Gulati Institute of Finance and Taxation had its inception in 1992 as Centre for Taxation Studies (CTS).The Centre for Taxation Studies was an autonomous institution constituted by the Government of Kerala under the Travancore-Cochin Literary, Scientific and Charitable Societies Act, 1955. The major objectives of the centre were to undertake research, training, consultancy and publication in the fields of public finance, taxation law, accounting and management.

In 2009, recognising the academic achievements of the centre, the Government of India, along with the Government of Kerala, decided to upgrade the centre to a national-level institution. It was also decided that the centre would be renamed as Gulati Institute of Finance and Taxation (GIFT) in honour of renowned economist Prof I. S. Gulati.