Income Tax Last Updated : 15 Aug 2020

The Budget for the year has been announced 1st of February 2020. In the new budget, the Finance Minister of India has announced a new regime for income tax. However, the new income tax regime is optional, and individuals can either opt for the new regime or file their taxes as per the old regime.

New Income Tax Slab for Individual FY 2020-2021

Income Tax Slab Tax Rate
Up to Rs.2.5 lakh Nil
From Rs.2,50,001 to Rs.5,00,000 5%
From Rs.5,00,001 to Rs.7,50,000 10%
From Rs.7,50,001 to Rs.10,00,000 15%
From Rs.10,00,001 to Rs.12,50,000 20%
From Rs.12,50,001 to Rs.15,00,000 25%
Income above Rs.15,00,001 30%

Note: New income tax rates are optional

The following example will show the calculation of the payable tax amount if an individual who earns Rs.12.50 lakh annually, files his taxes as per the new income tax regime.

Components Amount (Rs.)
Annual Salary (Rs.) 12.50 lakh
Computation of tax on the gross total income
Up to Rs.2.5 lakh Nil
From Rs.2,50,001 to Rs. 5 lakh – 5% 12,500
From Rs.5,00,001 to Rs.7.5 lakh – 10% 25,000
From Rs.7,50,001 to Rs.10 lakh – 15% 37,500
From Rs.10,00,001 to Rs.12.5 lakh – 20% 50,000
Total Tax Amount 1.25 lakh
Additional Cess (4%) 5,000
Total payable tax amount 1.30 lakh

Note: The figures mentioned above are indicative. These rates are optional.

Existing Income Tax Slabs for FY 2020-21 (Alternative)

The income earned individuals will determine the income tax slabs under which they fall. The lower the income, the lower the tax liability, and those who earn less than Rs.2.5 lakh p.a. are exempt from tax.

Depending on the age of the individual, the three categories that resident individual taxpayers are divided into are mentioned below:

  • Individuals who are less than the age of 60 years old.
  • Senior citizens who are above 60 years old and below 80 years of age.
  • Super senior citizens who are above 80 years old.

Here is the income tax slab for individuals who are less than 60 years old:

Income Tax Slab Tax Rate
Up to Rs.2.5 lakh Nil
Rs.2.5 lakh to Rs.5 lakh 5% of the amount exceeding Rs.2.5 lakh
Rs.5 lakh to Rs.10 lakh Rs.12,500 + 20% of the amount exceeding Rs.5 lakh
More than Rs.10 lakh Rs.1,12,500 + 30% of the amount exceeding Rs.10 lakh

*An additional cess of 4% will be applicable to the tax amount calculated above.

Income tax is one of the direct means of taxation like capital gains tax, securities transaction tax, etc., and there are many other indirect taxes that we pay like sales tax, VAT, Octroi, service tax, etc.

The income tax you pay every month or upon every contractual earning is what forms a large part of the revenue for the Government of India. These revenue functions are managed by the Ministry of Finance, which has delegated the responsibility to managing direct taxes (like income tax, wealth tax, etc.) to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).

How to file ITR

Here is all you need to know about how to file ITR online. Before you file your taxes, you will need your Form 16, provided by your employer, and any proof of investment. Using that you can compute the tax payable and refunds, if any, for the year. You can download the IT preparation software from the IT department’s website. Once you have all the documents ready, you can start the filing process.

efiling Income Tax

e-Filing Income Tax Return, TDS return, AIR return, and Wealth Tax Return can be completed online on e-filing your return has obvious advantages like the fact that you won’t have to deal with the hassle of paperwork and waste time sorting through it all. You can simply log on to the secure website and e-file your return.

This government website also has provisions for you to submit returns, view forms 26AS, outstanding tax demand, CPC refund status, rectification status, ITR – V receipt status, online application tools for PAN and TAN, e-pay your tax and even has a tax calculator.

What Is Income Tax?

Income tax is defined as the tax charged on the annual income earned by an individual. The amount of tax that must be paid will depend on how much money you earn as income over the course of a financial year. Taxpayers can make their income tax payment, TDS/TCS payment, and Non-TDS/TCS payments online as well. All relevant details must be filled by taxpayers in order to make these payments. The process to make the payments online is simple and can be completed quickly.

Income tax for FY 2019-20 is applicable to all residents whose annual income exceeds Rs.2.5 lakh p.a. The highest amount of tax an individual could pay is 30% of their income plus cess at 4% if their income is more than Rs.10 lakh p.a.

