While the larger themes of Budget 2015 will surely impact all our lives, direct impact on mutual fund investing, personal taxation or other aspects of personal finance is not extensive. Here's a quick survey of the areas of impact:
- No more tax liability on merger of mutual fund schemes. This was a major irritant in a time when many scheme mergers are taking place.
- Increased limit on deduction of health insurance premium from ₹15,000 to ₹25,000. For senior citizen, this will be ₹30,000. For super-senior citizens (above 80), who are not eligible for health insurance, the ₹30,000 deduction will be available directly on medical expenditure.
- EPF contribution by employees may become optional. Employee may opt for EPF or the New Pension Scheme (NPS).
- Additional deduction of ₹50,000 for NPS under section 80CCD, with aim of moving from pensionless to a pension society.
- Transport allowance increased to Rs 1600 a month from the current ₹800.
- Debit card transactions to be encouraged and cash transaction dis-incentivized.
- Wealth tax abolished. Replaced with additional 2% surcharge on the super rich (those earning above ₹1 crore in a year). Asset details that used to be given in wealth tax returns will now be given in income tax returns.
- Quoting PAN made compulsory for transactions more than ₹1 lakh.