February 2014

Understand Income Tax Clubbing provisions and How to invest in Spouse’s Name

Income Tax clubbing Provisions, Investing in Spouse Name, Tax Implications, Section 64

Financial planners contend that couples should ideally combine their finances. The meshing together of the investments of the husband and wife not only strengthens the household’s financial fibre but gives them a comprehensive view of the real situation.

However, the taxman has set limits to this joining of the finances of the two spouses. He has no problems if one spouse gives money to the other. After all, it’s their money and spouses are in the list of specified relatives whom you can gift any sum without attracting a gift tax.

But if that money is invested and earns an income, the clubbing provisions of the Income Tax Act come into play. Section 64 of the Income tax Act says that income derived from money gifted to a spouse will be treated as the income of the giver. It will be clubbed with his (or her) income for the year and taxed accordingly.

For instance, if you buy a house in your wife’s name but she has not monetarily contributed in the purchase, then the rental income from that house would be treated as your income and taxed at the applicable rate. Similarly, if you give money to your wife as a gift and she puts it in a fixed deposit, the interest would be taxed as your income. Don’t think you can get away by clever ploys involving other relatives.

For instance, one may think of gifting money to his mother-in-law, a transaction that has no gift tax implications. Then a few days later, the lady gifts the money to her daughter, which again does not have any tax implications. The money can then be invested without attracting clubbing provisions, right? Wrong.

Given that most big-ticket transactions are now reported to the tax department by third parties (banks, brokerages, mutual funds, insurance companies), it may not be difficult to put two and two together. If the taxman discovers this circuitous transaction, you may be hauled up for tax evasion. Are there ways to avoid the clubbing provisions without crossing the line between tax avoidance and tax evasion? Yes.

If you want to buy a house in your wife’s name but don’t want the rent to be taxed as your income, you can loan her the money. In exchange, she can give you her jewellery. For example, if you transfer a house worth Rs 10 lakh to your wife and she transfers her jewellery for the same amount in your favour, then the rental income from that house would not be taxable to you.

One can also avoid clubbing of income by opting for tax exempt investments. There is no tax on income from the Public Provident Fund (although the 8% interest rate offered and the 15-year lock-in does not compare with fixed deposits). There is also no tax on gains from shares and equity mutual funds if held for more than a year. So, if one invests in these options in the name of the spouse, there is no additional tax liability.

In fact in case of PPF , Shares, Mutual Funds, FMP’s , Tax free Bonds etc the section 64 clubbing provisions are still applicable but as the income is tax free, no worry for you.

(~ Source Economic Times)

December 2013

Top 10 ELSS Mutual Fund Investments for 2014!!!

Section 80C investments, ELSS, Mutual Funds investments, Tax saving , Tax planning

Most of the investors have begun to ask about investing in ELSS Mutual funds as we are nearing March. As you are aware, ELSS investments can be claimed as deduction u/s 80C (up to a max of 1 lac)

Here is the list of top performing ELSS Mutual funds.The list is based on past 5 years performance One can also choose and invest based on past 3 years performance. Since the ELSS as locked in products for 3 years, it does not make a lot of sense to compare or invest based on performances of less 1 year.

Top 10 ELSS based on 5 years performance are :
Scheme Name
1. ICICI Pru Tax Plan 25%
2. Canara Robeco Equity Tax Saver 22.4%
3. Quantum Long Tax Saving 22.2%
4. HDFC Long Term Advantage 21.8%
5. Franklin India Tax Shield 21.1%
6. L&T Tax Advantage 20.9%
7. Reliance Tax Saver 20.6%
8. IDFC Tax Advantage 20.4%
9. DSPBR Tax Saver 20.3%
10. Birla SL Tax Relief 96 19.7%

Happy Investing…..

 

July 2013

What is Wealth Tax?

Wealth Tax in India, Tax planning, Tax filing, Assets which are liable to taxes

There may be liberty and justice for all, but there are tax breaks only for some. ~ Martin Sullivan

A majority of the tax payers in India are ignorant about the wealth tax, and it’s implications.

Wealth tax is a good potential annual recurring income stream for the government. However, it is perplexing why the tax authorities are lax on this aspect of tax collection. Political compulsions, Pressure from the affluent to look the other way, or probably because they have more pressing revenue sources, whatever the reasons may be, the common man needs to be aware of the implications of wealth tax, as the authorities can come after them at any point in time.

So what is Wealth Tax?

Wealth tax is a direct tax levied on the ownership of certain assets by individuals and Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs) even though these assets may not generate any income. It is an annual tax and is imposed with reference to the previous financial year or the present assessment year. It is governed by the Wealth Tax Act, 1957. 

The assets which are taxable under the Wealth Tax Act are residential property other than one house, guesthouse, farmhouse, motor cars, precious metals including those in (more…)