars and reselling cars for profit after some modifications made to cars, then the income earned from selling that used cars will be considered as ordinary income but not capital gain.
#2 – Money earned from an asset.
For Example, Interest earned from a savings bank account, rent earned from the property.
Ordinary Income Tax Rate 2019
Tax rates in India for the financial year 2019 – 2020 are given below:
Applicable surcharge + 4% health and education cess is applicable
|Income Tax Slabs (Annual income)||Rate for Individual & HUF Below the Age Of 60 Years||Rate for Individual & HUF Below the Age Of 80 Years and above 60 years||Rate for Individual & HUF Above the Age Of 80 Years|
|Income up to INR 250,000, up to 300,000, up to 500,000||Nil||Nil||Nil|
|>250,000 to 500,000,
>300,000 to 500,000,
Up to 500,000
|5% of total income >250,000||5%||Nil|
|>500,000 to 10,00,000||12500+20% of total income > 500,000||20%||20%|
|>10,00,000||1.125 L +30% of total income >10,00,000||30%||30%|
For companies, partnership firms- Tax rate is at the flat rate of 30% + applicable surcharge+ 4% health and education cess
Ordinary Income vs Capital Gain
|Sl. No||Ordinary income||Capital gain|
|1||Earned regularly from employment, trading, business activities, etc.||Earned from selling investments like shares, buildings, etc.|
|2||Income is taxed according to the slab rates for different income levels.||Capital gain is taxed at a lower rate according to the nature of transactions short term gain or long term gain.|
|3||Ordinary income can be offset with standard tax deductions.||Capital gains can only be offset with capital losses.|
- Basic exemption limit is given to individuals within that income limits so no need to pay tax.
- Individuals, HUF, BOI ( Body of individuals) need to pay tax according to their income levels at prescribed rates for different income levels.
- Companies and partnership firms need to pay at a rate of 30%+surcharge if applicable+4% health and education cess. Even if a small amount of profit earned needs to pay tax at prescribed rates.
- It is the income earned regularly from day to day operations or activities and it does not include qualified dividends, capital gains. Individuals are taxed at the prescribed rates according to their income levels but companies and partnership firms are taxed at fixed rates irrespective of their income levels.
- There are two forms of Ordinary income i.e. personal income and other is business income. Personal income is the income earned from any activity which is subject to income tax, business income is the income earned before taxes i.e. PBT (profits before taxes). There are some deductions and exemptions that are allowed while paying taxes.
- On the other hand, the government is encouraging people investing in government bonds, shares, stock, etc by taxing them at lower rates on the income earned by the people from these investments.
This has been a guide to ordinary income and its definition. Here we discuss characteristics, example and how does ordinary income works along with its tax rate and advantages and its comparison to Capital Gains. You may learn more about financing from the following articles –