From new tax regime to costlier foreign tours, four changes that kick in from April 1

The beginning of the new financial year on April 1, 2020 will see several economic and tax-related changes. Here’s a quick rundown of four new norms that you need to know about.

New tax regime:

While presenting the Budget 2020-21, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that a new income tax regime with optional rates and slabs will come into effect from April 1, 2020. Taxpayers now have an option to either choose the new tax regime by forgoing the tax exemptions/deductions or continue to pay tax under the existing income tax laws by claiming the applicable exemptions and deductions.

Costlier foreign tour packages:

Are you planning to travel abroad post April 1? Well, be prepared to pay more for your travel. The Union Budget 2020 has included international tour packages under tax collected at source (TCS) regime. While presenting the Budget, Sitharaman said a tour operator is liable to collect 5 per cent TCS from his/her clients. The Finance Minister also said that, in non-PAN/Aadhaar cases, the rate will be 10 per cent.

PAN-Aadhaar linking:

Your PAN card will become inoperative from April 1 if you fail to link it to your Aadhaar by March 31. Although the government had extended the deadline several times last year, there are still about 17.58 crore PAN cards that have not been linked to Aadhaar.

The government has recently announced that those whose PANs become inoperative will be liable to face the consequences under the I-T Act for not furnishing, intimating or quoting the permanent account number.

For those who do not have a PAN card, the government rolled out a new system in February under which the PAN number will be instantly allotted online on the basis of Aadhaar number without the need to fill up a detailed application form.

Introduction of BS-VI compliant vehicles:

The government has ruled that no Bharat Stage IV vehicle shall be sold across the country with effect from April 1, 2020. Instead, the Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI) emission norm would come into force.

The major difference between the existing BS-IV and forthcoming BS-VI emission norms is the amount of sulphur present in the fuel. While the BS-IV fuel contains 50 parts per million (ppm) sulphur, the BS-VI grade fuel has only 10 ppm sulphur content.

It is also said that the harmful nitrogen oxides emitted by diesel cars can be brought down by nearly 70 per cent while in petrol cars, it can be reduced by 25 per cent.

Wondering how it will affect you? Well, since it takes years and costs more for the automakers to develop a new kind of engine or to tweak the existing ones, the cost of the vehicle will eventually go up. Hence, you will have to be prepared to shell out more money to buy a vehicle after April 1.