The biggest gainers from the new income tax proposals are those whose income is between Rs 2.2 lakh and Rs 5 lakh per annum. Everyone in this category saves exactly Rs 2,060 in their tax bill (including the 3% education cess). The only exception are those aged above 80, who are already tax-exempt till Rs 5 lakh and those aged between 60 and 80 who are exempt till Rs 2.5 lakh.Those with incomes between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 2.2 lakh will not have to pay any tax for next year, but how much they save depends on what their income is. A person with an income of just above Rs 2 lakh, for instance, will save almost nothing, while someone who earns Rs 2.1 lakh saves only Rs 1,030. Between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 1 crore, you neither gain nor lose in tax liability. Beyond Rs 1 crore, the extra tax bill mounts rapidly. At Rs 1.5 crore, the additional burden is Rs 4,45,990, at Rs 2 crore it is Rs 6,00,490 and at Rs 5 crore it becomes Rs 15,27,490. This is because the 10% surcharge applies to your entire tax bill and not just the portion over Rs 1 crore.
* While you gain nothing from the Rs 2,000 tax rebate if your income is above Rs 5 lakh, you can still avail of the enhanced benefit on home loan interest payments. So far, interest payments up to Rs 1.5 lakh were deductible from your taxable income. The FM has now said that another Rs 1 lakh of interest payments will be allowed as a tax deduction provided your home loan does not exceed Rs 25 lakh, the value of the property is not more than Rs 40 lakh and it is your first home. If you meet these criteria, you can now save Rs 10,300 or Rs 20,600 or Rs 30,900 from your tax bill depending on whether you are in the 10%, 20% or 30% tax bracket.
* While the formal IT exemption limit remains at Rs 2 lakh, you can avoid tax even with much higher incomes under certain circumstances. If you can use the exemptions for PF contributions, insurance premia etc up to Rs 1 lakh under Sec 80C, the home loan interest deduction under Sec 24 up to Rs 2.5 lakh, the exemption on savings bank account interest up to Rs 10,000 and the Mediclaim premia exemption up to Rs 20,000, you could theoretically have an income of Rs 6 lakh and be tax-free. Of course, whether all this is practically possible at such income levels is debatable.
* As a consumer, your next mobile handset will become costlier as customs duty has been raised from 1% to 6% for all handsets costing more than Rs 2,000. If you are a smoker, the FM’s decided you must pay more for your sin. So the excise duty on cigarettes has been hiked by about 18%. Similar hikes will apply to cigars, cheroots and cigarillos.