Income Tax Department

A government agency that undertakes the direct collection of tax in India is the Income Tax Department. All operations of the department are handled by the Central Board for Direct Taxes (CBDT). Individuals can get various details such as international taxation, tax laws and rules, organisational setup, etc., on the official website of the department.

Income Tax Act

Passed in 1961, the Income Tax Act of India handles all income tax provisions as well as any tax deductions that may be applicable. Since its introduction, there have been many changes to the law because of economic situations and inflation.

Income Tax Rules

The legislature enacts the Income Tax Act, 1961, to administer and govern income tax in the country, but the Income Tax Rules, 1962, were created in order to help in the application and enforcement of the law constituted in the Act. Moreover, the Income Tax Rules can only be read in conjunction with the Income Tax Act. The Income Tax Rules are within the framework of the Income Tax Act are not allowed to override its provisions.

Who should pay Income Tax in India?

The amount of tax that must be paid depends on the individual’s age and the income they make. The entities listed below are required to pay tax and file their income tax returns.

  • Artificial Judicial Persons
  • Corporate firms
  • Association of Persons (AOPs)
  • Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs)
  • Companies
  • Local Authorities
  • Body of Individuals (BOIs)

Important Dates to Remember when Paying Income Tax

The important dates to remember for individuals who fall under the bracket to pay Income Tax for the year (FY 2019-20 & AY 2020-21) is mentioned in the table below:

Important Due Dates The task that must be completed
Before January 31 Individuals must submit their proof of investment
Before March 31 It is deadline before which any investments under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961 must be made
Before 31 July Due date to file income tax return
Between October and November Tax returns must be verified by this time

Income Tax Collection

Taxes are collected by the government in three primary ways:

  1. Voluntary payment by taxpayers into designated banks, like advance tax and self-assessment tax.
  2. TDS (Taxes Deducted at Source) which is deducted from your monthly salary, before you receive it.
  3. TCS (Taxes Collected at Source).

Under the Department of Revenue of the Ministry of Finance, the Income Tax Department (IT Department) is responsible for monitoring the collection of Income Tax, Expenditure Tax, and various other Financial Acts that are passed every year in the Union Budget. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) regulates the policy and planning of taxes. CBDT is also responsible for administering the direct tax laws through the IT Department. In addition to the collection of taxes, the IT department is also involved in prevention and detection of tax avoidance.

Income Tax Calculator

Income tax calculation can be done either manually or by using an online income tax calculator. The amount of tax that must be paid will depend on the tax slab under which you fall. For salaried employees, income from salary includes the basic pay, House Rent Allowance (HRA), Transport Allowance, Special Allowance and any other allowances. However, certain components of your salary are tax exempt, like Leave Travel Allowance (LTA), reimbursement of telephone bills, etc. In case HRA is part of your salary and you reside in a rented house, you are eligible to claim exemption. Apart from these exemptions, there is a standard deduction of up to Rs.50,000.

Online Income Tax Payment

Taxpayers can pay direct taxes online by using the e-Payment facility. In order to avail the online tax payment facility, taxpayers must have a net-banking account with an authorised bank. The Permanent Account Number (PAN) or Tax Deduction and Collection Number (TAN) will have to be provided for validation as well.

ITR Forms

If an individual needs to claim income tax refund, he/she will need to first file the income tax return. Depending on the income assessment group, the individual will need to submit one of the ITR forms listed below:

ITR Form Name Description
ITR-1 For Individuals having Income from Salaries, One house property, Other sources (Interest etc.)
ITR-2 For Individuals and HUFs not having Income from Business or Profession
ITR-2A For Individuals and HUFs not having Income from Business or Profession and Capital Gains and who do not hold foreign assets
ITR-3 For Individuals/HUFs being partners in firms and not carrying out business or profession under any proprietorship
ITR-4 For individuals and HUFs having income from a proprietary business or profession
ITR-4S Presumptive business income tax return
ITR-5 For persons other than, - (i) individual, (ii) HUF, (iii) company and (iv) person filing Form ITR-7
ITR-6 For Companies other than companies claiming exemption under section 11
ITR-7 For persons including companies required to furnish return under sections 139(4A) or 139(4B) or 139(4C) or 139(4D) or 139(4E) or 139(4F)
ITR-V The acknowledgment form of filing a return of income

In order to file the ITR, an individual will require producing the bank statement, Form 16, and a copy of previous years' return. The individual will need to visit the Income Tax Department's website - to register and file the returns.

