Category: Tax

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What are the tax exemption limits for allowances, reimbursements paid to employees? Find out

Wed Jul 15 2020 / By: Rashmi

The largest part of India's taxpayer group is of salaried persons. They pay the highest amount of taxes that ultimately help in basic infrastructure like roads and provide good health services and education systems. But this transaction is not only one way. The government also says Thanks by giving them monetary relief.

They are exempted from a portion of the tax for different kinds which are called allowances. If a salaried person takes reimbursements from the employers, a large chunk of money will be saved by the end of the year.

An employer's salary is made up of many components. The total salary package of employers is called Cost to Company (CTC). While the money that gets credited into account is called in-hand salary, which is lower than this CTC. It happens because employers deduct various kinds of taxes imposed by the governed. While some of these taxes are fixed, a few can be reimbursed if employers’ claim for allowances.

Here's a list of major deductions and allowances given by the government:

1.    House rent allowance (HRA)

2.    Telephone reimbursement

3.    Books and periodicals allowance

4.    Meal coupons

5.    Interest on higher studies loan

How to Reimburse Them:

The name of these allowances is pretty explanatory. If an employee is living in a rental house, then he/she is eligible for HRA. The same logic applies to other allowances. What these allowances basically mean is that salaried people should get some relief on their basic needs of working like housing, traveling, reading, and eating.

The process of asking reimbursements of these allowances is very simple. Salaried people have to give bills for using these basic services and commodities.

For HRA, one needs to submit rent receipts including the PAN of the employer (PAN is compulsory if the rental payment is above INR 1 lakh annually). For books and periodicals allowance, one has to submit newspaper bills, bills of books, and magazines. The same rule applies to telephone reimbursement, meal coupons, and Interest on higher studies loans.

However, one allowance that deviates from the same logic is Standard Deduction. In the last budget, it was decided that a standard amount of Rs 50,000 would be deduced from IT for salaried employees. It actually replaced transport allowance and medical reimbursement.

These tax allowances may sound small to a middle-middle-class or a higher- middle-class person. But when all of these allowances are accrued, the sum money almost looks like a monthly saving that has accumulated after a year. Basically, if you get reimbursement for all these allowances, you'll start getting more money than your present in-hand salary.

For more details about the changes in Income Tax exemption, click here.

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ITR filing for AY 2020-21: What is new in the New 26AS Form? Here is all you need to know

Thu Jun 11 2020 / By: Rashmi

During Budget 2020, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced that a new Form 26AS will replace the older one. Now, a new Form 26AS has been released by the Income Tax Department, and it will contain more information than ever. The information embedded in the Form 26AS is very vital, but unfortunately, only a few know about it.

Here is all you need to know about the new form:

What's New?

In the older version of Form 26AS, only a few personal details were provided. like PAN number, full name, and address. While now, additional information like Phone Number and email address. The Income Tax Department now sends all the new information and notifications through emails and texts on the phone number. Till now, you may have ignored updating your phone number when changing the sim card but not anymore.

Apart from email address and phone number, the new Form 26AS now also includes your birthdate for unknown reasons.

Taxes And Proceedings

The new Form 26AS will have all the details of taxes that deducted by your company and collected by your bank. In addition to that, the details of advance tax or self-assessment tax will also be included in it.

If some tax filing is missing from your new Form 26AS, you can call your employer and bank in the court. This also works the other way around.

The outstanding demands will also be enlisted on the new Form 26AS. This will help you in knowing if the demand is really outstanding or should you raise a dispute on it.

Details About Taxes And Proceedings

In addition to that, your pending income tax proceedings will also be mentioned in the new Form 26AS. Both the taxpayer and the Income Tax Departement will have to go to just one single place to look up for all pending cases and their details. It's a win-win situation for both parties.

Until now, Form 26AS only had a few info included in it about your financial transactions. But from now on, various details like banks, listed companies, mutual funds, registrar, stock exchanges, etc. will also be included in the Form 26AS, as they were already available to the department.

