Quick Guides: Tax Benefits For Senior Citizens

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Here’s an expert guide from ithought Financial Consulting on demystifying tax benefits for senior citizens that are exclusive.


Every retiree recognizes that personal finance never sleeps. A retirement corpus requires regular rebalancing. The personal finance story goes on even after the paychecks stop. So, retirement is a break from work and not from managing money. Einstein was once known to have remarked that the hardest thing in the world to understand was income taxes. It’s time we demystify tax benefits that are exclusive to senior citizens.

Tax Slabs
Per the latest budget, if the gross annual income of a resident individual is below Rs. 5 Lakhs the tax is eligible for a rebate of up to Rs. 12,500. Senior citizens have different income tax slabs. For Senior citizens, income below Rs. 3 Lakhs is exempt from tax and for super senior citizens (above 80 years of age) income below Rs. 5 Lakhs is exempt from tax. Income between Rs. 3 Lakhs and Rs. 5 Lakhs will be taxed at 5% for senior citizens. The rates and slabs hereafter are the same for all citizens.

Interest Income
Under Section 80 TTA, interest income up to Rs. 10,000 is deductible from the total income. Senior citizens may opt for the deduction under Section 80 TTB of Rs. 50,000. Seniors can opt for the deduction under either Section 80TTA or Section 80 TTB and not both. Interest income includes interest earned on the savings bank account, fixed deposits, and post office savings schemes.

Standard Deduction
A standard deduction of up to Rs. 50,000 is applicable on salaried income. Even though seniors may not collect paychecks, they could still take advantage of this tax benefit. The standard deduction applies to income earned through pensions or annuities.

Reverse Mortgage Loans
Income from Reverse Mortgage Loans (RML) is not taxable. Click here know more about the other features of a reverse mortgage loan.

Medical Expenses
Health is a priority throughout. Seniors have an added tax benefit when it comes to medical expenses. Per the Income Tax Act, expenses towards defined specified illnesses can be claimed as a deduction. This is subject to a limit of Rs. 1 Lakh.

Medical Insurance Premiums
Health insurance becomes more costly with age. Seniors may claim a deduction of up to Rs. 50,000 towards health insurance premiums and preventive health checks. If a son or daughter is paying the premium, the benefit may be transferred to them.

Government Savings Schemes
There are two government schemes exclusive to Senior Citizens. One is the Senior Citizen’s Savings Scheme which is similar to a fixed deposit with a quarterly payout. The Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana is a 10 year pension plan with return of purchase price. A more detailed comparison is available in the table below.

 

Particulars PMVVY SCSS
Scheme Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana Senior Citizens Savings Scheme
Type Pension Scheme Savings scheme with periodic interest pay-out
Minimum entry age 60 (55 or above, if opted for VRS) 60 (55 or above, if opted for VRS)
Term 10 years 5 years, can be extended further for 3 years
Investment amount Up to Rs. 15 Lakhs Up to Rs. 15 Lakhs
Returns Guaranteed 8.00% p.a, payable monthly (equivalent to 8.30% p.a. effective) 8.60% Currently (Reset every quarter), payable quarterly
Maturity benefits Purchase price along with final pension instalment shall be payable at the end of 10 years Principal amount will be payable along with the last interest
Premature withdrawal Premature exit allowed for the treatment of any critical/ terminal illness of self or spouse – Charges @ 2% of Purchase price Up to 1 year – Not allowed
From 1 year – Up to 2 years – Charges @1.5% of the Balance Deposit Amount will be deducted
On or After expiry of 2 years – Charges @1% of the Balance Deposit Amount will be deducted
Taxation No 80C Benefit, Pension is taxable 80C Deduction on investment, Interest is taxable
Other benefits Loan up to 75% of Purchase Price shall be allowed after 3 policy years (to meet the liquidity needs). N/A

Read more by our experts here: Reverse Mortgage

About Author

Samyuktha Vibhu

Samyuktha Vibhu is a Financial Planner at ithought Financial Consulting LLP. She is passionate about personal finance, loves playing bridge, and is learning to become a yoga instructor.