Budget 2017-18 & the Finance Bill 2017 have been tabled in Parliament. The income tax rate for those earning between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 5 lakh has been halved to 5%. Except this change, all other Income Tax Slab rates have been kept unchanged by the Finance Minister for the Financial Year 2017-18 (Assessment Year 2018-2019).
Tax planning is an important part of a financial plan. Whether you are a salaried individual, a professional or a businessman, you can save taxes to certain extent through proper tax planning.
The Indian Income Tax act allows for certain Tax Deductions / Tax Exemptions which can be claimed to save tax. You can subtract tax deductions from your Gross Income and your taxable income gets reduced to that extent.
Let us understand all the important sections and new proposals with respect to Income Tax Exemptions FY 2017-18. I hope you find this list useful and helps in planning your taxes well in advance.
List of Income Tax Exemptions FY 2017-18 / AY 2018-19 (Chapter VI-A deductions list)
The maximum tax exemption limit under Section 80C has been retained as Rs 1.5 Lakh only. The various investment avenues or expenses that can be claimed as tax deductions under section 80c are as below;
- PPF (Public Provident Fund)
- EPF (Employees’ Provident Fund)
- Five year Bank or Post office Tax saving Deposits
- NSC (National Savings Certificates)
- ELSS Mutual Funds (Equity Linked Saving Schemes)
- Kid’s Tuition Fees
- SCSS (Post office Senior Citizen Savings Scheme)
- Principal repayment of Home Loan
- NPS (National Pension System)
- Life Insurance Premium (Read : ‘Best Term insurance plans‘)
- Sukanya Samriddhi Account Deposit Scheme
Contribution to annuity plan of LIC (Life Insurance Corporation of India) or any other Life Insurance Company for receiving pension from the fund is considered for tax benefit. The maximum allowable Tax deduction under this section is Rs 1.5 Lakh.
Employee can contribute to Government notified Pension Schemes (like National Pension Scheme – NPS). The contributions can be upto 10% of the salary (salaried individuals) and Rs 50,000 additional tax benefit u/s 80CCD (1b) was proposed in Budget 2015.
As per Budget 2017-18, the self-employed (individual other than the salaried class) can now contribute up to 20% of their gross income and the same can be deducted from the taxable income under Section 80CCD (1) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, as against current 10%.
To claim this deduction, the employee has to contribute to Govt recognized Pension schemes like NPS. The 10% of salary limit is applicable for salaried individuals only and Gross income is applicable for non-salaried. The definition of Salary is only ‘Dearness Allowance.’ If your employer also contributes to Pension Scheme, the whole contribution amount (10% of salary) can be claimed as tax deduction under Section 80CCD (2).
Kindly note that the Total Deduction under section 80C, 80CCC and 80CCD(1) together cannot exceed Rs 1,50,000 for the financial year 2016-17. The additional tax deduction of Rs 50,000 u/s 80CCD (1b) is over and above this Rs 1.5 Lakh limit.
(Read : ‘NPS Scheme – Pros & Cons‘)
Contributions to ‘Atal Pension Yojana‘ are eligible for Tax Deduction under section 80CCD.
Deduction u/s 80D on health insurance premium is Rs 25,000. For Senior Citizens it is Rs 30,000. For very senior citizen above the age of 80 years who are not eligible to take health insurance, deduction is allowed for Rs 30,000 toward medical expenditure.
Preventive health checkup (Medical checkups) expenses to the extent of Rs 5,000/- per family can be claimed as tax deductions. Remember, this is not over and above the individual limits as explained above. (Family includes: Self, spouse, dependent children and parents).
You can claim up to Rs 75,000 for spending on medical treatments of your dependents (spouse, parents, kids or siblings) who have 40% disability. The tax deduction limit of upto Rs 1.25 lakh in case of severe disability can be availed.
To claim this deduction, you have to submit Form no 10-IA.
An individual (less than 60 years of age) can claim upto Rs 40,000 for the treatment of specified critical ailments. This can also be claimed on behalf of the dependents. The tax deduction limit under this section for Senior Citizens is Rs 60,000 and for very Senior Citizens (above 80 years) the limit is Rs 80,000.
To claim Tax deductions under Section 80DDB, it is mandatory for an individual to obtain ‘Doctor Certificate’ or ‘Prescription’ from a specialist working in a Govt or Private hospital.
For the purposes of section 80DDB, the following shall be the eligible diseases or ailments:
- Neurological Diseases where the disability level has been certified to be of 40% and above;
(b) Dystonia Musculorum Deformans
(c) Motor Neuron Disease
(h) Parkinson’s Disease
- Malignant Cancers
- Full Blown Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) ;
- Chronic Renal failure
- Hematological disorders
Tax Benefits of Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme (
Section 24 (B) (Loss under the head Income from House Property)
- Tax benefit on loan repayment of second house will be restricted to Rs 2 lakh per annum only (even if you have multiple house the limit is still going to be Rs 2 Lakh only and the ceiling limit is not per house property).
- The unclaimed loss if any will be carried forward to be set off against house property income of subsequent 8 years. In most of the cases, this can be treated as ‘dead loss‘.
- I believe that this is a major blow to the investors who have bought multiple houses on home loan(s) with an intention to save taxes alone.
