Rates of income-tax in respect of income liable to tax for the financial year 2018-19 (assessment year 2019-20)

For All Individual, Hindu undivided family, association of persons, body of individuals, artificial juridical person the Normal Rates as follows

Upto Rs. 2,50,000  – Nil.

Rs. 2,50,001 to Rs. 5,00,000 – 5 per cent..

Rs. 5,00,001 to Rs. 10,00,000 –  20 per cent..

Above Rs. 10,00,000 – 30 per cent..

In the case of every individual, being a resident in India, who is of the age of sixty years or more but less than eighty years at any time during the previous year,—

Upto Rs.3,00,000 – Nil.

Rs. 3,00,001 to Rs. 5,00,000 –  5 per cent..

Rs. 5,00,001 to Rs. 10,00,000 – 20 per cent..

Above Rs. 10,00,000 –  30 per cent.

in the case of every individual, being a resident in India, who is of the age of eighty years or more at any time during the previous year,—

Upto Rs. 5,00,000 – Nil.

Rs. 5,00,001 to Rs. 10,00,000 – 20 per cent.

Above Rs. 10,00,000 – 30 per cent.

Surcharge at the rate of,—

(i) ten per cent. of such income-tax in case of a person having a total income exceeding fifty lakh rupees but not exceeding one crore rupees; and

(ii) fifteen per cent. of such income-tax in case of a person having a total income exceeding one crore rupees

New Education Cess called Health and Education Cess applicable—

“Education Cess on income-tax” and “Secondary and Higher Education Cess on income-tax” shall be discontinued. However, a new cess, by the name of “Health and Education Cess” shall be levied at the rate of four per cent. of income tax including surcharge wherever applicable, in the cases of persons not resident in India including company other than a domestic company.

Tax treatment of transactions in respect of trading in agricultural commodity derivatives

Clause (5) of section 43 defines speculative transaction. The proviso to the said clause, however, stipulates certain transactions to be non-speculative nature even though the contracts are settled otherwise than by the actual delivery or transfer of the commodity or scraps. The clause (e) to the said proviso provides that trading in commodity derivatives carried out in a recognised stock exchange, which is chargeable to commodity transaction tax is a non-speculative transaction.

Commodity transaction tax (CTT) was introduced vide Finance Act’2013 to bring transactions relating to non-agricultural commodity derivatives under the tax net while keeping the agricultural commodity derivatives exempt from CTT. Since no CTT is paid, the benefit of clause (e) of the proviso to clause (5) of the section 43 is not available to transaction in respect of trading of agricultural commodity derivatives and accordingly, such transactions are held to be speculative transactions.

In order to encourage participation in trading of agricultural commodity derivatives, it is proposed to amend the provisions of clause (5) of section 43 to provide that a transaction in respect of trading of agricultural commodity derivatives, which is not chargeable to CTT, in a registered stock exchange or registered association, will be treated as non-speculative transaction.

These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2019 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to assessment year 2019-20 and subsequent assessment years.

Amendment in Section 54EC – AY 2019-20

Section 54EC of the Act provides that capital gain, arising from the transfer of a long-term capital asset, invested in the long-term specified asset at any time within a period of six months after the date of such transfer, shall not be charged to tax subject to certain conditions specified in the said section.

The section also provides that “long-term specified asset” for making any investment under the section on or after the 1st day of April, 2007 means any bond, redeemable after three years and issued on or after the 1st day of April, 2007 by the National Highways Authority of India or by the Rural Electrification Corporation Limited; or any other bond notified by the Central Government in this behalf.

In order to rationalise the provisions of section 54EC of the Act and to restrict the scope of the section only to capital gains arising from long-term capital assets, being land or building or both and to make available funds at the disposal of eligible bond issuing company for more than three years, it is proposed to amend the section 54EC so as to provide that capital gain arising from the transfer of a long-term capital asset, being land or building or both, invested in the long-term specified asset at any time within a period of six months after the date of such transfer, the capital gain shall not be charged to tax subject to certain conditions specified in this section.

It is also proposed to provide that long-term specified asset, for making any investment under the section on or after the 1st day of April, 2018, shall mean any bond, redeemable after five years and issued on or after 1st day of April, 2018 by the National Highways Authority of India or by the Rural Electrification Corporation Limited or any other bond notified by the Central Government in this behalf.

This amendment will take effect, from 1st April, 2019 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2019-20 and subsequent assessment years.

TDS Amendment on 7.75% GOI Savings (Taxable) Bonds, 2018

Government of India introduced 8% Savings (Taxable) Bonds, 2003 in 2003.

Under the existing law, the interest received by the investor is taxable. Further the payer is liable to deduct tax at source under section 193 of the Act at the time of payment or credit of such interest in excess of rupees ten thousand to a resident.

