In introducing the 2021 Budget, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the tax treatment of interest on multiple provident funds where income is exempted. Actively, Section 10 of Clause (11) of the Act allows for a waiver from any payout from a provident fund to which the Provident Funds Act 1925 relates or from any other provident fund developed by the Government. Which implies that, currently, the income received on the EPF in the employee's hands is entirely exempted from taxation. The current regime specifies that circumstances have come to the attention that certain employees contribute considerable amounts to these accounts, and under clause (11) and clause (12) of section 10 of the Act, any interest received on such contributions is exempted from taxation.
A glance at VPF and EPF
This is particularly significant in the field of employees who contribute towards VPF. Consequently, the FM discloses that it is provided that the regulations of clauses (11) and (12) of section 10 of the Act should be added, provided that the restrictions of such clauses do not extend to the interest earned on the holder's account during the preceding year, to the degree that they refer to the amount or the gross amount of the deposit rendered by the individual in excess of Rs 2.5 lakh in the preceding year. The EPF's rate of interest is now 8.5 per cent annually. For 2019-20, the government further reduced the Employee Provident Fund interest rate to 8.50 percent from 8.65 percent in the last year. The deposit towards EPF contributes to 12% of the basic wage.
That being said, the laws enable the contribution to be raised by up to 100 per cent of the minimum wage. Under Voluntary Provident Fund additional contribution also counts for tax deduction u/s 80C. Although the adjustment in the taxation of employer contributions in 2019 will have an effect on higher salaried workers, the adjustment introduced in the current budget in terms of interest received on the contribution by employees will seek a big influence. This ensures that the interest gained on the PF balance will be subject to taxation in the future if the investment crosses Rs 2.5 lakh per annum.
How to deal with it?
The 2021-22 Budget has loosened rules that take advantage of the available tax-saving investment opportunities for high-income employees. After that, interest gained above Rs 2.5 lakh on PF investments is subject to taxation. This rule extends to contributions which are rendered on or after 1 April 2021. This is a reinforcement of last year's decision by the government to fix an annual ceiling of Rs 7.5 lakh for employer contributions, any contribution above which was made taxable, to the PF, National Pension Scheme (NPS). PF contributions were entitled to tax deductions up to a limit of Rs 1.5 lakh per year under Section 80C.
Interest earned and withdrawals are completely tax-free. Since it offers guaranteed returns close to the EPF, this is a prominent low-risk savings avenue among other low-risk fixed income investments, such as limited savings schemes of post offices and bank deposits. Since it offers guaranteed returns close to the EPF, this is a prominent low-risk savings avenue. Earnings on such low-risk fixed income investments, such as limited savings schemes of post offices and bank deposits, are related to the economy. That being said, it could be simpler said than done to stratify the interest on the current corpus accrued over the years from the one received on the contribution beyond Rs 2.5 lakh per year for tax reasons.
And after the expiration date of the deadline for filing IT returns, taxpayers were entitled, with interest and penalty fees, to file outstanding returns. In the event of any mistakes, taxpayers may still amend their returns submitted in a given year. The time period for the filing of amended returns was either at the close of the appraisal year or prior to the expiration of the previous appraisal.
What's there for taxpayers from Budget 21-22?
The Budget 21-22 stated that the date may be advanced by three months. It is now possible to file the amended return three months before the end of the applicable appraisal year or before the expiration of the assessment whichever is earlier. A higher rate of tax deduction at source (TDS) is also introduced by the Budget for the taxpayers who did not submit their tax filings in any of the preceding years. In the case of these kinds of individuals, their wages for the current year will be entitled to a TDS rate which is 5% or double the TDS rate usually applied to that profit, whichever is greater. For example, if the rental profit surpassed Rs 2.4 lakh in any year, the occupant was supposed to subtract TDS on the rent at 10 percent.
Currently, if you haven't submitted your ITR in the last two years, the TDS limit on your rental profit was already 20%. The budget 21-22 has reinforced guidelines for the deposit of employee contributions by employees into different welfare schemes. Any lag on this consideration typically results in the employees' diminution of income. In the process to facilitate the appropriate contribution by the employers of the employee's contribution to these investments, it was recommended to clarify that the delayed contribution by the employer of the employee's contribution should never be permitted as a tax benefit to the employer.