What is the maximum tax-free income for a Senior Citizen?

March 26, 2021

What is the maximum tax-free income for a Senior Citizen?

As a culture, India has been known to provide its Senior Citizens with additional benefits that can help them through the essential phases of old age and post-retirement life. This benefit also extends to the way in which income tax is computed and levied for them. In particular, the maximum tax-free income for a Senior Citizen is higher than for Non-Senior Citizens. Here’s what you need to know:

What are Income Tax Slabs?

As per the taxation laws laid out by the Government of India, every individual who generates an income, whether from a single source or multiple sources, is liable to pay income tax every financial year. However, since different individuals generate different amounts of income, the taxation levied on their income also varies. The rate of the income tax levied on an individual’s income, therefore, is determined by a progressive system, commonly referred to as income tax slabs.
The tax slabs essentially lay out the range of income within which a certain percentage of the income tax rate will be applicable. However, the lowest tax slab is one that offers an upper limit below which an income will not liable for taxation at all. Hence, this is the maximum tax-free income that a person can generate without being liable to pay income tax. It is important to note that this maximum tax-free income limit is higher for Senior Citizens than for Non-Senior Citizens.

Who is considered a Senior Citizen in India?

Speaking of the tax-free income limits for Senior Citizens, let us first review who is considered a Senior Citizen within the country’s legal terms. According to Indian law, any Resident of India who is above the age of 60 and below the age of 80 is considered a Senior Citizen. Individuals above the age of 80 are considered super Senior Citizens.

What are the Income Tax Slabs for Senior Citizens?

Now that we are familiar with the concept of tax slabs, as well as who is considered a Senior Citizen, let us take a look at the latest income tax slab for 2020-21 for Senior Citizens.

Income Tax Slabs for Senior Citizens (between the ages of 60 and 80)

Income tax slabsTax rateCess
Income up to Rs 3 lakh No tax NA
Income between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 5 lakh 5% 4% of tax
Income between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh 20% 4% of tax
Income that exceeds Rs 10 lakh 30% 4% of tax

Income Tax Slabs for Super Senior Citizens (above 80)

Income tax slabsTax RateCess
Income up to Rs 5 lakh No tax NA
Income between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh 20% 4% of tax
Income that exceeds Rs 10 lakh 30% 4% of tax

Maximum Tax-Free income for Senior Citizens

The maximum tax free income for a Non-Senior Citizen is capped at Rs 2.5 lakh. Therefore, as illustrated above, with these differences in tax slabs, the Income Tax department of India ensures that the liability of income tax for senior citizens pensioners is relatively lower than for other residents.

  • The maximum tax free income for a Senior Citizen is Rs 3 lakh. This means that they can enjoy an additional benefit of Rs 50,000 over Non-Senior Citizens.
  • The maximum tax free income for a super senior citizen is Rs 5 lakh. This means that super Senior Citizens can enjoy an additional benefit of Rs 2,50,000 over Non-Senior Citizens.

Other Tax benefits offered to Senior Citizens

Apart from the above benefits, Senior Citizens in India can enjoy a variety of other income tax benefits such as:

  • Health insurance premiums of up to Rs 50,000 are eligible for tax deduction under Section 80D and has been raised from the earlier limit of Rs 30,000. This income tax rebate for Senior Citizens can prove essential during old age.
  • Under Section 194A of the IT Act, there is no payable TDS for senior citizens fixed deposit interest payments of up to Rs 50,000.
  • Section 207 provides senior citizens some much-needed relief from the payment of advance tax. Therefore, as a resident Senior Citizen, if you do not generate any income from your business or profession you are not required to pay any advance tax.

Conclusion

With the maximum tax-free income for Senior Citizens being higher as well as a wide variety of benefits being available to them, the elderly in India can rest easy when it comes to financial matters. Having said that, it is still recommended to do a fair share of research to ensure that you, as a Senior Citizen, are able to avail and maximise all of the benefits provided to you by the Government.

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