Government has now decided to discontinue the existing 8% Savings (Taxable) Bonds, 2003 with a new 7.75% GOI Savings (Taxable) Bonds, 2018. The interest received under the new bonds will continue to be taxed as in the case of the earlier once.

The provisions of section 193 are proposed to be amended to allow for deduction of tax at source at the time of making payment of interest on such bonds to residents.

However, no TDS will be deducted if the amount of interest is less than or equal to ten thousand rupees during the financial year. This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2018.

Penalty for failure to furnish statement of financial transaction or reportable account

Section 271FA of the Act provides that if a person who is required to furnish the statement of financial transaction or reportable account under sub-section (1) of section 285BA, fails to furnish such statement within the prescribed time, he shall be liable to pay penalty of one hundred rupees for every day of default.

The proviso to the said section further provides that in case such person fails to furnish the statement of financial transaction or reportable account within the period specified in the notice issued under sub-section (5) of section 285BA, he shall be liable to pay penalty of five hundred rupees for every day of default.

In order to ensure compliance of the reporting obligations under section 285BA, it is proposed to amend the section 271FA so as to increase the penalty leviable from one hundred rupees to five hundred rupees and from five hundred rupees to one thousand rupees, for each day of continuing default.

These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2018.

Tax Planning for Senior citizens and the Salaried tax payers for Assessment year 2019-20

Standard deduction on salary income

Section 16, inter-alia, provides for certain deduction in computing income chargeable under the head “Salaries”. it is proposed to allow a standard deduction upto Rs 40,000/- or the amount of salary received, whichever is less. Consequently the present exemption in respect of Transport Allowance (except in case of differently abled persons) and reimbursement of medical expenses is proposed to be withdrawn.

These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2019 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2019-20 and subsequent assessment years.




Deductions available to senior citizens in respect of health insurance premium and medical treatment

Section 80D, inter-alia, provides that a deduction upto Rs 30,000/- shall be allowed to an assessee, being an individual or a Hindu undivided family, in respect of payments towards annual premium on health insurance policy, or preventive health check-up, of a senior citizen, or medical expenditure in respect of very senior citzen. It is proposed to amend section 80D so as to raise this monetary limit of deduction from Rs 30,000/- to Rs 50,000/-.

In case of single premium health insurance policies having cover of more than one year, it is proposed that the deduction shall be allowed on proportionate basis for the number of years for which health insurance cover is provided, subject to the specified monetary limit. .

These amendments will take effect, from 1st April, 2019

Enhanced deduction to senior citizens for medical treatment of specified diseases

Section 80DDB of the Act, inter-alia, provide that a deduction is available to an individual and Hindu undivided family with regard to amount paid for medical treatment of specified diseases in respect of very senior citizen upto Rs 80,000/- and in case of senior citizens upto Rs 60,000/- subject to specified conditions. It is proposed to amend the provisions of section 80DDB of the Act so as to raise this monetary limit of deduction to Rs 1,00,000/- for both senior citizens and very senior citizens.

This amendment will take effect, from 1st April, 2019

Deduction in respect of interest income to senior citizen

At present, a deduction upto Rs 10,000/- is allowed under section 80TTA to an assessee in respect of interest income from savings account. It is proposed to insert a new section 80TTB so as to allow a deduction upto Rs 50,000/- in respect of interest income from deposits held by senior citizens. However, no deduction under section 80TTA shall be allowed in these cases.

This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2019 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2019-20 and subsequent assessment years.

It is also proposed to amend section 194A so as to raise the threshold for deduction of tax at source on interest income for senior citizens from Rs 10,000/- to Rs 50,000/-.

This amendment will take effect, from 1st April, 2018.

New regime for Taxation of Long-term capital gains on sale of Equity shares – AY 2018-19

Under the existing regime, long term capital gains arising from transfer of long term capital assets, being equity shares of a company or an unit of equity oriented fund or an unit of business trusts , is exempt from income-tax under clause (38) of section 10 of the Act. However, transactions in such long term capital assets carried out on a recognized stock exchange are liable to securities transaction tax (STT).

Consequently, this regime is inherently biased against manufacturing and has encouraged diversion of investment in financial assets. It has also led to significant erosion in the tax base resulting in revenue loss.

The problem has been further compounded by abusive use of tax arbitrage opportunities created by these exemptions. In order to minimize economic distortions and curb erosion of tax base, it is proposed to withdraw the exemption under clause (38) of section 10 and to introduce a new section 112A in the Act to provide that long term capital gains arising from transfer of a long term capital asset being an equity share in a company or a unit of an equity oriented fund or a unit of a business trust shall be taxed at 10 per cent. of such capital gains exceeding one lakh rupees .

