Income Tax:The changes that have been introduced since 1 April 2018.

The Income Tax is the charges levied by the government on the income of a person. It is a direct tax whose burden to pay cannot be shifted to any other person. Income tax is governed by the Income Tax Act, 1961 in India. Income Tax is charged as per the slab rates prescribed in the Union budget every financial year. It is charged differently for different individuals like individuals, partnership firm, company, etc. The primary sources of income as per income tax are:
Income from Salary;
Income from House Property;
Profits and Gains of Business or Profession;
Capital Gains Income; and
Income from Other Sources
Income tax provides various deductions from income before computing the tax on income.
Even though the income tax slabs are more or less the same as last year, Budget 2018 did bring with itself an assortment of other changes that is most likely to impact how people invest. The changes that have been introduced in this regard have been in action since 1 April 2018. Let us take a look at some of them:
1.Standard deduction
The budget announced a standard deduction of Rs 40,000 for salaried employees, but it also did away with the tax exempt annual transport allowance of Rs 19,200 and medical reimbursement of Rs 15,000. The difference of Rs 5,800 is the reduction in the amount of taxable salary. The tax you save on this amount will depend on the income tax slab you are in.
The main advantage of the move is that the calculation will now be much less complicated. The deduction will be made directly from your salary, and you won’t need to submit investment proof or bills to avail of the benefit.
2. Tax advantages for senior citizens
There’s good news for senior citizens, many of whom rely on interest income to meet their expenses. The exemption limit on income from interest for those over 60 has been hiked five times from Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000 per year. All deposits held by senior citizens across both banks and co-operative banks, as well as post offices will be eligible for this exemption.
Another important benefit extended to senior citizens is that of the higher limit of deduction for health insurance premium and medical expenditure. This amount has been raised from Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000 under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act. The deduction limit for medical expenses for specified critical illnesses under section 80DDB, has been hiked to Rs 1 lakh for all senior citizens from Rs 60,000 (in case of senior citizens) and Rs 80,000 (for super senior citizens).
Neurological Diseases
Parkinson’s Disease
Malignant Cancers
Chronic Renal failure
3. NPS exemption for the self employed
Till date, only salaried employees were allowed withdraw up to 40% of their total accumulated corpus from the National Pension Scheme (NPS) at maturity or account closure, without any tax implications. But now, self-employed subscribers are also eligible for this benefit. This move will bring non salaried subscribers of the NPS on par with salaried employees.
4. Longer lock-in for bonds under 54EC
The Union Budget has extended the lock-in period of investments in capital gain tax exemption bonds from three years to five years.
This means that earlier you had to stay invested in the 54EC bonds for three years to get the tax break, but from now on your money will be locked in for five years.
5. Long Term Capital Gains Bond only eligible for capital gains from property
From FY 2018-19, the long term capital gains tax exemption by investing in long term capital gains bond from specified companies (NHAI, REC or PFC) u/s 54EC would only be available for capital gains from sale of property including land, residential or commercial building. Until this year these bonds could be used for capital gains arising from sale of any asset.
6.DDT imposed on equity mutual funds
Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT), which was applicable only to debt funds so far, will now apply to equity mutual funds as well. While dividends will remain tax free in the hands of the investor, the fund house will have to pay 10% tax on income distributed to investors. This might be a good time for those who rely on dividends from equity funds as a form of income to review their investment strategy, since this tax will reduce the inhand return for investors if they choose the dividend option.
7. Hike in education cess on income tax
Although it is only a marginal increase, the hike in the education cess means all taxpayers will have to pay a little more tax than they used to. The cess on income tax has been increased by 3% to 4%, as a result of which, the effective tax liability of taxpayers in the highest tax bracket will increase to 31.2% from 30%. For the middle income taxpayers, it will go up from 20% at present to 20.8%; and for those in the lowest bracket, liability will increase from 5% to 5.2%.

Scroll to Top