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New Tax Regime: Recent Income Tax Changes in India

New Tax Regime Recent Income Tax Changes in India

New Tax Regime: Recent Income Tax Changes in India

Understanding the latest updates is essential for every taxpayer in the dynamic world of income taxation. The fiscal year 2023-24 marks a pivotal era with substantial changes to India’s income tax regime, influencing individuals, businesses, and professionals. This article will explore the critical elements of the new tax regime, answer prevalent questions, and illuminate the revised tax slabs, deductions, and additional relevant details. By delving into these changes, taxpayers can better navigate their financial planning and tax strategies in this new fiscal environment.

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Old and New Tax Regimes 

In India, taxpayers can choose between two distinct income tax structures for tax return filing: the Old and New Tax Regime. Each regime offers different advantages depending on the taxpayer’s financial situation. Here’s a brief overview of each:

Old Tax Regime

The Old Tax Regime often called the traditional tax system, allows for a broad range of deductions and exemptions. Taxpayers can claim deductions under Section 80C for investments such as provident funds, life insurance, and home loan principal repayments. Additional exemptions are available for House Rent Allowance (HRA), Leave Travel Allowance (LTA), and more.

This regime features progressive tax rates that increase with income. However, the ability to claim various deductions and exemptions can substantially reduce the overall taxable income, often resulting in lower tax liability.

New Tax Regime

Introduced in the Union Budget 2020 and effective from the financial year 2020-21, the New Tax Regime offers a simplified approach by providing lower tax rates but eliminating most deductions and exemptions available under the Old Regime.

The rationale behind the New Regime is to streamline the tax filing process by reducing the reliance on various deductions and exemptions. This approach aims to simplify tax compliance, though it may offer less flexibility than the Old Regime.

Advantages of the Implementation of New Tax Regime

The new tax regime offers several advantages to taxpayers:

  • Simplified Documentation: With the new tax regime, taxpayers no longer need to keep track of travel tickets and rent receipts, streamlining the documentation process.
  • Easier Tax Planning: The income tax rule changes effective from April 1, 2024, are designed to simplify tax planning, removing the need for complex tax strategies.
  • Increased Basic Exemption Limit: The basic exemption limit has been raised from Rs. 2.5 lakhs to Rs. 3 lakh with introducing the new tax regime. This increase makes the regime more attractive to taxpayers.
  • Stable Upper Tax Rate: The highest tax rate, 30%, applies only to incomes exceeding Rs. 15 lakhs. This stability in the upper tax bracket helps higher earners plan their finances better.

New Tax Regime as the Default System

Taxpayers have the flexibility to choose between these two regimes each financial year.

It’s crucial to understand that the new tax regime has been established as the default option starting from the fiscal year 2023-24 (beginning April 1, 2023). The new tax regime is now the default system for taxpayers in India. This means that unless taxpayers actively stick with the old regime, they will automatically be placed under the new tax regime.

Also read ITR-1: Key Differences between the Old and New Tax Regime

New Income Tax Slabs and Rates under New Tax Regimes

Changes to the income tax slab rates were introduced in FY 2022 – 2023. However, the interim budget for 2024 keeps the tax rates from FY 2023-24 unchanged for both direct and indirect taxes. According to the budget announcement, these revised tax slabs will be implemented in the new tax regime starting April 1, 2024. The  New Income Tax Slabs and Rates for the financial year 2023-24 (assessment year 2024-25) are as follows:

Income Range (INR) Tax Rate
Up to ₹3,00,000 Nil
₹3,00,001 to ₹6,00,000 5%
₹6,00,001 to ₹9,00,000 10%
₹9,00,001 to ₹12,00,000 15%
₹12,00,001 to ₹15,00,000 20%
Above ₹15,00,000 30%

Changes in the Surcharge Rate

  • Reduction in Surcharge Rate: The new tax regime reduces the surcharge rate for individuals with incomes exceeding Rs. 5 crore from 37% to 25%.
  • Applicability: This reduced surcharge rate applies only to taxpayers who opt for the new tax regime and have an income above Rs. 5 crore.

Updated Surcharge Rates Table:

Taxable Income Limit Surcharge Rate on the Value of Income Tax (Before Budget 2023) Surcharge Rate on the Value of Income Tax (After Budget 2023)
< ₹50 lakhs 0% 0%
₹50 lakhs to ₹1 Crore 10% 10%
₹1 Crore to ₹2 Crore 15% 15%
₹2 Crore to ₹5 Crore 25% 25%
> ₹5 Crore 37% 25%

Change in the Tax Rebate Limit and Exemptions:

The introduction of the new tax regime has brought a notable change in the rebate limit:

Revised Rebate Limit under the New Tax Regime:

Under the old tax regime, a rebate of Rs.12,500 was available for incomes up to Rs.5 lakh. Under the new tax regime, individuals with an income of up to ₹7 lakh are eligible for a significant tax rebate, ensuring that they are not liable to pay any income tax. This adjustment effectively exempts taxpayers within this income bracket from tax obligations.