Income Tax Refund

In case you have paid more tax than your actual tax liability, you will be eligible to claim an income tax refund of the extra money you have paid. For example, if your TDS liability for FY 2018-19 was Rs.35,000 and your employer deducted Rs.40,000 instead, you can claim a refund for the additional Rs.5,000 that was deducted. You can also claim an income tax refund in case you forgot to declare your tax-saving investments and tax has been charged to you without taking your deductions into consideration. Individuals can check the status of the refund on the official website of Income Tax Department

Income Tax Saving Investments

Declaring investments - From HRA, Life Insurance Premiums, National Savings Certificate, Leave Travel Allowance to Fixed Deposit (minimum of 5 years), ELSS Tax Saving Mutual Funds, and more, by ensuring that you have declared all your investments, you can achieve more deductions on tax. The following options can be considering for saving on income tax:

  1. Investment options
    • Mutual funds such as Equity Linked Savings Schemes (ELSS) can be claimed for tax deduction under Section 80C. Compare to fixed deposits and PPF’s, the ELSS offers shorter lock-in period and more benefits when it comes to making money.
    • Unit Linked Insurance Plans (ULIP) are insurance schemes that are linked to the market. The investment made under ULIP qualifies for tax deductions.
  2. Insurance
    • Life insurance and health insurance - The money paid towards life insurance and health insurance policies are considering for tax deductions under Section 80C
  3. Home Loans
    • When we take a loan for buying a house or for renovation purpose, we are eligible for tax deductions up to Rs.1.5 lakh for a financial year.

You can also consider the following options for reducing tax amount on your income:

  • Fixed Deposits (FD) - An FD with a lock-in period of five years can help you save on tax while earning the interest on the deposited amount.
  • National Saving Certificate (NSC) - The NSC offers a safe and reliable method of investing money. You can deposit as low as Rs.100 for a 5-10 year lock-in period. The investments made under NSC are eligible for tax deductions.
  • Provident Fund (PF) - You can also choose to invest more amount towards your PF account that will help you reduce your taxable amount.

Advance Tax

The calculation of tax liability before-hand and paying the taxes to the government accordingly is called advance tax. There are certain deadlines for the advance tax payments. These deadlines are listed below:

Due Date Advance Tax Payable
On or before 15th June 15% of advance tax
On or before 15th September 45% of advance tax
On or before 15th December 75% of advance tax
On or before 15th March 100% of advance tax

Calculation of advance tax:

  • Step – 1: An individual will be required to find his/her estimated total income by finding out the sum of all the invoices which have been received along with the future payments which he/she will be receiving till the end of the financial year, i.e. 31 March.
  • Step – 2: The direct expenses related to the business and the investments under Section 80C are to be deducted from the estimated total income to derive the total taxable income.
  • Step – 3: The next step is to determine the total tax liability for the financial year.
  • Step – 4: The TDS or tax deducted at source should be deducted from the total tax liability.
  • Step – 5: In case the amount of tax liability after deducting the TDS is more than Rs.10,000, the individual will be required to pay advance taxes on or before the due dates which are mentioned above.

Income Tax deductions

Deductions for your taxable amount are available under various sections of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Deductions will have to be mentioned in the relevant ITR form at the time of e-filing income tax returns.

Section 80C:

Deductions under this section are only available to individuals and HUF. This section allows for certain investments like NSC, etc. and expenditures to be exempt from taxation up to the amount of Rs.1.5 lakh

Section 80CCC:

Deductions under this section are on payments made to LIC or any other approved insurance company under an approved pension plan. The pension policy must be up to Rs.1.5 lakh and be taken for the individual himself out of the taxable income.

Section 80CCD:

Deductions under this section are for contributions to the New Pension Scheme by the assessee and the employer. The deduction is equal to the contribution, not exceeding 10% of his salary.

The total deduction available under Section 80C, 80CCC and 80CCD is Rs.1.5 lakh. However, contributions to the Notified Pension Scheme under Section 80CCD are not considered in the Rs.1.5 lakh limit.

Section 80D:

This is the section that deals with income tax deductions on health insurance premiums paid. In the case of individuals, the insurance policy can be taken to cover himself, spouse, dependent children – for up to Rs.15,000 and parents (whether dependent or not) – for up to Rs.15,000. An additional deduction of Rs.5,000 is applicable if the insured is a senior citizen. In the case of HUF, any member can be insured, and the general deduction will be for up to Rs.15,000 and an additional deduction of Rs.5,000.

