New Tax Regime Vs Old Tax Regime: Union Budget 2020

7 MinsFebruary 07, 2020

From lower tax rates to reforms in tax assessment, the Union Budget 2020 has proposals that could offer relief to individual taxpayers. However there are conditions that you need to be aware of. Read on to know the details and how the Budget could impact you.

union budget


Lower tax rates

The Budget has proposed a New Tax Regime in addition to the existing, i.e. Old Tax Regime. However the New Tax Regime is optional. To put it simply, the assessee can choose between the New Tax Regime and the Old Tax Regime depending on what is best suitable from a tax planning point of view.



Income-tax rates under the new tax regime v/s the old tax regime

Income slabs (Rs)Tax Rate(Old Regime) Tax Rate(New Regime - devoid of exemptions & deductions)
Up to 2.5 lakhNilNil
2.5-5 lakh5%5%
5-7.5 lakh20%10%
7.5-10 lakh20%15%
10-12.5 lakh30%20%
12.5-15 lakh30%25%
Above 15 lakh30%30%

Note: The above rates are subject to surcharge and cess, as applicable.
(Source: indiabudget.gov.in)


New vs. Old – Which is better?

The New Tax Regime has proposed lower income-tax rates, for income segments up to Rs 15 lakh. But you need to remember that the proposed lower tax rates will be applicable only if you are willing to give up exemptions and deductions available under various provisions of the Income-tax Act, 1961.

This means that when you choose the New Tax Regime, you will have to forgo some exemptions [such as Leave Travel Allowance (LTA), House Rent Allowance (HRA), etc] and deductions available under chapter VI A of the Act that grant deductions under Section 80 [such as 80C, 80CCC, 80CCD, 80D, 80DD, 80E, 80EE, 80G, 80GG, 80GGA, 80GGC, etc].

Only the deduction under Section 80CCD(2) [i.e., employer’s contribution on account of an employee in a notified pension scheme] and Section 80JJAA [i.e. for new employment] can be claimed.

Even the Standard Deduction under Section 16 [which is currently Rs 50,000] available to salaried individuals and the deduction on home loan interest, under Section 24(b) will be disallowed. Around 70 exemptions and deductions have been removed in the New Tax Regime.

Old regime better option for high-income earners

ParticularsOld Tax Regime (Rs)New Tax Regime (Rs)
Gross Income1,000,000 1,000,000
Deductions:  
U/Sec: 80C150,000 -
U/Sec: 80D25,000 -
U/Sec: 24(b)75,000 -
Taxable Income750,000 1,000,000
Tax Slab (OLD)  
0 to 2.5 Lakh--
2.5 to 5 Lakh @ 5%12,500 -
5 Lakh to 10 Lakh @ 20%50,000 -
> 10 Lakh @ 30%--
Tax Slab (NEW)  
0 to 5 Lakh--
2.5 to 5 Lakh @ 5%-12,500
5 to 7.5 Lakh @ 10%-25,000
7.5 Lakh to 10 Lakh @ 15%-37,500
10 Lakh to 12.5 Lakh @ 20%--
12.5 Lakh to 15 Lakh @ 25%--
> 15 Lakh @ 30%--
Income Tax62,500 75,000
Cess @ 4%2,500 3,000
Total Tax Outgo65,000 78,000

(Source: PersonalFN Research)

Going by the illustration above, if the gross income is Rs 10 lakh or above and you are utilising deductions under Section 80C, 80D, and 24(b) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, then you are better off under the older regime; it works in your favour from a tax planning standpoint. While for individuals in the middle-income group, earning a gross income of say Rs 5 lakh; the new regime may prove advantageous.

That being said, if you are looking to fulfil your financial obligations, namely - wealth creation through investments in tax-saving instruments; paying premiums to address insurance needs (life and health); paying children’s tuition fees; paying Equated Monthly Instalments (EMIs) of an education loan; buying a house with a home loan; and so on, the older regime still works in the interest of your financial wellbeing.

Apart from changes in personal tax, the Budget also proposed some other changes that could impact you as an investor. Let us see what these are:

• Currently, companies have to pay Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) of 15% plus surcharge and cess on dividend paid to investors. This means the dividend received by investors is after the deduction of taxes. In addition to this, if dividend income exceeds Rs 10 lakh in a year, investors have to pay an additional 10% tax. This leads to double taxation for investors. The Budget has proposed the abolishing of DDT and taxing the dividend payable to investors as per their applicable income-tax slab rates. This would benefit individual taxpayers, particularly those in the lower tax slabs.

• The deduction of up to Rs 1.50 lakh on interest paid on 'affordable housing' loan --- which was allowed for housing loans sanctioned on or before March 31, 2020 --- is proposed to be extended for one more year, i.e. till March 31, 2021, for ‘first time home buyers’. This is a welcome step for new home buyers.

• As part of tax reforms, it is proposed to further ease the process of allotment of PAN (Permanent Account Number), by soon launching a system under which PAN shall be instantly allotted online based on Aadhaar without filling up a detailed application form.

• Also, as a part of tax reforms, it is proposed to amend the Income Tax Act to enable ‘faceless Appeal’ on the lines of ‘Faceless Assessment’.

• A ‘Vivad se Vishwas’ Scheme has been introduced to reduce the litigations in direct taxes. If your tax amount is disputed, you would be required to pay only the amount of the disputed taxes and will get a complete waiver of interest and penalty provided you pay by March 31, 2020. If paid under this Scheme after March 31, 2020, some additional amount will have to be paid. Vivad se Vishwas’ Scheme will remain open till June 30, 2020.

Disclaimer: This article has been authored by PersonalFN, a Mumbai based Financial Planning and Mutual Fund research firm. Axis Bank doesn't influence any views of the author in any way. Axis Bank & PersonalFN shall not be responsible for any direct / indirect loss or liability incurred by the reader for taking any financial decisions based on the contents and information. Please consult your financial advisor before making any financial decision.

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