- As of now (till FY 2016-17), interest paid on your housing loan is eligible for the following tax benefits ;
- Municipal taxes paid, 30% of the net annual income (standard deduction) and interest paid on the loan taken for that house are allowed as deductions.
- After these deductions, your rental income can be NIL or NEGATIVE and is called ‘loss from house property’ in the latter case.
- Such loss is currently allowed to be set off against other heads of income like Income from Salary or Business etc. which helps you to lower you tax liability substantially.
If you take any loan for higher studies (after completing Senior Secondary Exam), tax deduction can be claimed under Section 80E for interest that you pay towards your Education Loan. This loan should have been taken for higher education for you, your spouse or your children or for a student for whom you are a legal guardian. Principal Repayment on educational loan cannot be claimed as tax deduction.
There is no limit on the amount of interest you can claim as deduction under section 80E. The deduction is available for a maximum of 8 years or till the interest is paid, whichever is earlier.
This was a new proposal which had been made in Budget 2016-17. The same will be continued in FY 2017-18 / AY 2018-19 too. First time Home Buyers can claim an additional Tax deduction of up to Rs 50,000 on home loan interest payments u/s 80EE. The below criteria has to be met for claiming tax deduction under section 80EE.
- The home loan should have been sanctioned during FY 2016-17.
- Loan amount should be less than Rs 35 Lakh.
- The value of the house should not be more than Rs 50 Lakh &
- The home buyer should not have any other existing residential house in his name.
- Such eligible home buyers can claim exemption of Rs. 50,000/- for interest on home loan under section 80EE from assessment year beginning from 1 st April 2017 and subsequent years.
Contributions made to certain relief funds and charitable institutions can be claimed as a deduction under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act. This deduction can only be claimed when the contribution has been made via cheque or draft or in cash. In-kind contributions such as food material, clothes, medicines etc do not qualify for deduction under section 80G.
The donations made to any Political party can be claimed under section 80GGC.
W.e.f FY 2017-18, the limit of deduction under section 80G / 80GGC for donations made in cash is reduced from current Rs 10,000 to Rs 2,000 only.
The Tax Deduction amount under 80GG is Rs 60,000 per annum. Section 80GG is applicable for all those individuals who do not own a residential house & do not receive HRA (House Rent Allowance).
The extent of tax deduction will be limited to the least amount of the following;
- Rent paid minus 10 percent the adjusted total income.
- Rs 5,000 per month.
- 25 % of the total income.
(If you are claiming HRA (House Rent Allowance) of more than Rs 50,000 per month (or) paying rent which is more than Rs 50,000 then the tenant has to deduct TDS @ 5%. It has been proposed that the tax could be deducted at the time of credit of rent for the last month of the tax year or last month of tenancy, as applicable.)
Rebate under Section 87A
Tax rebate of Rs 2,500 for individuals with income of up to Rs 3.5 Lakh has been proposed in Budget 2017-18.
- Only Individual Assesses earning net income up to Rs 3.5 lakhs are eligible to enjoy tax rebate u/s 87A.
- For Example : Suppose your yearly pay comes to Rs 4,50,000 and you claim Rs 1,50,000 u/s 80C. The total net income in your case comes to Rs 3,00,000 which makes you eligible to claim tax rebate of Rs 2,500.
- The amount of tax rebate u/s 87A is restricted to maximum of Rs 2,500. In case the computed tax payable is less than Rs 2,500, say Rs 2,000 the tax rebate shall be limited to that lower amount i.e. Rs 2,000 only.
- The Tax Assesse is first required to add all incomes i.e. salary, house income, capital gains, business or profession income and income from other sources and then deduct the eligible tax deduction amounts u/s 80C to 80U and under section 24(b) (Home Loan Interest) to come up with the net taxable income.
- If the above net taxable income happens to be less than Rs 3.5 lakhs then the tax rebate of Rs 2,500 comes in to the picture and should be deducted from the calculated total income tax payable.
Section 80 TTA
Deduction from gross total income of an individual or HUF, up to a maximum of Rs. 10,000/-, in respect of interest on deposits in savings account with a bank, co-operative society or post office can be claimed under this section. Section 80TTA deduction is not available on interest income from fixed deposits.
This is similar to Section 80DD. Tax deduction is allowed for the tax assessee who is physically and mentally challenged.
It is prudent to avoid last minute tax planning. Do not invest in low-yielding life insurance polices or in any other financial products just to save taxes. It is better you plan your taxes based on your financial goals at the beginning of the Financial Year itself. Plan your taxes from April 2017 itself, instead of waiting until late December 2017 (or) January 2018.
It is OK to pay some taxes when you can not save or cannot invest in right financial products. But, do not invest just to save TAXES. The cost of buying wrong financial products may outweigh the cost of taxes. Tax Planning is not a goal but a tool. Remember “Tax Planning alone is not Financial Planning.”
Also, kindly understand the tax treatment of the selected investment products across the different investment stages (i.e., investment, accrual & withdrawal) and then invest. (Read : ‘Tax treatment of various Financial Investments‘)
I believe that the above list is useful for your Tax Planning purposes. The above Income Tax Exemptions FY 2017-18 are applicable for financial year 2017-2018 (Assessment Year 2018-2019).
(Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net) (Post first published on : 27-March-2017)