A total of Rs.2.0 lakh can be claimed as deductions whether the assessee is an individual or a HUF.

Section 80DDB:

This section is for deductions on medical expenses that arise for treatment of a disease or ailment as specified in the rules (11DD) for the assessee, a family member or any member of a HUF.

Section 80E:

This section deals with the deductions that are applicable on the interest paid on education loans for an education in India.

Section 80EE:

This section deals with tax savings applicable to first time home-owners. Applies for individuals whose first home purchased has a value less than Rs.40 lakh and the loan taken for which is Rs.25 lakh or less.

Section 80RRB:

Deductions with respect to income by way of royalties or patents can be claimed under this section. Income tax can be saved on an amount up to Rs.3.0 lakh for patents registered under the Patents Act, 1970.

Section 80TTA:

This section deals with the tax savings that are applicable on interest earned in savings bank accounts, post office or co-operative societies. Individuals and HUFs can claim a deduction on an interest income of up to Rs.10,000.

Section 80U:

This section deals with the flat deduction on income tax that applies to disabled people, when they produce their disability certificate. Up to Rs.1.0 lakh can be non-taxed, depending on the severity of the disability.

Section 24:

This section deals with the interest paid on housing loans that is exempt from taxation. An amount of up to Rs.2.0 lakh can be claimed as deductions per year, and is in addition to the deductions under Sections 80C, 80CCF and 80D. This is only for self-occupied properties. Properties that have been rented out, 30% of rent received and municipal taxes paid are eligible for tax exemption.

FAQ's On Income Tax

  1. Who is required to pay income tax?
  2. Any individual or artificial body or group of individuals that earn more than the basic exemption limit are expected to pay income tax.

  3. Where should I invest to save income tax?
  4. There are various instruments in which you can invest to save tax. Some of the most common options available to you include PPF, National Savings Certificate, National Pension System, ELSS schemes, etc.

  5. Is the due date for filing tax returns the same for all taxpayers?
  6. All individuals and assessees who do not require their accounts to be audited will have to file their income tax returns by July 31. However, companies, individuals and working partners of firms whose accounts must be audited are required to file their income tax returns by September 30. Assessees who are required to submit a report under Section 92E of the Income Tax Act must file their returns by November 30.

News About Income Tax

  • Income Tax return filing deadline for AY 2019-20 extended to September 30th, 2020

    The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) issued a notification via twitter about an extension of the deadline for filing income tax returns for 2018-19 fiscal. The new dates for filing ITR for FY 2018-19 is September 30th, 2020.

  • Income Tax Return and Various Tax deadline extended due to Coronavirus Pandemic

    The Finance Minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman, recently announced the deadline extension of filing income tax returns for the financial year 2019-2020. As per the current norms, those who couldn’t file their tax returns in the previous year, can now do so before 30th November 2020. Earlier, the deadline for the same was 31st July 2020.

    The interest rate for delayed tax payment has also been reduced to 9% from 12%. The deadline for filing GST returns for March, April and May 2020 has also been extended to June 30th. Here are some of the changes implemented by the government:

    • ITR deadline for FY 2019-2020 extended till 30th November 2020
    • Interest rate for delayed payments revised from 12% to 9%
    • GST returns deadline for March, April, and May extended till 30th June 2020
    • Companies with less than Rs.5 crore turnover won’t be charged any interest or late GST filing fee
    • Bigger companies will be charged lower rate or penalty fee for late GST filing
    • Due date for any compliance and documentation by taxpayers extended till 30th June 2020
  • Pending income tax returns to be refunded; 14 lakh people to benefit

    The Income Tax Department said that it will refund income tax returns of up to Rs.5 lakh which is most likely to benefit more than 14 lakh people.

    The central government will also refund pending GST and custom refunds worth Rs.18,000 crore in order to provide relief to business entities.

    The decision comes in the wake of the Covid-19 creating a havoc due to which businesses have suffered. The refund will allow the groups to take care of their financial needs. It is estimated that the move will benefit close to 1 lakh business entities.

  • The government might halve tax on dividend income for huge investors

    The central government might halve the tax on dividend income for those in the highest tax bracket. Now, the government is looking to amend the regulations and also cut the tax dividends to 20% from 43% for all Indian investors. Post the budget, dividend income was taxable till 43%.

