It is that time of the year, when Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will be presenting the Union Budget 2018-19 on February 1 around noon.
Here is what Indians can expect from the Union Budget 2018-19:
1. The Union Budget 2018-19 might see an increase in the tax-free ceiling for individuals from the existing Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh.
2. Since there has not been any significant increase in the limit of Income Tax deduction under Section 80C, this financial year, the limit might be raised from the existing Rs. 1.5 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh or more.
3. Eyeing improvement in medical insurance sector, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley may also up the limit under Section 80D to Rs. 1 lakh from Rs. 80,000 as sought by the insurance industry.
At present, the maximum deduction available for an individual under Section 80D is Rs 55,000 (Rs 25,000 for self and Rs 30,000 for senior citizen parents).
If the individual himself/herself is a senior citizen, the maximum deduction available is Rs 60,000 (Rs 30,000 for self and Rs 30,000 for parents).
4. The Union Budget 2018-19 might see a removal of the current exemption under Section 10(38) for long-term capital gains on Securities Transaction Tax (STT) paid on equity transactions (shares and mutual funds).
5. In case, the exemption is not removed, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley might increase the holding period for the listed securities and units of equity mutual funds to 2 years from the existing 1 year to qualify as long-term capital asset.
6. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley might change taxation method in case of Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT).
As per the existing system, companies pay DDT on the dividend and hence the recipient share/ unit holders of an equity share/ mutual fund are not required to pay taxes on dividends. But post the Union Budget 2018-19, dividends might be made taxable only in the hands of recipients.
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7. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government might bring a change in National Pension System (NPS). Focusing on NPS, the government might announce an enhanced exemption limit to 60% of the corpus.
8. To popularize NPS, the Union Budget might raise the deduction limit to Rs. 75,000 or Rs. 1,00,000. The current limit is Rs. 50,000 over and above the Section 80C limit of Rs 1,50,000.
9. A transition scheme from Provident Fund (PF) to National Pension System (NPS) for individuals might also be announced in the Union Budget 2018-19.
10. Aiming at taxpayer-friendly environment, the Union Budget 2018-19 might introduce jurisdiction-free e-assessments, electronic collection of documents by the tax department from the assessees, digital processing of PAN application, faster processing of taxpayers’ requests, including issuance of refund and online rectification.