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This is how Budget 2018 announcements may help you save tax
February, 06th 2018

If you go by budget announcements, your parents could give you ample reasons to save tax.

Budget 2018 has touched several aspects of the personal finance. After the announcements, people are now assessing its impact on their personal finance - saving, investments and taxes.

Standard Deduction Of Rs 40,000
Budget 2018 has introduced standard deduction of Rs 40,000 for the employees in lieu of medical and transport allowance. In simple terms, this means that you have to forego the annual transport allowance and medical reimbursement that provides deduction benefit of Rs 19,200 and Rs 15,000 respectively. It means newly introduced standard deduction will provide a benefit of only Rs 5,800 (Rs 40000 'less' Rs 34200).

This benefit will reduce the paper work and requirement of document support while claiming the deduction, so tax filing will be less tedious for the employees.
Increase In 80 (D) Limit For Senior Citizens

Hospitalisation bill has risen manifold in the last few years. The Tax Deduction benefit of Rs 30,000 u/s 80 (D) for senior citizens was not adequate as premium for a cover of Rs 10 lakh was much higher. Now, the government has proposed to increase the tax deduction benefit to Rs 50,000 for senior citizens.

An individual Health Policy for a senior citizen for cover of Rs 10 lakh may cost around Rs 35,000 to Rs 40,000 (Age range 61-64 Years) and it may go higher with a higher age group. So, Rs 50,000 deduction benefit will allow big benefit for the elderly taxpayers.

If you pay health insurance premium on behalf of your parents, then it can now provide an additional deduction benefit of up to Rs 20,000 (Rs 50,000 'Less' Rs 30,000). It means, if you fall in a tax bracket of 30%, then you can save an additional tax of up to Rs 6,000 (30% of Rs 20,000).

Tax Deduction Benefit On FD/RD Interest For Senior Citizens

Budget 2018 proposed to increase the tax benefit for Fixed Deposit/Recurring Deposit by senior citizens from Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000 in a financial year. Benefit is available for all bank and postal FD/RD.
If you are planning to save tax on interest income from fixed deposit, then you can make an FD investment in their name. It can help you to save an interest income of up to Rs 1 lakh in both your parents' name.
Increase In Sec 80 (DDB) Benefit Limit For Senior Citizens

The treatment for critical illness on specified disease till now allowed tax exemption up to Rs 60,000. The budget has proposed to increase this limit to Rs 1 lakh.
If you have incurred expenses for treatment of your senior citizen parents for specified disease, then you can claim an additional tax deduction benefit of Rs 40,000 and reduce your tax liability to that extent.
LTCG Tax Reintroduced

Budget 2018 has proposed to introduce a tax of 10% (without indexation benefit) on long term capital gain earned from the investment in equity oriented instruments. The threshold profit limit as LTCG is Rs 1 lakh in a financial year and beyond this limit you need to pay the LTCG tax at 10%.

It would be better to buy stocks in the accounts of your family members to keep the LTCG at below Rs 1 lakh level. You will come under the ambit of LTCG if you hold and sell post April 2018. It would also be wise to hold on to your Equity Mutual Fund investment as the LTCG tax is not retrospective and will only be calculated after April 1, 2018.

Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY) investment limit increased

It offers investment benefits to the senior citizens who are looking for a regular income during their retirement. The maximum amount of investment allowed under the scheme is Rs 7.5 lakh, but the budget 2018 has now proposed to enhance the limit to Rs 15 lakh. So, a husband and wife can now collectively contribute up to Rs 30 lakh in this scheme. Depending on the selection of pension to be monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or yearly, the return of PMVVY allows a return up to 8% to 8.3%.

Senior citizens who are looking for a safe and assured return during their retirement, this enhancement in investment limit will be a welcome step for them.

Apart from above mentioned announcements, the government proposed to increase the education cess from 3% earlier to 4% now. It will put more tax burden on the shoulders of the taxpayers. The government also proposed to introduce a debt ETF in the near future, which will give more options to the investors who look for a safe return. Though the government has not given any new tools to reduce the tax liability, but indirectly indicated that if you want to save more tax, then take help of your parents!

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