TIMES GUIDE TO PERSONAL TAX
A tax rebate of Rs 2,000 is proposed to be allowed for taxpayers earning total income of up to Rs 5 lakh.
The basic threshold limit for tax trigger now effectively stands increased at Rs 2.2 lakh for taxpayers with income up to Rs 5 lakh.No relief for taxpayers earning total income above Rs 5 lakh.
An additional deduction of Rs 1 lakh is proposed on interest payable by individuals taking new home loans up to Rs 25 lakh during 2013-14 for purchase of their first residential property (of a value not exceeding Rs 40 lakh).The unutilized deduction amount can be carried forward to the next year.
This additional deduction will enable tax saving up to Rs 33,990 for first-time property buyers and also encourage the home loan market.The existing deduction for bank interest (including the limit of Rs 1.5 lakh for self-occupied property) under the head Income from House Property continues.
Eligibility conditions of Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme (RGESS) are proposed to be liberalized: investment in listed equity oriented mutual funds will also qualify.The deduction shall be allowed for 3 consecutive years and lastly,the income limit for taxpayers eligible under the scheme stands increased to Rs 12 lakh from Rs 10 lakh.
This would make the scheme slightly more attractive for first-time investors,enabling annual tax savings of up to Rs 7,725 for three years.However,the maximum amount of deduction continues to be Rs 25,000 per year.
Donations made to National Childrens Fund proposed to be allowed as a 100% tax deduction.
This will enable taxpayers to avail 100% deduction on donations made to National Childrens Fund.This move is intended to treat the National Childrens Fund on a par with other funds of national importance,such as the PMs National Relief Fund.
It is proposed that the buyer of immovable property exceeding Rs 50 lakh in value will need to deduct tax at source at 1% of the sale value.
While this will help bring to tax the transactions in the real estate sector,there would be an additional compliance burden for the buyer.Interestingly,there are no exceptions for individual buyers either.
Transfer of immovable property for inadequate consideration is proposed to be taxed in the hands of the buyer.If date of agreement is prior to the date of registration,the differential value will be computed as of the agreement date.
While the seller is already liable to tax on the stamp value of the property,it is now proposed to also tax the purchaser (paying insufficient consideration) to the extent of value deficiency.Certain exceptions have been carved out.
Return of income filed without payment of taxes payable will be considered as a defective return.
However,a leeway has been given to taxpayers to cure such a defect by paying the taxes within 15 days of receiving notice of defective return.
It is proposed to enable online/ electronic filing of wealth-tax return as well.
This will make filing of wealth tax returns easier.
It has been proposed to reduce Securities Transaction Tax ( STT ) for certain transactions such as equity futures on recognized stock exchanges (from 0.017% to 0.01%),redemption of equity-oriented mutual fund units (from 0.25% to 0.001%) and sale of equityoriented mutual fund units on recognized stock exchanges (from 0.1% to 0.001%).STT of 0.1% levied on the purchaser of equity-oriented mutual fund units on stock exchange is also abolished.
This will help in reducing the costs of such transactions and give a fillip to investor sentiments.
It is proposed to levy Commodities transaction tax (CTT) at 0.01% on sale of non-agricultural commodity derivatives,traded in recognized associations this is proposed to be payable by the seller.
This is a new levy similar to STT being levied on equity derivative transactions.This will lead to increase in transaction cost in commodity trading.
Times of India, New Delhi, 01-03-2013