CA Sandeep Kanoi
A person becomes senior citizen under Income Tax Act in any year after attaining the age of 60 even for one day. Once he attains 60 years, his status as senior citizen in that financial year, gives him some relief .There are not many income tax exemptions available for senior citizens. These are listed below:
1. Higher Exemption Limit
From F.Y. 2011-12 Qualifying age for Senior Citizens has been reduced from 65 years to 60 years and from A.Y. 2015-16 exemption limit for Senior Citizens has been enhanced from Rs. 2,50,000 to Rs. 3,00,000. A new category of Very Senior Citizens, 80 years and above, has been created who will be eligible for a higher exemption limit of Rs. 5,00,000. Senior citizen above the age of 80 years are entitled to higher exemption Limit of Rs. 5,00,000 from A.Y. 2012-13.
2. Reverse mortgage for senior citizens
Reverse mortgage’ – a concept introduced by Finance 2007 -provides that a senior citizen will be able to avail of monthly income streams by mortgaging a house owned by him. For more details read the following article :- Reverse mortgage created under a scheme made and notified by the Central Government shall not be regarded as a transfer U/s. 2(47)
3. Tax benefits on medical insurance hiked
A senior citizen can avail of higher of higher deduction of Rs 20,000 u/s Section 80D and the same limit is been further increased to Rs. 30,000/- from A.Y. 2016-17.
4. Tax benefit in respect of Expense on medical expenditure in respect of a very senior citizen
Section 80DDB provides deduction to an assessee in case of expense on medical treatment of specified ailments. Generally this deduction is available upto Rs 40,000 . However , if the patient is a senior citizen, then deduction of Rs 60,000 is allowable.
6. No Routine Income Tax Scrutiny of Senior Citizens -Appreciating the concern of these taxpayers and with a view to mitigate their hardships, Central Board of Direct Taxes has reviewed its scrutiny selection procedure. In order to redress the grievance, it has been decided that during the financial year 2011-12, cases of senior citizens and small taxpayers, filing income-tax returns in ITR-1 and ITR-2 will be subjected to scrutiny only where the Income Tax department is in possession of credible information. Senior citizens for this purpose would be individual taxpayers who are 60 years of age or more.
7. Senior Citizens not having Business Income Exempt From Advance tax payment :- From Financial year 2012-13 resident senior citizen, not having any income chargeable under the head “Profits and gains of business or profession”, shall not be liable to pay advance tax and such senior citizen shall be allowed to discharge his tax liability (other than TDS) by payment of self assessment tax.
8. Senior citizens receive a higher interest (up to 50 bps) on a 5-year fixed deposit, which is eligible for deduction from the total income under Section 80C.
9. Senior citizens can claim exemption on the tax deducted at source (TDS) on interest income earned on deposits. It can be done by submitting Form 15H under Section 197 of the IT Act.
Republished with amendments