Here is a quick recap of all the announcements that would affect you as a retail investor or as a taxpayer

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her first Union Budget in the parliament today. All the tax sops, including the rebate for income earned up to Rs 5 lakh, which were announced in the interim Budget in February 2019, were accepted. Therefore, this Budget did not change the tax slabs. However, the super-rich will have to pay more, by way of an increase in surcharge. Incentives to buy an affordable home were enhanced. Sitharaman also gave an incentive to consumers to go green by purchasing an electric vehicle, as opposed to an ordinary one.

– An additional interest deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh over and above the Rs 2 lakh currently allowed for home loan taken between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020.The benefit is only for houses costing up to Rs 45 lakh.

– There is a two per cent TDS on cash withdrawal of above Rs 1 crore in a year from a bank account

– Under the NPS, tax free withdrawals of up to 60 per cent of the accumulated corpus upon retirement, is now permitted. The remaining 40 per cent is to be annuitized

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– For Central government employees alone – deduction for employer’s contribution up to 14 per cent of salary from current 10 per cent; deduction under section 80C for contribution made to Tier II NPS account

– Surcharge increased to 25 percent and 37 percent for taxable income above Rs 2 crore p.a. and Rs 5 crore p.a., respectively from current surcharge of 15 per cent.  The maximum marginal rate of tax will be 39 percent and 42.744 per cent, respectively

– No need to have a PAN card anymore. PAN and Aadhaar can be used interchangeably. Those without a PAN can file their tax return by quoting just the Aadhaar number.

– SEBI and RBI depository accounts to be made inter-operable to enable greater retail participation in trading (buying and selling) of government securities

– Public shareholding to be mandated to a level of 35 per cent from 25 per cent currently, after consultation with the SEBI. Move to increase free float of shares for investors.

– Tax deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh for interest on loan taken for purchase of electric vehicles. A total benefit of Rs 2.5 lakh over the term of loan will be given.

– Filing of tax return made mandatory if: cash deposited in a current account exceeds Rs 1 crore or expenditure on foreign travel exceeds Rs 2 lakh or expenditure on electricity exceeds Rs 1 lakh.

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