From PF to income tax to air travel, 10 ways your life will change from April

Starting from this month, you air travel will become costlier

Take a look at key changes that are going to take place from 1 April

Interest rates of small savings schemes to be reduced

Finance ministry slashed the interest rates of small savings schemes for the first quarter of the financial year 2021-22. For April-June quarter, Public Provident Fund will fetch an interest rate of 6.4%. The interest for National Savings Certificate scheme has been reduced to 5.9%. The interest rate for the five-year Senior Citizens Savings Scheme has been lowered to 6.5%. Similarly, the interest rates for Kisan Vikas Patra, post office savings deposits have also been cut.

LPG cylinder prices to become cheaper

Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation have announced to reduce the price of domestic cooking gas (LPG) by 10 a cylinder from April

In Delhi and Mumbai, a 14.2 kg non-subsidised LPG cylinder will cost around 809. A LPG cylinder will now be available at 835.50 in Kolkata. In Chennai, a LPG cylinders will be priced at 825.

Air travel to become costlier

Starting from this month, you air travel will become costlier. Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has hiked air security fee (ASF). While the rise in ASF for domestic passengers is of 40, for international passengers, the rise is of 114.38.

Saral Pension policy

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has asked all life insurance companies to mandatorily offer a standard individual immediate annuity product from April. Dubbed as Saral Pension, this plan will provide a minimum annuity of 1,000 per month, 3,000 per quarter, 6,000 per half year, and 1,2000 per annum. The minimum entry age to buy this plan will be 40 years and the maximum will be 80 years. This will be be a single premium, non-linked non-participating immediate annuity plan.

Standard personal accident insurance policy

The insurance regulator has directed all general and health insurers to offer a standard personal accident insurance product, commencing from 1 April. Named as Saral Suraksha Bima will offer a minimum sum insured of 2.5 lakh. Under this policy, the maximum sum insured will be 1 crore. Sum insured offered should in multiples of 50,000, IRDAI said, adding insurers can offer on their own beyond the mentioned range. Anyone over 18 years old can buy this policy. The maximum age at entry is set at 70.

Tax benefits on Unit-Linked Insurance Products (ULIP)

In Budget 2021, the finance ministry announced that the maturity gains in Unit Linked Investment Plan (ULIPs) would be taxed if the annual premiums are 2.5 lakh or more. The maturity amount would be taxed at a rate of 10% if its long-term gain and at the rate of 15% if its short-term gain. Earlier, the maturity proceeds of ULIP schemes were tax-free. This will impact only for those ULIP policies which are bought after 1 February, 2021. For those who pay annual premiums below 2.5 lakh, they would still get the tax-exemption benefits.

Reduced period for filing the belated ITR or for revising your filed ITR

Earlier, if you failed to file your ITR by the due date of 31 July, you could still file it by 31 March with late fee. Likewise, after having filed your ITR, if you noticed any omission or mistake, you could revise the same by 31 March of the same year. But, Finance Bill for 2021-2022 has proposed to reduce this time limit by three months and therefore you will have time to file your belated ITR or revise your ITR till 31 December of the same financial year.

New tax rules on provident fund

In Budget 2021, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that interest on employee contributions to provident fund of over 2.5 lakh per annum would be taxed. Later, the Centre increased the deposit threshold limit to 5 lakh per annum in provident fund for which interest would continue to be tax-exempt, if there is no employer contribution. This restriction shall be applicable only for the contribution made on or after 1 April, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced earlier.

This move will affect the high-income earners and High Net-worth Individuals (HNIs). Anyone who earns more than 20.83 lakh a year will attract his or her interest on EPF contribution being taxed. The salaried employees who use Voluntary Provident Fund to invest more than mandatory 12% of basic pay, will also be impacted. This new rule will come into effect from April.

HSN code mandatory for businesses with over 5 crore turnover

On the Goods & Services Tax (GST) front, the generation of e-invoice by businesses with turnover of over 50 crore will be mandatory from April.

The Harmonised System of Nomenclature or HSN code will also be mandatory on tax invoice, starting from April, finance ministry said. Those with turnover of up to 5 crore in the preceding financial year, have to furnish four-digit HSN code on B2B invoices. Earlier, the requirement was four-digits and two-digits respectively. “This will help tax officers with deeper data analytics for every item supplied and help them in arresting tax evasion emanating from fake invoices and irregular tax credit claims,” Rajat Mohan, AMRG & Associates Senior Partner said.

Senior citizens above 75 years exempted from filing income tax return

Senior citizens above the age of 75 years, who only have pension and interest as a source of income will be exempted from filing the income tax returns, starting from 1 April. The exemption from filing income tax returns would be available only in case where the interest income is earned in the same bank where pension is deposited, confirmed Archit Gupta, founder and CEO, ClearTax.

It must be noted that the senior citizens who are above 75 years age, are not exempted from paying tax but only from filing income tax return (ITR) if they are eligible to certain conditions.

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