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Salaried employees earning up to Rs 5 lakh a year will not be required to file income tax returns from this year, says a Finance Ministry notification. There are about 85 lakh salaried persons in the country whose yearly income, including earnings from other sources like bank deposits, does not exceed Rs 5 lakh.
"An individual whose total income for the relevant assessment year does not exceed Rs 5 lakh and consists of only income chargeable to income-tax under...salaries...(and) income from other sources, by way of interest from a saving account in a bank, not exceeding Rs 10,000" have been exempted from filing the returns from assessment year 2012-13", it said.
Exemption from filing will be permitted only if the person has received a certificate of tax deduction in Form 16 from his or her employer. To claim income tax refund, however, such persons will have to file returns. Prior to the notification, it was obligatory for all salaried persons to file income tax returns under the Income Tax Act, 1961.
It is felt that in cases where there are no other sources of income, filing of a return is a duplication of existing information, sources said. At present, income of Rs 1.80-5 lakh attracts 10% tax, Rs 5-8 lakh 20% and above Rs 8 lakh, 30%. The Direct Taxes Code (DTC) Bill, presently being scrutinised by a Parliamentary panel, proposes to raise the tax exemption limit to Rs 2 lakh from Rs 1.80 lakh.
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