Senior citizens above 75 exempted from filing I-T returns: Finance Minister

In a big relief to senior citizens, peopNle above 75 years of age have been exempted from filing income tax return, Finance Minister irmala Sitharaman announced Monday. “We shall reduce the compliance burden on our senior citizens who are 75 years of age and above. For senior citizens who only have pension and interest income, I propose exemption from filing their Income Tax return,” Sitharaman said in her budget speech .

The minister announced that the income tax return filers have increased to 6.48 crore in 2020 from 3.31 crore in 2014. However, she didn’t announce any change in the income tax slab — a huge disappointment for the salaried class.

The budget, however, brought some good news for the young entreprnuers as the tax holiday for startups was extended by one year. Besides this, the exemption on capital gains on investment in startups was also extended by one year.

The minister reduced the time limit for reopening of income tax assessment cases to three years from six years, while for serious tax fraud cases where concealment of income is Rs 50 lakh or more it would be 10 years.

Sitharaman said the tax department will notify rules to remove hardships of double taxation faced by of non-resident indians (NRIs). Also, pre-filled income tax returns with details on capital gains from listed securities, dividend income and interest income from banks and post offices would be available soon, she said.

For small taxpayers with taxable income up to Rs 50 lakh, a dispute resolution committee would be set up. She said 1.10 lakh taxpayers have availed the Direct Tax Vivad Se Vishwas scheme to resolve tax disputes. The budget also proposed to start faceless Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT).

Highlighting the “record collection of GST” in the last few months, the minister said the government will take every possible measure to reduce anomalies. “Will take steps to reduce inverted duty structures in GST, she added.

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