1) Change in Income Tax Slab for current Financial Year 2012-13
*The minimum annual exemption limit was raised to Rs 2 lakhs for non-senior citizens. For senior citizens and very senior citizens, the annual exemption limit stod unchanged at Rs 2.5 lakhs and Rs 5 lakhs respectively.
Other important highlights were:
* No Advance Tax required for Senior Citizens.
* Deduction upto Rs 10,000 from interest from bank savings account.
* Compulsory reporting of assets held abroad.
* Service Tax raised from 10% to 12%;
All services to be covered (except 17 of them, including Education and few Infra construction services).
2) New Tax Saving schemes launched
The Budget 2012 saw the launch of RGESS (Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme) and a further deduction benefit of upto INR under section 80D for preventive health check-up.
3) Change in Calculation of EPF (Employee Provident Fund) Contribution
The EPFO made recent amendments to the way in which employee and employer contribution would be calculated hereon. For employees, this amendment is particularly important as it impacts his/her take home salary and income tax liability as well.
4) Revision in Post Office Small Savings Schemes Rates
The Central Government in April, 2012 had revised the interest rates on Small Savings Scheme. The latest revision in the interest rates aims at maintaining the attractiveness of Small Savings Schemes vis-a-vis Bank Deposits. The new rates have been effective from April 1, 2012 and will remain valid during FY 2012-13 (AY 2013-14).
5) SEBI's new Investment Guidelines, 2012
In a bid to encourage more retail participation in the capital markets and boost the fortunes of the mutual fund industry in India, SEBI had come out with new investment guidelines for retail investors.