Expansion of Taxable Income Limit

Alongside the increase in the rebate limit, the budget also expanded the income threshold for eligibility from Rs.5 lakhs to Rs.7 lakhs under the new tax regime.

Notably, the Section 87A rebate applies under the old and new income tax regimes, ensuring that lower-income taxpayers receive some tax relief. This adjustment aims to lighten the tax load on individuals earning up to Rs.7 lakhs, making the new regime more attractive.

Exemption on Leave Encashment Under the New Tax Regime

In the 2023 budget, a significant enhancement was made to the exemption limit for leave encashment under the new tax regime. Specifically, the exemption threshold for non—government employees was increased eightfold—from Rs. 3 lakhs to Rs. 25 lakhs. This means that at the time of retirement, any leave encashment received up to Rs. 25 lakhs is exempt from tax as per Section 10(10AA).

Deductions Under the New Regime

The standard deduction for salaried individuals remains consistent at Rs. 50,000 under both the old and new tax regimes.

Additional Deductions Introduced in the New Regime

  • Family Pension Income Deduction: A deduction of Rs. 15,000, or one-third of the family pension, whichever is lower, is now available.
  • Agniveer Corpus Fund Deduction: Contributions made to the Agniveer Corpus Fund are deductible under Section 80CCH(2). This allows individuals participating in the fund to claim a deduction for the amount paid or deposited.
  • Interest on Home Loan for Let-Out Property (Section 24b): Taxpayers can deduct the interest paid on a home loan for let-out property, with no upper limit on the deduction amount under Section 24b.
  • Employer’s Contribution to NPS: Employer contributions to the National Pension System (NPS) are also deductible, providing additional tax relief for employees participating in this retirement savings scheme.

Why does No Income Tax Apply for Income up to Rs. 7 Lakhs

Under the new tax regime introduced in Budget 2023, a significant tax rebate has been implemented for taxpayers whose annual income is Rs. 7 lakhs or less. Here’s how it works:

  • Tax Calculation: Income tax is initially calculated based on the applicable slab rates for the total income.
  • Rebate Application: A rebate is applied to the tax amount due after calculating the tax. For those with an income of up to Rs. 7 lakhs, this rebate is sufficient to reduce their tax liability to zero.
  • Resulting Tax Liability: As a result, taxpayers who fall within this income bracket and opt for the new tax regime are not required to pay any income tax. This effectively makes the income up to Rs. 7 lakhs tax-free under the new regime.
  • The standard deduction in the new tax regime: The standard deduction for salaried individuals has been set at Rs. 50,000. This means that a salaried taxpayer with an income up to Rs. 7.5 lakhs can effectively bring their taxable income down to Rs. 7 lakhs through the standard deduction and thus pay no tax under the new tax regime.

Switching Between Old and New Tax Regimes

Taxpayers in India now enjoy the flexibility to switch between the old and new tax regimes, allowing them to adapt their tax strategies according to their financial situations. However, the frequency with which one can switch depends on the nature of their income:

  • Business or Professional Income: Taxpayers with business or professional income can make a one-time switch between the old and new regimes. Once this switch is made, the choice is irrevocable for such income types.
  • Other Income Types (e.g., Salary): Those with income from salaries or other non-business sources can switch between the regimes annually, providing greater flexibility in optimizing their tax liabilities.

Switching Back to the Old Tax Regime

From 2023-24 onwards, the new income tax regime is the default option. If you decide to switch back to the old tax regime:

  • To officially make the switch, you must submit a form (Form 10-IEA) while filing your tax return.
  • For professional or business income, as noted, the switch back to the old regime can only be done once and is final.
  • For other types of income, such as salary, you can switch back to the old regime annually if desired.


Navigating the landscape of India’s tax regimes requires a clear understanding of each offer’s differences and benefits. Whether opting for the Old Tax Regime with its multitude of deductions and exemptions or the New Tax Regime with its straightforward approach and lower rates, the choice significantly impacts financial planning and tax liability. With the New Regime set as the default from FY 2023-24, taxpayers must actively choose if they prefer to stick with the old system. Ultimately, the decision should align with one’s financial situation, aiming for maximum tax efficiency and compliance.

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