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Comparison Between New Tax Regime vs Old Tax Regime _WC

5 min 03 Aug 2023
Highlights:
  • Comparison of Different Slabs: Old Tax Regime vs New Tax Regime
  • Impact of Old vs New Tax Regime Slabs
  • Old Tax Regime or New Tax Regime: Which Scheme is More Beneficial

The Government of India levies income tax on individual taxpayers as per their income levels. After decades of paying taxes a certain way, a new tax regime was announced in the financial year 2020-21 to simplify taxes and reduce the burden of compliance on taxpayers. It comprised lower tax rates along with a decrease in tax-saving opportunities like claiming deductions and exemptions under the Income Tax Act. 

Two years on, the acceptability for this new tax system among taxpayers has been low. The revisions introduced in the 2023 budget aim to encourage a better response. These changes come into effect from FY 2023-24 beginning in April 2023. The new tax regime has now been selected as the default option for all taxpayers. Anyone who wishes to continue with the old tax regime will have to specify this preference hereon.   

Comparison of Different Slabs: Old Tax Regime vs New Tax Regime

Taxpayers drawing a salary between Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 10 lakh annually are taxed at 20% under the old regime. In the new regime, they will be taxed at 10%, which is half the rate. Also, those with an annual income of Rs. 7.5 lakh to Rs. 10 lakh need to bear 15% income tax. However, if taxpayers receive benefits from the old tax regime exemptions and their net tax payable is less, they may choose to continue with the same structure. 

Here is a tabulated comparison of the old and new tax slabs for persons below 60 years old: 

Old Regime Tax Slab

Annual Income

New Regime Tax Slab

Nil 

Up to Rs. 2.5 lakh 

Nil 

5% 

Rs. 2.5 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh 

5% 

20% 

Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 7.5 lakh 

10% 

20% 

Rs. 7.5 lakh to Rs. 10 lakh 

15% 

30% 

Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 12.5 lakh 

20% 

30% 

Rs. 12.5 lakh to Rs. 15 lakh 

25% 

30% 

Rs. 15 lakh and above 

30% 

New Tax Regime

The new tax regime contains six tax slabs with zero tax payable for income up to Rs. 3 lakh and a tax rate rise by 5% for progressive income of Rs. 3 lakh each. The income tax slabs apply to taxable income in excess of Rs. 7 lakh. This means that you don’t need to pay any tax if your taxable income is below Rs. 7 lakh. 

Tax Calculation Under the New Tax Regime

Income tax is charged in incremental slabs. So, a person earning Rs. 10 lakh p.a. will not be charged a flat 15% rate on their income. Instead, their income up to Rs. 3 lakh will attract zero tax; while the income between Rs. 3 lakh to Rs. 6 lakh will be levied 5% (5% of Rs. 3 lakh = Rs. 15,000). The next slab between Rs. 6 lakh to Rs. 9 lakh will incur 10% tax (Rs. 30,000) and the remaining Rs. 1 lakh will attract 15% tax (Rs. 15,000) bringing your total tax outgo to Rs. 60,000.   

Exemptions and Deductions in the New Tax Regime

First of all, let us understand what constitutes exemptions and deductions. The former implies a lowered tax burden on certain kinds of income. For example, taxpayers do not have to pay taxes on income received through agriculture. Whereas, deduction pertains to the removal of some investments and expenditures the taxpayer makes before calculating the taxable income. So, for instance, if you pay Rs. 20,000 as your health insurance premium, you can deduct this amount from your total income.  

The old tax regime contains 120 exemptions, which may not benefit you and yet add to the confusion around taxation. Hence, after much deliberation, the government has removed around 70 of these exemptions.  

Here is a brief list of all the deductions and exemptions currently available under both regimes: 

Exemptions and Deductions in the Old Tax Regime

The exemptions listed below are not allowed in the new tax regime: 

  • Leave Travel Allowance 
  • House Rent Allowance 
  • Standard deduction of Rs. 50,000 for all salaried individuals 
  • Relaxation on entertainment allowance and professional tax for government employees 
  • Concessions available under Section 80TTA and TTB on interest from savings account deposits 
  • Tax saving investment deductions under Chapter VI-A: Sections 80C, 80D, 80E, 80CCC, 80CCD, 80D, 80DD, 80DDB, 80EE, 80EEA, 80EEB, 80G, 80GG, 80GGA, 80GGC, 80IA, 80-IAC, 80-IB, 80-IBA, etc. 
  • Rs. 15,000 deduction from the family pension under Section 57(iia) 
  • Tax rebate on the interest amount for Home Loans in the case of both self-occupied and vacant properties under Section 24 

This excludes deduction under Section 80CCD(2) for employers’ contribution to National Pension System (NPS), Section 80JJA for new employment and more. It must also be noted that if the employee’s contribution to EPF and NPS exceeds Rs. 7.5 lakh in a financial year, s/he is liable to pay tax.  

