Budget 2020 proposes to allow a taxpayer to choose between the existing income tax regime (availing benefits of tax exemptions and deductions) and a new tax regime (lower income tax rates with no tax exemptions and deductions) every year as per their convenience.
However, in order to be eligible to opt for the tax structure as per an individual’s convenience, there is one condition that must be satisfied.
Condition that must be satisfied
According to the explanatory memorandum to the Finance Bill, taxpayers having business income are not eligible to choose between the existing tax regime and new tax regime every year. This would mean that salaried individuals and pensioners would be eligible to switch between new tax regime and old tax regime as per their convenience every year provided they don’t have business income.
However, a consultant’s income is charged as business income and not salary income. Therefore, individuals who work as consultants will not be eligible to switch between the new and old regime every year.
What about salaried individuals who also earn income from freelancing activities? Can they switch between the two regimes on a year to year basis?
Unlike salaried individuals and pensioners, who can choose between new tax regime and existing tax regime every year as per their convenience, the individuals having business income such as consultants or salaried individuals having income from their freelancing activities do not have this option of choosing between the two tax regimes every year.”
What if I have business income and opt for the new tax regime?
What if the individual’s business income ceases to exist in future years? Will the individual then be able to choose between the existing tax regime and the new one and that too as per his/her convenience every year?
If an individual’s business income ceases to exist in the future years, then they have an option to switch back again to the new tax regime as per his/her convenience every year or they can continue with old tax regime as well
Once the individual ceases to have business income, the right to opt between the existing tax regime and new tax regime in every financial year is activated. This brings parity between such assessees and non-business income assesses