Kolkata: The Budget is just around the corner and in 'Axe the tax' CNN-IBN met some senior citizens who want the government to stop levying tax on their bank interests and rental income.
It's been more than ten years since Samar Kar retired as a senior bank executive. At 70, age has caught up with him. Mounting medical bills, coupled with rising inflation, make it difficult for Samar to make both ends meet.
"Because of rising inflation things are very expensive particularly for those who don't get pension and are solely dependent on interest driven income. For them it's very difficult to make both ends meet," Samar Kar said.
Senior citizens like Samar, solely dependent on their savings, have become victims of a volatile market and banking system. Tax benefits for senior citizens on rental incomes and bank interest is abysmal. That's why they urgently need tax sops.
The tax exemption limit for those above 60 should be Rs 5 lakh. Currently this cap is applicable to those above the age of 80.
Vineet Agarwal, Partner, Tax, KPMG, said, "Senior citizen class which is above 80 is very less, so it may be a good idea to make ony one level of Rs 5 lakh. This will be a win-win situation as senior citizens will straight away get a differential benefit of Rs 25,000 and why it will be good is because in India we don't have very powerful social security system as we have in Europe and US. By giving this tax benefit to them, a tax benefit of Rs 25,000 will be a great thing for senior citizens.
Today Samar has one plea to make. "My plea to the Finance Minister is to increase tax benefits for senior citizens. I also request you to increase the cap on rental incomes so that we senior citizens can make both ends meet," he says.