The hike in I-T exemption limit from Rs 1.8 lakh to Rs 2 lakh saves men Rs 2,060 in annual taxes, but women gain only Rs 1,030 since they had a higher limit of Rs 1.9 lakh. Senior citizens gain nothing since they were even now not paying tax below Rs 2.5 lakh a year.
The shift in slabs with 30% kicking in at Rs 10 lakh, not Rs 8 lakh, means those between these two limits save anything from Rs 2,060 to Rs 22,660 per annum (or Rs 1,030 to 21,630 for women), while those with annual incomes above Rs 10 lakh save Rs 22,660 (or Rs 21,630), irrespective of their income. For senior citizens, savings are at best Rs 20,600.
While the maximum exemption limit remains at Rs 5 lakh (for those aged above 80), it is theoretically possible to have an income of Rs 7.85 lakh and not pay any tax. Here's how: A very senior citizen (defined as someone aged over 80) who takes a home loan with an interest of Rs 1.5 lakh per annum, invests Rs 1 lakh under section 80C, pays a premium of Rs 20,000 on medical insurance and claims deduction of Rs 15,000 for medical expenses can achieve this feat.
For those aged between 60 and 80, the corresponding figure would be Rs 5.35 lakh and for those below 60 it would be Rs 4.85 lakh.
Tax exemption on savings account interest income up to Rs 10,000 means if you are in the 30% tax bracket it makes more sense to keep amounts up to Rs 1.4 lakh in an SB a/c that gives 7% interest rather than putting it in a fixed deposit, where the income would be taxed.
Since FD rates are at best about 9% now, that would be equivalent to a post-tax return of about 6.3% for those in the highest tax bracket. For those with salary incomes up to Rs 5 lakh and interest income below Rs 10,000, this change also means they need not file tax returns if they have no other income.
If you're purchasing a property (other than agricultural land) worth Rs 50 lakh in urban areas or Rs 20 lakh in rural areas, be prepared to have 1% of the registered sale value deducted at source as tax.
If you were planning to buy a large car, think again. Excise duties on them are up from 22% to 24% in some cases and from 24% to 27% in others. So, you'll end up paying an additional sum of Rs 12,000 or more. If your dream vehicle was an imported SUV worth in excess of $40,000, the extra bill is even steeper with import duties up from 60% to 75%. On an S-class Merc, it could mean an extra Rs 3 lakh or more.
Luxury, in general, got even more expensive with customs and excise duties as well as service tax up on virtually everything from gold to air travel to eating out and hotels. Mobile bills too will rise due to increased service tax.