Important Exemptions Retained in the New Tax Regime

Following are some of the exemptions one can still enjoy under the new tax structure: 

  • Standard concession on rent 
  • Income from Life Insurance 
  • Money received as scholarship for education  
  • Income from agriculture 
  • Voluntary Retirement Scheme proceeds up to Rs. 5 lakh 
  • Retrenchment compensation 
  • Leave encashment on retirement 
  • Death cum retirement benefit, etc.  

Impact of Old vs New Tax Regime Slabs: Calculation Examples

Both the old and new tax regime slabs can impact your taxes in disparate ways: 

For annual salary up to Rs. 7.5 lakh (without exemption) 

 

Old Regime

Old Regime

New Regime

New Regime

Income tax slab

Tax rate

Tax

Tax rate

Tax

Up to Rs. 2,50,000

0

0

0

Rs. 2,50,001 to Rs. 5,00,000

5%

Rs. 12,500

5%

Rs. 12,500

Rs. 5,00,001 to Rs. 7,50,000

20%

Rs. 50,000

10%

Rs. 25,000

Sum total

 

Rs. 62,500

 

Rs. 37,500

Health and education cess

4%

Rs. 2,500

4%

Rs. 1,500

Payable tax

 

Rs. 65,000

 

Rs. 39,000

Annual income of Rs. 7.5 lakh (inclusive of exemptions)  

Particulars of Income

Amount Per Annum

Annual gross salary

Rs. 7,50,000 

Less: Exemptions under Section 80C

Rs. 1,50,000 

Less: Section 80CCD (1B)

Rs. 50,000 

Less: Section 80D

Rs. 50,000 

HRA

Rs. 10,000 

Taxable income

Rs. 4,90,000 

 

 

Old Regime

New Regime

Income tax slab

Tax rate

Tax

Tax rate

Tax

Up to Rs. 2,50,000

0

Rs. 2,50,001 to Rs. 5,00,000

5%

Rs.  12,500

5%

Rs. 12,500

Rs. 5,00,001 to Rs. 7,50,000

0

10%

Rs. 25,000

Rebate

 

Rs. 12,500

 

 

Total tax

 

 

Rs. 37,500

Health and education cess

4%

4% 

Rs. 1,500

Tax payable

 

 

Rs. 39,000

Old Tax Regime or New Tax Regime: Which Scheme is More Beneficial

Both systems of taxation have distinct pros and cons. The merits of the new regime are:

Reduced Taxes

The new regime proffers concessional tax rates. Moreover, since it does not extend most of the exemptions and deductions, the required documentation is minimal simplifying your tax filing process.

No Lock-in of Prescribed Instruments

To ensure the benefits of exemptions and deductions under the old regime, taxpayers had to invest as per the prescribed tax-saving norms with a lock-in period before which funds could not be withdrawn. The new regime lifts this restriction. You can now invest in open-ended mutual funds, instruments or deposits, as you deem fit; that can provide good returns as well as withdrawal flexibility.

Flexibility in Investments

The existing tax regime restricts investment opportunities due to the instruments specified for availing tax concessions. The new regime grants taxpayers wider choices in customising their investment solutions.

At the same time, the old tax regime holds significant advantages such as:

Lower Payable Taxes

The old tax regime permits taxpayers to secure several deductions and exemptions for lowering their tax liability. 

For instance, Home Loan borrowers who are currently repaying their housing loan can claim considerable Home Loan tax benefits under the old tax regime. Under the new regime, however, they need to forego these rebates. Individuals who wish to avail of a Home Loan must bear this in mind, making it even more pertinent to shop around for lenders offering affordable house loan deals at lower Home Loan interest rates and competitive terms.  

Encourages Savings and Investment Habits

Obtaining even a few of the exemptions and deductions available under the old tax structure requires you to secure tax-saving investment options that encourage the habit of saving in schemes such as ELSS, PPF and others.

Summing Up

The new tax system attempts to simplify the taxation process extending more flexibility. On the other hand, those who claim a higher volume of exemptions may prefer continuing with the old tax structure. Choosing the right tax regime is primarily based on your income tax slab. 

Does the old regime suit you or should you file your taxes under the new one? This question can be answered best if you run your taxation specifics through an Income Tax Calculator to evaluate the payable taxes under both regimes. Since this is a fairly new system, it may be advisable to consult a tax expert who can help maximise tax savings in line with your financial goals.   

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