If your transactions for credit cards, foreign exchange, shares, and bond purchases exceed a certain threshold, the details of all these transactions will also be written on Form 26AS.

To understand it in simple words, the Income Tax Department has made sure that Form 26AS become the one-stop-shop for taxpayers.

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Taxpayers Alert: Income Tax Department To Notify New ITR Forms By April's End

Mon Apr 20 2020 / By: Rashmi

Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the Income Tax department has decided to revise its Income Tax Return (ITR) forms. The forms will be changed so that taxpayer citizens can get the benefits that the government has given as relief measures. 

The central finance ministry released an official note on Monday regarding the ITR form changes. It says that the government has given various timeline extensions to the citizens as a relief measure. But to fully avail it for the common people, the income tax department will revise the return forms for the financial year 2019-20 and the assessment year of 2020-21. The changes made will be notified to taxpayers by this month's end. 

The benefits given to taxpayers are for financial transactions made between April 1, 2020, to June 30, 2020. Financial world pundits are also speculating that the department will most likely extend the ITR filing deadline of July 31. 

Once the forms are changed, and the taxpayers notified, the department will also amend the software and return filing utility. All this procedure shall be completed before May 31. 

Talking to the media about this recent announcement, the director of Nangia Andersen Consulting, Mr. Shailesh Kumar, said that there is a small discrepancy in the time-period. While the taxpayers would have to make tax-saving investments by the end of June, the new ITR forms and utilities would be notified to taxpayers by the end of May. Hence there is lesser time for taxpayers to file the Income-tax return by July's end. To make sure every eligible person pays tax, the government will probably extend the ITR filing date. 

Almost every finance-related timelines and deadlines have been extended by the Finance Ministry, including the utilities of the Income Tax department and Reserve Bank of India. 

After announcing the Pan-India lockdown on March 25, the government ruled that the claims for payments that come under Section 80 C, 80D, and 80G (which includes Donations, Mediclaim and LIC, PPF, NSC, and mutual funds, etc.) are extended till the end of June. 

Usually, the ITR forms are notified to taxpayers once the financial year ends, i.e., March 30 or 31. Then the taxpayers have four months to file their Income Tax Returns before the end of July. However, this government broke the norms when it released the new forms called ITR-1 (Sahaj) and ITR-4 (Sugam) in January instead of March. Now, after Coronavirus spread and nationwide lockdown, every rule and norm is being changed as per necessity. 

For more such updates, keep reading BankingOnTips.


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Good News! Govt To Issue IT Refund of Upto Rs 5 Lakh

Sat Apr 11 2020 / By: Rashmi

The last date of coronavirus lockdown in India is coming near but it is still wrapped in uncertainty and lots of loss for the economy of the country. The cases are rising with every passing day and chances are high that lockdown will be extended.

In this period of crisis, the government is trying to offer relief to the industry. This time, it has announced a big relief for the IT partners.

The Indian government has recently decided to issues all the pending income tax refunds of up to 5 lakh. It is being said that the step will benefit more than 14 lakh taxpayers.

Not just this, the government is also releasing the pending GST and custom refunds. This step will give relief to around one lakh business entities. In the press release, the government has also added Rs 18,000 crore worth of total refund would be granted.

Here is what the Finance Ministry said in the statement:

"In the context of the COVID-19 situation and with a view to provide immediate relief to the business entities and individuals, it has been decided to issue all the pending income-tax refunds up to Rs 5 lakh, immediately. This would benefit around 14 lakh taxpayers,

"It has also been decided to issue all pending GST and custom refunds which would provide benefit to around 1 lakh business entities, including MSME. Thus, the total refund granted will be approximately Rs. 18,000 crore."

These steps have been taken to balance the economic burden that is hanging over the Indian industries in the wake of novel coronavirus. People are welcoming this move and it is being said that the tax refund announcement is going to help large section of traders since they are facing cash flow challenges due to the lockdown.


