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Tax Benefits Available to Senior Citizens

Tax Benefits Available to Senior Citizens

 A person becomes senior citizen under Income Tax Act in any year after attaining the age of 60 even for one day. Once he attains 60 years, his status as senior citizen in that financial year, gives him some relief. There are not many income tax exemptions available for senior citizens. These are listed below:

  1. Higher Exemption Limit

From F.Y. 2011-12  Qualifying age for Senior Citizens has been reduced from 65 years to 60 years and from A.Y. 2015-16 exemption limit for Senior Citizens has been enhanced from Rs. 2,50,000 to Rs. 3,00,000.  A new category of Very Senior Citizens, 80 years and above, has been created who will be eligible for a higher exemption limit of Rs. 5,00,000. Senior citizen above the age of 80 years are entitled to higher exemption Limit of Rs. 5,00,000 from A.Y. 2012-13.

The exemption limit granted to senior citizen and very senior citizen for the financial year 2015-16 is as follows :

Senior citizen

Very senior citizen

A senior citizen is granted a higher exemption limitcompared to non-senior citizens. The exemption limit for the financial year 2015-16 available to a resident senior citizen is Rs. 3,00,000. In other words, a resident senior citizen is not liable to pay any tax up to income of Rs. 3,00,000. The exemption limit for non-senior citizen is Rs. 2,50,000. Thus, it can be observed that an additional benefit of Rs. 50,000 in the form of higher exemption limit is available to a resident senior citizen as compared to normal tax payers.A very senior citizen is granted a higher exemption limit compared to others. The exemption limit for the financial year 2015-16 available to a resident very senior citizen is Rs. 5,00,000. In other words, a resident very senior citizen is not liable to pay any tax up to income of Rs. 5,00,000. The exemption limit for non-senior citizen is Rs. 2,50,000. Thus, it can be observed that an additional benefit of Rs. 2,50,000 in the form of higher exemption limit is available to a resident very senior citizen as compared to normal tax payers.
  1. Reverse mortgage for senior citizens

Reverse mortgage’ – a concept introduced by Finance 2007 -provides that a senior citizen will be able to avail of monthly income streams by mortgaging a house owned by him.

  1. Tax benefits onmedical insurance hiked

A senior citizen can avail of higher of higher deduction of Rs 20,000 u/s Section 80D and the same limit is been further increased to Rs. 30,000/- from A.Y. 2016-17.

  1. Tax benefit in respect of Expense on medical expenditure in respect of a very senior citizen

With effect from A.Y. 2016-17 Any payment made on account of medical expenditure in respect of a very senior citizen, if no payment has been made to keep in force an insurance on the health of such person, as does not exceed thirty thousand rupees shall be allowed as deduction under section 80D.

  1. Higher Deduction u/s 80DDB for Senior Citizens and Super Senior Citizens

Section 80DDB provides deduction to an assessee in case of expense on medical treatment of specified ailments. Generally this deduction is available upto Rs 40,000 . However , if the patient is a senior citizen, then deduction of Rs 60,000 is allowable.

From A.Y. 2016-17 higher limit of deduction of upto eighty thousand rupees is allowable, for the expenditure incurred in respect of the medical treatment of a “very senior citizen”. A “very senior citizen” is proposed to be defined as an individual resident in India who is of the age of eighty years or more at any time during the relevant previous year.

  1.  No Routine Income Tax Scrutiny of Senior Citizens – Appreciating the concern of these taxpayers and with a view to mitigate their hardships, Central Board of Direct Taxes has reviewed its scrutiny selection procedure. In order to redress the grievance, it has been decided that during the financial year 2011-12, cases of senior citizens and small taxpayers, filing income-tax returns in ITR-1 and ITR-2 will be subjected to scrutiny only where the Income Tax department is in possession of credible information. Senior citizens for this purpose would be individual taxpayers who are 60 years of age or more.

  2. Senior Citizens not having Business Income Exempt From Advance tax payment

    :- ​​As per section 208 From Financial year 2012-13  resident senior citizen, not having any income chargeable under the head “Profits and gains of business or profession”, shall not be liable to pay advance tax and such senior citizen shall be allowed to discharge his tax liability (other than TDS) by payment of self assessment tax.

  3. Senior citizens receive a higher interest (up to 50 bps) on a 5-year fixed deposit, which is eligible for deduction from thetotal income under Section 80C.
  4. Senior citizens can claim exemption on the tax deducted at source (TDS) on interest income earned on deposits. It can be done by submitting Form 15H under Section 197 of the IT Act.
  5. Exemption from e-filing of income tax return to very senior citizen

​ ​From the assessment year 2015-16 onwards any taxpayer filing return of income in Form ITR 1/2/2A and having a refund claim in the return or having total income of more than Rs. 5,00,000 is required to furnish the return of income electronically with or without digital signature or by using electronic verification code. However, Income-tax Law grants relaxation from e-filing in above case to very senior citizen.

In other words, a very senior citizen filing his return of income in Form ITR 1/2/2A and having total income of more than Rs. 5,00,000 or having a refund claim can file his return of income in paper mode, i.e., for him e filing of ITR 1/2/2A (as the case may be) is not mandatory. However, he may go for e-filing if he wishes.

Tax Benefits Available to Senior Citizens

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