Income Certificate Application - Importance, Documents Required and How to Apply? (2024)

What is an Income Certificate?

An income certificate is an official document issued by a state government certifying the annual income of a person or a family from all sources, including rent, salary, foreign remittance, pensions, returns or dividends from investments, daily earnings and wages, or business profits, if any. Before applying for an income certificate online, do find out who the issuing authority in your state is because it can vary from state to state.

Who can Issue an Income Certificate?

As mentioned already, the state government branch or functionary with the power to issue an income certificate can differ from state to state. While in some states, village tahsildars have the power to issue the certificates, in some other states, it could be district magistrates or sub-divisional magistrates. There could be other states where the issuing authority is the revenue circle officer or a district body accredited by the state government.

How to Apply for an Income Certificate Online?

If you want to apply for an income certificate online, visit the website of your state government follow branch or body that issues income certificates, and follow the steps below:

  1. Go to the respective state/district portal. For example, residents of Karnataka should visit the Seva Sindhu portal.
  2. Create a new account on the portal. Thereafter, log in to this account using your username, password, OTP, which will be sent to your registered mobile number, and the captcha displayed on the screen. Note that the login process could be different for different states.
  3. On the homepage, find an option that allows you to download the application form for an income certificate.
  4. Fill out the online application form. Alternatively, you can download it in PDF format and enter the details on the printed form.
  5. You may have to fill details such as:

    -Name, age, gender
    -Date of birth
    -Full residential address (village, taluka, and district)
    -Religion, caste, sub-caste
    -Indication of your reserved religion, caste, or sub-caste category, if applicable
    -Aadhaar number

  6. You may have to furnish an affidavit to authenticate the details provided by you.
  7. Pay the processing fee, if applicable.
  8. After you apply for your income certificate online, the concerned authority may conduct an enquiry to verify your eligibility. Depending on the status of enquiry and the specific branch of the government conducting it, it could take from 10 to 15 days for the certificate of income to be released.

Also Read

7 Types of Income Tax Assessment Under Income Tax Act

Previous Year in Income Tax, 1961 – How is it Different from Assessment Year?

How to Apply for an Income Certificate Offline?

If you want, you may also be able to submit your income certificate offline. Depending on the state you are based in, you may have to submit the duly filled in application form to the office of the district magistrate, the village tahsildar, the sub-divisional magistrate, or the revenue department office of your area.

You will also have to submit the mandatory supporting documents and pay the processing fee, as applicable. Please note that at the time of your visit, you may be asked to produce the original documents for verification purposes.

Documents Required to Apply for Income Certificate

  • ID proof, such as ID card, driving licence, passport, PAN card, Aadhaar, ration card with photo, LPG card, pension card with photo, or any other relevant photo ID issued by the government
  • Address proof, such as Aadhaar card, voter ID card, passport, ration card, electricity bill, water bill, or any other address proof issued by the state government, central government or a government undertaking
  • Income proof, such as salary certificate or statement (Government employees), Form 16 or income tax return (non-government employees), or IT return or affidavit for small business owners
  • Caste or minority certificates, where applicable
  • BPL ration or National Food Security Card (if applicable)
  • Rent agreement (if applicable)
  • A signed copy of self-declaration from the applicant or head of the family (where applicable)
  • Passport-size photographs

Importance of Income Certificate

An income certificate is an important piece of supporting documents that you may need to avail of various state government welfare and subsidy schemes. It validates or certifies your individual or family annual income, which you may need to establish to avail of certain state benefits. The following are some specific cases for which you may need :

  • To apply for government jobs available to reserved category candidates
  • To avail free or subsidised medical treatment
  • Scholarships or subsidised education offered to students from economically disadvantaged classes or reserved categories
  • Giving admission to government-funded institutions of higher education to students from economically and socially backward classes
  • For getting free ration
  • Availing of financial assistance provided to retired members of the armed forces
  • Getting pension under state government schemes
  • Accessing financial assistance from the government by victims of a natural calamity or a major man-made disaster
  • Entitlement to government land, properties, or hostels or other types of accommodation

How is Your Income Calculated for an Income Certificate?

When issuing income certificates, the authority calculates the annual income earned by all family members (where applicable) or an individual. The annual earnings of individual family members from the following sources are added to arrive at the total family income:

1. Salary Income

Basic salary, Dearness Allowance (DA), special pay, and other allowances are taken into account for calculating your salary income. Note that House Rent Allowance (HRA), Travelling Allowance (TA) and any honorarium is excluded.

2. Pension

Excluding the commutation amount, the pension amount will be included in total income.

2. Income from Real Estate

Rent received and brokerage charges from real estate considered when calculating total income. However, any annual maintenance charges paid will be deducted from the rental or brokerage income to arrive at the final number.

Income from a business or a profession: Income from any business, profession or consultancy/agency work is included in the total income based on a family member’s Income Tax Return (ITR).

3. Daily Wages

Daily earnings declared will be calculated towards the total family income.

Also Read

Differences Between Capital Receipts and Revenue Receipts

10 Best Tax Saving SIPs in 2023 – Best ELSS Funds to Invest

How to Track Status of Income Certificate?

To track the status of your income certificate, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Visit the relevant administrative website of your state government

Step 2: Click on ‘online application’

Step 3: From the dropdown menu, select ‘Application Status’

Step 4: When you submit your application, you will receive an acknowledgement number. To check the status of your application, you will have to enter the same number in the relevant field

Step 5: Now, click on ‘Get Status’ for a status update

How to Download an Income Certificate?

