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Income tax exemption limit may be doubled to Rs 5 lakh in interim budget
January, 16th 2019

The interim budget on 1 February could have some good news for taxpayers ahead of the Lok Sabha election later in the year. Finance minister Arun Jaitley may double the income tax exemption threshold from the present Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh, according to an IANS report. Jaitley may also reinstate tax-free status for medical expenses and transport allowance, the news agency reported quoting government sources.

Doubling the income tax exemption limit to Rs 5 lakh is a major demand made by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), as reported by PTI. The industry chamber has also sought an increase in the deduction under Section 80C to Rs 2.50 lakh to incentivise savings.

The CII’s pre-budget recommendations to the finance ministry also include the suggestion of lowering the highest personal income tax rate to 25% from 30% and allowing exemptions for medical expenses and transport allowance.

Altering income tax slabs before the release of the Direct Tax Code Report on February 28 will make it contentious, IANS has pointed out.

The new Direct Tax Code, which will replace the Income Tax, 1961, is expected to make income tax rates more ‘progressive’ by providing relief to people in the 5% and 20% slabs, Mint has reported earlier on May 14.

According to the current tax slab, income below Rs 2.5 lakh is tax exempt. Income between Rs 2.5-5 lakh attracts 5% income tax. Income in between Rs 5-10 lakh is taxed at the rate of 20% while anything above Rs 10 lakh is taxed at 30%.

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