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Do NRIs have to pay taxes after the 2020 budget or not

Mon Feb 17 2020 / By: Rashmi

The money that is earned legally and ethically is called white money, while the money that is earned by illegitimate methods is called black money. But, what if you don't know if the ways by which you are earning money is legitimate or not? What if the laws themselves are not showing your money's true colour; black or white? 

The 2020 budget has left grey areas over a number of monetary spaces. One of them is taxation for NRIs. 

In her budget speech, the union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, said that the government is planning to crack down on people who are trying to create a loophole in the taxation system in the name of their residence status. But, after the speech caused great furore among NRIs, the government took a U-turn. 

In an official statement, the finance ministry said, "The new provision is not intended to include in tax net those Indian citizens who are bonafide workers in other countries. In some section of the media the new provision is being interpreted to create an impression that those Indians who are bonafide workers in other countries, including in Middle East, and who are not liable to tax in these countries will be taxed in India on the income that they have earned there. This interpretation is not correct."

So, who does exactly have to pay the 'NRI tax'?

Those persons who live in India for more than 120 days will now be deemed as Indian residents. Hence, if they have businesses in India, then the money earned by those businesses will come under the scrutiny of the Indian tax system. 

One thing to be noted here is that one has to pay taxes only for the local earnings and not the earnings made in any foreign country. The finance ministry clearly said so in the statement issued on February 02, "It is clarified that in case of an Indian citizen who becomes deemed resident of India under this proposed provision, income earned outside India by him shall not be taxed in India unless it is derived from an Indian business or profession."

Another loophole left:

It is not the case that 'NRIs' now can not exempt themselves from paying taxes to the Indian government. They can; if they care enough to read the budget thoroughly. According to the Indian 2020 budget, if an NRI lives abroad for more than 35 weeks or 145 days, one can not be taxed even for earnings made through Indian businesses. In other words, NRIs still don't have to pay taxes, it is just that the definition of an NRI has changed after the 2020 budget.


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Income Tax Dept Launches E-Calculator To Compare Old and New Tax Slabs

Tue Feb 11 2020 / By: Rashmi

Calculating taxes is always a confusing task and that becomes even more challenging whenever some changes are proposed by the government. Recently on Feb 1, Finance Minister Niramala Sitharaman came up with significant changes in the country’s direct tax regime.

In her budget speech, she said, “Currently, the Income Tax Act is riddled with various exemptions and deductions, which make compliance by the taxpayer and administration of the Income Tax Act by the tax authorities a burdensome process. It is almost impossible for a taxpayer to comply with the Income-tax law without taking help from professionals,”

Thus, to make tax paying an easy task, the finance minister proposed a new tax regime under which some tax slabs were reduced.

The New Rules

As per the new rules, taxpayers are supposed to pay 10%, 15%, 20% and 25% tax for incomes between Rs 5-7.5 lakh, Rs 7.5-10 lakh, Rs 10-12.5 lakh and Rs 12.5-15 lakh, respectively. Earlier, the tax slabs were 20% for incomes between Rs 5-10 lakh and 30% for incomes between Rs 10-15 lakh.

Not just this, in the new personal tax regime, 5% tax is levied on an annual income between Rs 2.5- 5 lakh. 

Now, with new changes come new confusions. Therefore, to help the taxpayers, the Income Tax Department planned to launch an e-calculator to estimate and compare their taxes under the new regime.


How Does It Work?

The e-calculator is available on the official e-filling website. The calculator basically has three broad categories under which you can get the data. Upon clicking on the “Tax Calculator”, you will enter a new page where resident individuals can check their FY 2020-21 tax slab.

Basically, there are three categories in the age slab: normal citizen (below 60 years), senior citizen (60-79 years) and super senior citizen (above 79 years). You need to choose one and then enter details like estimated annual income from all sources, total eligible deductions and exemptions. Once you enter the details, click on “Compare Tax under Existing & New Regime” to see what will be there total taxable income.

The e-calculator also considers the eligible exemptions and deductions as per the new regime.

So, if you have been feeling confused about the new tax slabs proposed in the Budget, just visit the official website and compares your tax amount in just a few clicks.

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