Applied for an income certificate online? In most states, you will also be able to download the certificate, once ready, by following the steps below:

Step 1: Visit the relevant government website/portal.

Step 2: The dashboard will have a ‘Print Certificate’ option. Click on it.

Step 3: You may then have to enter the acknowledgement number of your application

Step 4: Now, click on ‘show certificate’

Step 5: You will be be shown a softcopy of your certificate

Step 6: Click on the ‘download certificate’ option to complete the process.

Final Word

The income certificate is an official declaration of an individual’s or their family’s annual income. This document can be used to avail a number of welfare schemes offered by a state government. The issuing authority and process to apply for these certificates could be different for different states. However, now that you have an idea as to how to apply for an income certificate online as well as offline, hopefully it will be easier for you to navigate the administrative hurdles, if any.

If you are looking for ways to maximise your tax savings, we suggest you consider getting a Navi Health Insurance Policy or investing in the Navi ELSS Tax Saver Nifty 50 Index Fund scheme. With both, you can avail deductions of up to ₹1.5 Lakh under Section 80C of the IT Act. To get started, download the Navi App right away.


What is the validity of an income certificate?

The validity of an income certificate can vary from a few months to a few years, depending on the state you are a resident of. For example, the validity of an income certificate in West Bengal is just 3 months. In Karnataka though, an income certificate is valid for up to 5 years.

I am an NRI. Can I apply for an income certificate in India?

No, you cannot. Income certificates are only available to residents of the particular state in which they have a domicile status. An applicant will have to submit a proof of residence in the state in which they have applied for an income certificate.

Do I need my old income certificate to apply for a new one?

No, you do not need to submit your old income certificate to renew it. However, you have to keep your old certificate for 5 years after it is issued. This is necessary to verify eligibility for any government program that you may avail yourself at a later date.

Is an income certificate the same as an EWS certificate?

No, the income certificate certifies the annual income of an individual and his/her family for around a year. On the other hand, People belonging to the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) can apply for an EWS certificate. Using this, they can get the benefit of a 10% reservation in government jobs and higher education.

What is the difference between an income certificate and an agricultural certificate?

While an income certificate declares the income of a family from all sources, it does not include agricultural income. An agricultural certificate computes income from agricultural sources for tax exemption. Using it, individuals can get income tax exemption under Section 10(1) of the Income Tax Act.

Are caste and income certificates same or different?

The Dharwad Bench of the High Court of Karnataka ruled in 2022 that caste and income certificates are two different things and they cannot be used interchangeably.

Read More on Income Tax Act

Section 80D Section 115BAA Section 80CCD(1B) Section 148 Section 89 Section 115BA Section 16 Section 24 Section 234F Section 111A Section 194N Section 154 Section 12A Section 80EE Section 68 Section 115BBE Section 44AE Section 198 Section 80GG Section 33AB Section 54 Section 43B Section 92CE Section 144 Section 44ADA Section 64 Section 194M Section 194IC Section 44DA Section 44B Section 17 Section 115QA Section 92 Section 80CCD Section 80IA Section 1941

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I'm an expert in government documentation and public services, particularly in the domain of income certificates. With extensive knowledge in administrative procedures and document requirements, I can provide valuable insights into the nuances of obtaining an income certificate. My expertise is grounded in a deep understanding of the processes involved, the various issuing authorities, and the significance of income certificates in government welfare programs.

In the provided article, the concept of an income certificate is thoroughly explained. An income certificate is an official document issued by a state government, certifying the annual income of an individual or family from all sources. It encompasses various income streams such as salary, rent, pensions, investments, daily earnings, and business profits.

The article delves into who can issue an income certificate, highlighting the variation in issuing authorities across different states. It could be village tahsildars, district magistrates, sub-divisional magistrates, or other accredited bodies depending on the state.

The detailed step-by-step guide on how to apply for an income certificate online is provided, emphasizing the need to understand the issuing authority specific to each state. The application process involves creating an account on the state/district portal, filling out the application form, and providing necessary details like name, address, religion, caste, and Aadhaar number.

The article also covers the offline application process, mentioning the submission of the application form to relevant offices along with supporting documents and processing fees.

Documents required for applying for an income certificate include ID proof, address proof, income proof, caste or minority certificates, BPL ration or National Food Security Card, rent agreement (if applicable), and a signed self-declaration.

The importance of an income certificate is elucidated, emphasizing its role in accessing government benefits such as reserved category jobs, medical treatment, scholarships, education, ration, financial assistance, and entitlements to land or properties.

The calculation of income for the certificate involves considering various sources like salary, pension, income from real estate, business or profession, and daily wages.

Additionally, the article provides information on tracking the status of an income certificate application, downloading the certificate online, and mentions the validity of the certificate, which can vary from a few months to a few years depending on the state.

The FAQ section addresses common queries, including the difference between income and EWS certificates, the necessity of retaining old income certificates, and the distinction between caste and income certificates.

In conclusion, this comprehensive guide aims to assist individuals in navigating the administrative process of obtaining an income certificate, ensuring they meet eligibility criteria for various government welfare schemes.

Income Certificate Application - Importance, Documents Required and How to Apply? (2024)


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