Here are seven changes that you need to note for FY19:
1. Pay LTCG tax on stock market investments
Get ready to pay tax on long-term profits from your stock market investments. Till now, you paid no tax on your profits if you held stocks and equity-oriented mutual funds for one year, but from this year, you will have to pay a tax of 10% of the profit if your profit exceeds Rs100,000 a year. Remember that your profits till 31 January 2018 have been grandfathered, or are protected. Profits made after this date will be taxed if held for a year.
2. The salaried will enjoy a standard deduction of Rs40,000.
A reduction of Rs5,800 in taxable salary is in store for the salaried. They have lost the tax-exempt annual transport allowance of Rs19,200 and medical reimbursement of Rs15,000, but gained a standard deduction of Rs40,000, giving a net reduction of taxable salary income of Rs5,800. There is no need to submit medical and transport bills to the employer this year.
3. The 60-plus get Rs50,000 tax-free interest.
All types of deposits with banks, co-operative banks and post offices held by all categories of senior citizens (60-plus) will now have interest up to Rs50,000 a year tax-free. Earlier, this limit was Rs10,000 for all income-tax assesses. It has now been raised for senior citizens by Rs40,000.
4. The 60-plus get Rs20,000 additional deduction on health premiums.
Senior citizens now get a deduction for health insurance premium under section 80D of Rs50,000, up from Rs30,000 last year. There is also a hike in the deduction limits for medical costs on specified critical illnesses from Rs60,000- 80,000 for senior citizens and Rs100,000 for very senior citizens who are 80 years and above.
5. Increase in lock-in period for investment in 54EC bonds.
Long-term profits from real estate sales are tax-free if invested in specified bonds under Section 54EC. Profits become long term if the asset is held for at least two years. Till last year, you had to stay invested in the 54EC bonds for at least three years to enjoy the tax break, but from this year, your money will be locked in for five years.
6. Tax exemption on NPS for the self-employed.
Till now, employees contributing to the National Pension System (NPS) were allowed to withdraw up to 40% of the total corpus without any tax at the time of maturity or closure of the account. The same benefit has now been extended to self-employed subscribers.
7. Mutual funds to pay dividend distribution tax.
Mutual fund investors will now pay a 10% dividend distribution tax for income distributed by equity mutual funds. This will affect schemes that were distributing dividends as a strategy.
(Adapted from Livemint)