A Relief for Taxpayers Earning Under Rs. 5 lakh – Amendments to Form 15H

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Tax season brings with it a set of concerns regarding the rules and regulations which need to be followed, but these need not be confusing for you!

We’re here to help you understand every aspect of the Income Tax Filing process to make it a smooth transition. What’s more, with the kind of changes introduced by the government for AY 2019-20, filing taxes has become easier than ever! For instance, there have been some major amendments made to Form 15H this year.

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Earlier in the year, the Finance Minister had announced during the Union Budget 2019-20, that those individuals who have an annual taxable income amounting to less than Rs. 5 lakhs, will be allowed a full tax rebate. Following through with that, the Central Board of Direct Tax (CBDT) made the required amendments to Form 15H, according to which those assessee who have ‘NIL’ tax liabilities – after considering rebate which can be availed under Section 87A in the Income Tax Act, 1961 – will be able to submit their Form 15H to banks and financial institutions.

This means that if you are a senior citizen who has a taxable income up to Rs. 5 lakhs, you can submit your Form 15H at a post office or bank and you will be able to claim exemption on Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) on the interest income on deposits! This comes as a great relief to middle class taxpayers, who would be restricted by the previous Rs. 2.5 lakhs limit.

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It is also important to note that in order to make sure axes are not deducted at source on interest income, Senior Citizens – those above 60 years of age –  have to submit their Form 15H at the start of the year to banks. These introductions made by the Government have not only improved the entire process, but reduced the suffering of taxpayers, who would earlier receive a rebate of Rs. 2,500 under Section 87A. This year’s Budget increased that amount to Rs. 12,500, thus making sure that individuals with an annual income of up to Rs. 5 lakhs do not have to bear the burden of taxes.

Neha Malhotra, Executive Director – Nangia Advisors (Andersen Global) said, “Had this change not been brought, taxpayers earning income up to Rs. 5 lakh would have suffered TDS on interest from banks and would have had to file a tax return to claim a refund on such TDS. This change not only saves the taxpayer from the hassle of filing ITR to claim refund but also reduces the administrative burden of CPC (central processing centre) to process such returns and issue refunds”

All in all, we can say, that the Government has been making changes to the ITR process, keeping in mind the Taxpayer. Hopefully these changes will have made the procedure significantly more streamlined.

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