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Income Tax Slab 2020-21: Old tax regime or new one – which is more beneficial?

Amitava Chakrabarty
·2-min read
Budget 2020, income tax, income tax slabs, income tax rates, income tax new regime, Union Budget 2020, Union Budget India, tax deductions, 80C, 80D, HRA benefit, standard deduction
Budget 2020, income tax, income tax slabs, income tax rates, income tax new regime, Union Budget 2020, Union Budget India, tax deductions, 80C, 80D, HRA benefit, standard deduction

Budget 2020: In her second Budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has provided taxpayers two options-stay in the old regime and pay tax at the existing higher rate, or move to the new tax regime containing 7 slabs with lower tax rates up to the taxable income of Rs 15 lakh, but without availing deductions from gross income under various sections.

Along with House Rent Allowance (HRA) benefits and Standard Deductions, other common and popular deductions removed under the new tax regime are:

  • Exemption u/s 80C-Up to Rs 1.5 lakh

  • Exemption u/s 80D-Up to Rs 25,000 (For senior citizens Rs 50,000)

  • Tax rebate u/s 87A-Up to Rs 12,500 on taxable income up to Rs 5 lakh

  • Deduction on Home Loan interest-Up to Rs 2 lakh

Apart from the above, the following two deductions introduced last year are also to be scrapped under new tax regime:

  • Additional deduction on Home Loan interest on affordable houses u/s 80EEA-Up to Rs 1.5 lakh

  • Deduction on Auto Loan interest for purchase of electric vehicle u/s 80EEB-Up to Rs 1.5 lakh

Except tax benefit on HRA, by fully availing all deductions, a salaried employee under old regime may end up paying no tax on gross salary of up to Rs 13.25 lakh (after HRA benefit), assuming he has no other source of income.

The following table shows how no tax would be payable on gross salary of up to Rs 13.25 lakh:

Budget 2020, income tax, new tax regime, old tax regime
Budget 2020, income tax, new tax regime, old tax regime

On the other hand, if the employee moves to new tax regime, without any deductions, he/she would have to pay Rs tax on his/her gross salary of Rs 13.25 lakh without even availing HRA benefits.

Tax calculation on Rs 13.25 lakh under new tax regime:

Budget 2020, income tax
Budget 2020, income tax

In comparison to the salary of Rs 13.25 lakh after HRA benefit, if we add the HRA benefit foregone under the new tax regime, the tax payable under the new regime will be much higher.