As we are approaching Nirmala Sitharaman’s deadline 7th July for the Union Budget 2019-20, the industry have started coming forward with their demands, suggestions and expectations. One of the major demands from industry, according to industry body – Assocham is about basic exemption limit for an individual income tax payee should be raised to Rs 5 lakh from Rs 2.50 lakh at present, in the backdrop of the inflationary impact over the years. This was proposed by ASSOCHAM in its pre-budget memorandum to the Government.
“’Considering the inflation over the years, tax exemption limit should be increased from Rs. 250,000 to Rs. 500,000,” the chamber’s memorandum to the Finance Ministry stated. The new government would present its first full Budget to Parliament on July 5, for the current financial year.
The chamber also suggested that ” to bring in the necessary parity amongst salaried and non-salaried tax payers, it is desirable that standard deduction be reinstated in the statute. Approximately 20% of the gross salary subject to a maximum limit of, say, Rs.1,00,000 could be considered for the purpose of standard deduction”.
There is a disparity between the salaried employees and those carrying on business/ profession, resulting in higher tax being paid by the salaried employees. ”It is equally essential for the salaried individuals to keep abreast with the latest developments in their area of work/ specialisation and hence have to necessarily incur expenses for the same”.
Standard deduction on salary of Rs 40,000 does not provide any substantial relief to salaried persons and needs to be increased. Standard deduction is not meaningful to large number of salaried tax payers as substantial portion of the deduction is offset by levy of additional cess of 1% which was levied vide Finance Act, 2018.
To leave more disposable income in the hands of common tax-payer, the ASSOCHAM has also suggested tax reliefs on different heads like medical expenses, leave travel expenses etc.
Its pre-Budget memorandum said that tax exemption for LTC or allowance is currently restricted to the value incurred for travel and it does not include expenses on accommodation or meals. ”In case of travel, significant costs would be incurred on accommodation and food and hence, the exemption should cover these as well”.
Besides to promote savings, deduction under section 80C should be raised from Rs.1,50,000 to Rs. 3,00,000 per annum. The current limit needs to be revised with passage of time.
Exemption for children education allowance should be raised from Rs.100 per month to Rs.1,000 per month per child for maximum 2 children, or actual expenses, whichever is less .