An immunity to Senior citizens from filing Income Tax Return: An eyewash

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An immunity to Senior citizens from filing Income Tax Return: An eyewash

Various provisions are incorporated in the Budget Documents not for offering the benefit but for the sake of presentation that something is done.

Similar is the provision which is offering immunity to senior citizens aged 75 years and above.  It may be noted that immunity is offered by way of section 194P. Explanatory memorandum elaborating the purpose of section 194P reads as under:

 

Clause 47 of the Bill seeks to insert a new section 194P of the Income-tax Act relating to deduction of tax in case of specified senior citizens.

Sub-section (1) of the said section seeks to provide that notwithstanding anything contained in the provisions of Chapter XVII-B, in case of a specified senior citizen, the specified bank shall, after giving effect to the deduction allowable under Chapter VI-A and rebate allowable under section 87A, compute the total income of such specified senior citizen for the relevant assessment year and deduct income-tax on such total income on the basis of the rates in force.

Sub-section (2) of the said section seeks to provide that the provisions of section 139 shall not apply to a specified senior citizen for the assessment year relevant to the previous year in which the tax has been deducted under sub-section (1).

Explanation to the said section seeks to define the following expressions for the purposes of the said section,–

(a) “specified bank” means a banking company as the Central Government may, by notification in Official Gazette, specify;

(b) “specified senior citizen” means an individual, being a resident in India–

(i) who is of the age of seventy-five years or more at any time during the previous year;

(ii) who is having income of the nature of pension and no other income except the income of the nature of interest received or receivable from any account maintained by such individual in the same specified bank in which he is receiving his pension income; and

(iii) has furnished a declaration to the specified bank containing such particulars, in such form and verified in such manner, as may be prescribed.

This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2021.

It may be noted that section 139 of the Act provides for filing of return of income. Sub-section (1) of the section provides that every person being an individual, if his total income or the total income of any other person in respect of which he is assessable under this Act during the previous year exceeded the maximum amount which is not chargeable to income-tax, shall, on or before the due date, furnish a return of his income. So as to provide relief to senior citizens who are of the age of 75 year or above and to reduce compliance for them, it is proposed to insert a new section to provide a relaxation from filing the return of income, if the following conditions are satisfied:-

In short, to get immunity from return filing, following conditions need to be fulfilled:

  1. The senior citizen is resident in India
  2. Senior citizens must of the age of 75 or more during the previous year;
  3. Senior citizens has pension income and no other income except interest income from the same bank in which he is receiving his pension income;
  4. The bank where the Senior citizen is having an account is a specified bank. [The Government will be notifying a few banks to be the specified bank for this purpose]
  5. Senior citizens will be required to furnish a declaration to the specified bank.
  6. The declaration shall be containing such particulars, in such form and verified in such manner, as may be prescribed.
  7. Once the declaration is furnished by Senior citizens, the specified bank would be required to compute the income of such senior citizen after giving effect to the deduction allowable under Chapter VI-A and rebate allowable under section 87A of the Act, for the relevant assessment year and deduct income tax on the basis of rates in force.

Its only after compliance with above conditions that there will not be any requirement of furnishing return of income by such senior citizens for this assessment year. This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2021.

In short, if a person has just income of RS. 10 from another bank or commission income of Rs. 10, such Senior citizens may not get immunity from return filing provisions.

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