    All foreign companies are set to pay 5% to 15% tax on their dividends, and this is based on the tax treaty that India has with the other country. The Indian government has also spoken to some prominent mutual fund advisors, senior revenue officials, tax advisors, and also a few lawyers and are now taking their suggestions into consideration.

    Girish Vanvari, founder, tax advisory Transaction Square had said that there is now a difference of 22% between tax on dividends payable by an Indian promoter and tax on dividends paid by a foreign company. He had also added that this led to many domestic companies hurrying to pay out their dividends before April. In light of this, he had stressed that establishing parity between tax on dividend paid by an Indian company and that paid by a foreign company will ease the process of doing business.

  • Tax paid on Rs.15 lakh p.a. income under new tax system

    Under the new income tax system, an income taxpayer having an annual salary of Rs.15 lakh will have to pay Rs.1.95 lakh as tax, provided they forgo the usual tax deductions and exemptions under Section 80C, whereas under the old system their tax liability would have been Rs.2,73,000 (with deductions), according to the Finance Minister (FM). The new tax regime thus reduces the tax burden on such individuals by Rs.78,000. However, according to the FM, under the new regime, even if such an individual chose to take Rs.1.5 lakh deduction under Chapter VI-A of the Income Tax Act of the old regime, they would still save more.

  • Bona fide income of NRIs won’t be taxed under new income tax rules

    The Government of India has stated that the income earned by bona fide Non Resident Indian workers will not be taxed. This was following rumors that NRIs working in countries where income was not taxed would start getting taxed in India. This was especially worrisome for those working in the Gulf countries since many of those countries do not levy any income tax. However, in response to this, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) clarified that Indian citizens who are deemed residents of India will not be taxed on any income that is earned outside India. The only exception is if it is income that is derived from an Indian profession or business. The new measure is aimed at those who stay in no-tax or low-tax countries in order to avoid paying taxes in India. The threshold has also been reduced for being deemed an Indian resident. Whereas earlier it was 180 days, now it is 120 days for persons of Indian origin or Indian citizens. This will tighten the provisions for residency. However, the income of NRIs which is generated in India itself will be taxed. Examples of such income includes rental property.

  • No timeline for the removal of IT exemptions according to the Finance Minister

    According to the Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, the main aim of introducing the new tax slabs without the exemptions is to take India towards a reduced rate, exempt-free, and simplified tax regime.

    However, the Finance Minister said that there was no timeline by when the government will remove the exemptions. As per the Budget 2020-2021, more tax slabs have been introduced with higher limits in case the taxpayer does not avail any exemptions including tax saving instruments and home loan interest. According to the Finance Minister, the second alternative with certain exemptions removed and included has just been started. She added that the original plan was to remove all deductions and have a simplified income tax rate. The Finance Minister said that a timeline has not been set on when to remove all the exemptions. However, the government is looking to remove all the exemptions in the long run. The Finance Minister said that around 69% of the taxpayers would have benefited if the new tax slabs had been introduced in the last budget. She further added that around 11% of the taxpayers would have been attracted to the new tax slabs if they had been introduced last year.

  • Up to 80% tax assessees may switch to the new income tax system

    The Central Government expects that more than 80% of income tax assessees may switch over to the new income tax system. This was a large section that did not utilise the deductions permitted for investments or the Housing Rent Allowance (HRA). Almost 5.8 crore individuals filed income tax returns in the last financial year, out of which only 9.5% claimed HRA, which is 55.4 lakh. Out of this, 43 lakh people had up to Rs.1 lakh per annum HRA. Annual HRA of more than Rs.4 lakh, or exceeding Rs.33,500 per month, was reported by only 42,000 taxpayers. Also, only 48 lakh, or 9% of taxpayers, availed deductions of up to Rs.2 lakh that was available to them under various investments such as medical insurance, life insurance, and provident fund.

    Under the new regime, Leave Travel Allowance (LTA) and HRA will be taxed by adding it to the taxable income. Currently, these are not added to the taxable income and deductions are allowed from home loans for those who live in their property. The new tax regime has reworked the tax slabs, lowered the tax rates, but removed most of the deductions and exemptions.

    The flat rate system offers easier calculations, which prompts the government to calculate that even those who have to pay higher taxes may choose the new system. Those in the upper middle class and more wealthy segments, who have a lot of investments, may choose to stick to the existing tax segment which offers deductions and exemptions on these investments.

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