Mar 13, 2012 at 12:19pm IST

Budget 2012: Amend tax laws for senior citizens, 70-year-old tells Finance Minister

Kolkata: A senior citizen Manik Dabriwal wants tax laws to be amended so that citizens above the age of 60 years can claim deductions on the medical insurance premium paid by dependents.

Manik, a 70-year-old businessman, spends his days catching up on the news that is something he didn't have time for when he was young. In his twilight years, Manik hopes to reap the benefit of his age, as does his 60-year-old wife. But there's a problem.

The Income Tax Act says one has to be 60 to be termed a senior citizen. But the age limit is 65 for benefits on medical insurance premiums.

"The government is not clear about what they should define as senior citizens. Somewhere it is 58, somewhere it is 60, somewhere 65. I fail to understand why can't they fix one age. For PF it is different, under Section 80D it is different," Manik said.

Under Section 80D of the Act, deductions can be claimed on medical insurance premiums up to a maximum of Rs 15,000. If premium is paid for the medical insurance of a senior citizen an additional Rs 20,000 can be deducted.

So Manik's wife can claim all the benefits of being a senior citizen, but not on medical insurance.

"My plea to the honorable Finance Minister Pranab ji is remove these anomalies in the age of senior citizens. Senior citizens throughout India should be known by one age only. Kindly fix the age for senior citizens," Manik said.