This concessional rate of 10 per cent. will be applicable to such long term capital gains, if—

i) in a case where long term capital asset is in the nature of an equity share in a company , securities transaction tax has been paid on both acquisition and transfer of such capital asset; and

ii) in a case where long term capital asset is in the nature of a unit of an equity oriented fund or a unit of a business trust, securities transaction tax has been paid on transfer of such capital asset.

Further, sub-section (4) of the new section 112A empowers the Central Government to specify by notification the nature of acquisitions in respect of which the requirement of payment of securities transaction tax shall not apply in the case of equity share in a company. Similarly, the requirement of payment of STT at the time of transfer of long term capital asset, being a unit of equity oriented fund or a unit of business trust, shall not apply if the transfer is undertaken on recognized stock exchange located in any International Financial Services Centre( IFSC) and the consideration of such transfer is received or receivable in foreign currency.

Further, the new provision of section 112A also proposes to provide the following:—

i) The long term capital gains will be computed without giving effect to the first and second provisos to section 48, i.e. inflation indexation in respect of cost of acquisitions and cost of improvement, if any, and the benefit of computation of capital gains in foreign currency in the case of a non-resident, will not be allowed.

ii) The cost of acquisitions in respect of the long term capital asset acquired by the assessee before the 1st day of February, 2018 , shall be deemed to be the higher of – a) the actual cost of acquisition of such asset; and b) the lower of – (I) the fair market value of such asset; and (II) the full value of consideration received or accruing as a result of the transfer of the capital asset.

iii) “equity oriented fund” has been defined to mean a fund set up under a scheme of a mutual fund specified under clause (23D) of section 10 and,— a) In a case where the fund invests in the units of another fund which is traded on a recognized stock exchange,- (I) A minimum of 90 per cent. of the total proceeds of such funds is invested in the units of such other fund ; and (II) such other fund also invests a minimum of 90 per cent. of its total proceeds in the equity shares of domestic companies listed on recognized stock exchange; and b) in any other case, a minimum of 65 per cent. of the total proceeds of such fund is invested in the equity shares of domestic companies listed on recognized stock exchange.

iv) Fair market value has been defined to mean –

a) in a case where the capital asset is listed on any recognized stock exchange, the highest price of the capital asset quoted on such exchange on the 31st day of January, 2018. However, where there is no trading in such asset on such exchange on the 31st day of January, 2018 , the highest price of such asset on such exchange on a date immediately preceding the 31st day of January, 2018 when such asset was traded on such exchange shall be the fair market value; and

b) in a case where the capital asset is a unit and is not listed on recognized stock exchange, the net asset value of such asset as on the the 31st day of January, 2018.

v) The benefit of deduction under chapter VIA shall be allowed from the gross total income as reduced by such capital gains. Similarly, the rebate under section 87A shall be allowed from the income tax on the total income as reduced by tax payable on such capital gains. These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2019 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2019-20 and subsequent assessment years.

Compensation to States for loss of revenue on account of introduction of goods and services tax.


Clause 19 of the Bill provides for the following:

Parliament may, by law, on the recommendation of the Goods and Services Tax Council, provide for compensation to the States for loss of revenue arising on account of implementation of the goods and services tax for such period which may extend to five years.

Arrangement for assignment of additional tax on supply of goods to States for two years or such other period recommended by the Council.

Clause 18 of the Bill provides for the following:

(1) An additional tax on supply of goods, not exceeding one per cent. in the course of inter-State trade or commerce shall, notwithstanding anything contained in clause (1) of Article 269A, be levied and collected by the Government of India for a period of two years or such other period as the Goods and Services Tax Council may recommend, and such tax shall be assigned to the States in the manner provided in clause (2).

(2) The net proceeds of additional tax on supply of goods in any financial year, except the proceeds attributable to the Union territories, shall not form part of the Consolidated Fund of India and be deemed to have been assigned to the States from where the supply originates.

(3) The Government of India may, where it considers necessary in the public interest, exempt such goods from the levy of tax under clause (1).

(4) Parliament may, by law, formulate the principles for determining the place of origin from where supply of goods take place in the course of inter-State trade or commerce.

Power of President to Remove Difficulties

Clause 21 of the Bill Provides for the following

(1) If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of the Constitution as amended by this Act (including any difficulty in relation to the transition from the provisions of the Constitution as they stood immediately before the date of assent of the President to this Act to the provisions of the Constitution as amended by this Act), the President may, by order, make such provisions, including any adaptation or modification of any provision of the Constitution as amended by this Act or law, as appear to the President to be necessary or expedient for the purpose of removing the difficulty:

Provided that no such order shall be made after the expiry of three years from the date of such assent.

(2) Every order made under sub-section (1) shall, as soon as may be after it is made, be laid before each House of Parliament.