DTC – The good and not so good features!

By | September 2, 2011

Since the start of your professional life, your well-wishers including family members and friends might have told you, “Work Hard and Earn More”. You possibly made it the mantra of your life but the day you received your pan card and approached the income tax department, the mantra started to sound like a myth after your rendezvous with the demon called Income Tax. Now the mantra caption sounds like “Work Hard and Earn More to Pay More in Taxes”.

In such a scenario as a taxpayer you are likely to look out for good news whenever you hear that the policymakers are doing something regarding Income Tax. One such policy decision that is likely to affect you is the introduction of the DTC (Direct Tax Code). The Finance Minister has reassured that the DTC will be hopefully cleared in the winter session of Parliament and will be implemented from Apr 2012.  Let’s look at what is in store based on the decisions that stand as of today.

The Good News

Enhancement of Tax Slab

Smile as the tax exemption limit now stands at Rs 2 lakhs. It was earlier 1.6 lakhs. The tax burden is lessened by 41,000 in the highest tax slab.

Individuals Income Individuals Tax rate
Up to Rs 2,00,000 Zero
Between 2,00,000 to 5,00,000 10% of (Total Income – Rs 2,00,000)
Between 5,00,000 to 10,00,000 30,000 + 20% of (Total Income – Rs 5,00,000)
More than 10,00,000 1,30,000 + 30% of (Total Income – Rs 10,00,000)

Investor friendly Capital Gain Tax

Only half of the short-term capital gains on equity will be taxed. Long term capital gains from equity have been left untouched. Capital gains from property will be considered as income and for tax purposes, the gain will be added to your income. Hence your tax liability will be calculated as per the slab you fall under after the addition of gains.

Enhancement of Exemption limit from 1.2 Lakhs to 1.5 lakhs

With DTC now it will be easier to claim exemptions as it will reduce the confusing number of investment options available. An individual can still claim a deduction of Rs 1 Lakh as per old tax regime but the investment options will reduce to NPS, Superannuation funds and pension funds like EPF and PPF. Also, the exemption for tuition fee for children is now part of this 1.5L where you can claim a deduction for a tuition fee of Rs 50,000 if you pay tuition fees (max 2 children) or if you have taken health insurance/mediclaim policy or if you have invested in pure life insurance product where the sum assured is 20 times annual premium.

Tax benefits of home loan

It is unclear if the principal due repaid for your home loan will continue to enjoy tax benefits but the new DTC bill has most definitely retained the tax benefits on the interest due repaid on your home loan.

EEE treatment of GPF, PPF and pure life insurance products

In earlier tax code, investments in the above schemes were governed as per EET where investment and accumulation was tax-free but withdrawal was not. In the New DTC it’s proposed that the withdrawal from these schemes will also be tax exempt.

Enhancement of medical reimbursement limit

Now you can be happy even if you fall sick as DTC proposes to enhance the medical reimbursement limit from Rs 15,000 to Rs 50,000.

The Not So Good News

No Leave Travel allowance

If you like to go on holidays, DTC will tax you from now onwards.

No special treatment for being a woman

No gender bias as per DTC as the extra tax benefit for women seems to be non-existent.

Reduction in tax exemption period of NRIs

NRIs will be taxed if they are earning in India and their stay exceeds 60 days. Earlier tax exempt period was 180 days. This sounds like a bad news but the finance minister has assured that this is under discussion and just staying in India for 60 days doesn’t make NRI’s liable for taxation as there are other clauses attached to it.

DTC in its current form sounds to be tax payers friendly and let’s hope Indian Government carry’s on with tax reforms so that we start loving the Tax Daemon. For the time being “Thumbs Up” for the DTC.

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3 thoughts on “DTC – The good and not so good features!

  1. jjreddy

    Thew actual tax slabs initially proposed are much higher three years back. With so much inflation and taxation on each item and service the hype of DTC reducing the taxes disguesting. These should be more realistic keeping the view of our millaionaire netas struggle to show their real income

  2. Dr. R.K.Shah

    This is a very good, informative article.Please put a call-up to review,update and print this after 29th Feb.2012,
    when Central Budget will be presented,giving a better picture.

  3. M G Srinivas

    Kindly provide EEE treatment for meturity amount of EPF also like GPF,PPF & Pure life insurance, because most private emplyoees comes under this catagory.


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