Monday, 30 May 2016

No TDS on Disability Pension to Armed Forces Personnel

No TDS on Disability Pension to Armed Forces Personnel
By Prashant Thakur -February 3, 2016

The tax exemption of disability pension received by Armed Force Personnel are among those exemptions under Income Tax Act for which you may not get a direct reference in the Income Tax Act.

However , such tax exemption are allowed by the executive instruction issued by either Finance Ministry notification or under the delegated powers to CBDT . Armed Forces personnel get the disability pension which is basically aggregate of two components-disability pension and service pension. Previously , this website had posted earlier 3 Types of Pension to Armed Forces Completely Tax Free!

Disability Pension to Armed Forces : What is it ? Update :

The below portion is modified as the government, has issued new circular for minimum disability pension .

The circular is applicable to all Pre-2006 Armed Forces Disability/War Injury Pensioners who were/ are in receipt of Disability Pension/ Liberalized Disability Pension/ War Injury Pension as on 24th September 2012.

Download the Circular 542 dated 27/05/2015

As per the website of Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Pension), where an Armed Forces Personnel is invalided out of service, which is accepted as attributable to or aggravated by military service, he shall be entitled to disability pension consisting of Service Element & Disability Element as follows:-

Service Element The amount of service element shall be determined as 50% of less emoluments drawn as given in para 6 of MOD letter dt- 12.11.2008 which is subject to minimum Rs 3500/- p.m.

Disability Element The rates of disability elements for 100% disability for various ranks shall be 30% of emolument last drawn subject to Rs. 3510/- per month. Disability lower than 100% shall be computed by reducing proportionately.

Disability Element on Invalidment Where an Armed Force personnel is invalided out of service under circumstances mentioned in para 4.1 of Govt. letter dt. 31.01.01, the extent of disability shall be determined as follows for the purpose of computing the DE :- Percentage as finally assessed by Competent AuthorityPercentage to be reckoned for computing DE Between 1 to 4950 Between 50 & 7575 Between 76 &100100 Disability Element on Retirement/Discharge Where an Armed Forces personnel is retained in service despite disability and subsequently retired/ discharged on completion of tenure or on attaining the age of retirement, he shall be entitled to Disability Entitlement at the rate prescribed for 100% disablement. For disablement less than 100% but not below 20%, the rates shall be reduced proportionately.
No disability element shall be payable for disability less than 20% .

Is Disability Pension to Armed Forces Tax Free ?

Yes, although there is nothing in section 10 of the Income Tax Act , which is a general exemption section under Income tax Act , the disability pension has been made tax free through Finance Ministry notification No 878-F (Income Tax) dated 21-3-1922 .

The following instruction from CBDT explains that the entire disability pension is exempt

INSTRUCTION NO 136F.NO. 34/3/68-IT(AI)GOVT OF INDIA CENTRAL BOARD OF DIRECT TAXES NEW DELHI, DATED THE 14TH JAN 1970
FROM :SHRI S N NAUTIALSECRETARY, CBDT

TO:ALL COMMISSIONERS OF INCOME TAX

SUBJECT : EXEMPTION – SERVICE AND DISABILITY ELEMENT OF DISABILITY PENSION GRANTED TO A DISABLED OFFICER OF THE INDIAN ARMY –

WHETHER EXEMPTED FROM INCOME TAX. REFERENCE IS INVITED TO THE BOARD’S LETTER F NO 42/9/59-IT(AI), DATED THE 5TH SEPT 1960 ON THE ABOVE SUBJECT WHEREIN IT WAS MENTIONED THAT IN THE CASES FALLING UNDER ITEM (29) OF FINANCE DEPTT NOTIFICATION NO 878-F (INCOME TAX) DATED 21-3-1922, THE‘DISABILITY ELEMENT’ OF THE DISABILITY PENSION RECEIVED BY AN OFFICER OF THE ARMY WILL ONLY BE EXEMPTED FROM TAX AND THAT THE ‘SERVICE ELEMENT’ WILL BE SUBJECTED TO TAX.

2. ON RECONSIDERATION OF THE MATTER, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE MINISTRY OF LAW, THE BOARD ARE ADVISED THAT ITEM 29 OF THE NOTIFICATION DOES NOT DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN TYPES OF PENSIONS. ACCORDINGLY IN THE CASES FALLING UNDER ITEM 29 OF THE ABOVE NOTIFICATION, ENTIRE DISABILITY PENSION WILL BE EXEMPTED FROM INCOME-TAX.

3.THE ABOVE INSTRUCTIONS MAY BE BROUGHT TO THE NOTICE OF ALL ASSESSING OFFICERS IN YOUR CHARGE. YOURS FAITHFULLY,

SD/- (S N NAUTIAL) SECRETARY ,CBDT

Confusion on Exemption Disability Pension & Service Element As the disability pension is aggregate of two elements- disability element and service element- a confusion was created in filed formation of tax authorities , whether the disability element only is tax free and not the service element. CBDT , therefore , in order to wipe out any confusion , issued another instruction

F. No. 200/51/00-ITA-1 dt. 02.7.2001 to stress that both element of disability pension is tax exempt.
Read the instruction below :

[F. NO. 200/51/00-ITA-1 DT. 02.7.2001 FROM MINISTRY OF FINANCE DEPTT. OF REVENUE CENTRAL BOARD OF DIRECT TAXES, NEW DELHI.]

SUBJECT: EXEMPTION FROM INCOME TAX TO DISABILITY PENSION, I.E. ” DISABILITY ELEMENT” AND “SERVICE ELEMENT” OF A DISABLED OFFICER OF THE INDIAN ARMED FORCES- INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING.

REFERENCE HAVE BEEN RECEIVED IN THE BOARD REGARDING EXEMPTION FROM INCOME TAX TO DISABILITY PENSION, I.E. “DISABILITY ELEMENT” AND “SERVICE ELEMENT” OF A DISABLED OFFICER OF THE INDIAN ARMED FORCES.

2. IT APPEARS THAT FIELD FORMATIONS IN CERTAIN CASES ARE NOT UNIFORMLY ALLOWING DISABILITY, PENSION IN SPITE OF BOARD’S INSTRUCTION NO.136 DATED 14TH JANUARY, 970 (F.NO.34/3/68-IT(A.1)).

3. THE MATTER HAS BEEN RE-EXAMINED IN THE BOARD AND IT HAS BEEN DECIDED TO REITERATE THAT THE ENTIRE DISABILITY PENSION, I.E. ” DISABILITY ELEMENT” AND “SERVICE ELEMENT” OF A DISABLED OFFICER OF THE INDIAN ARMED FORCES CONTINUES TO BE EXEMPT FROM INCOME TAX.

4. THIS MAY BE BOUGHT TO THE NOTICE OF ALL THE OFFICERS WORKING UNDER YOU.
SD/- B.L. SAHU OFFICER ON SPECIAL DUTY (ITA .1)

No TDS on Disability Pension to Army Personnel
As it happens in India, everyone becomes the super authorities against the common man. The government received complaint that certain banks are deducting the tax on the disability pension .

So , government issued a press release that no TDS is required on the said disability pension paid to Armed Forces personnel.
Read below the excerpt. PRESS RELEASE, DATED 20-12-2007

IT HAS BEEN REPORTED IN THE PRESS THAT SOME BANKS WERE DEDUCTING TAX FROM PENSION OF DISABLED EX-SERVICEMEN IN VIOLATION OF GOVERNMENT INSTRUCTIONS.

RBI WAS REQUESTED TO HAVE THE MATTER INVESTIGATED AND REMEDIAL ACTION TAKEN. AFTER EXAMINATION, RBI DISCOVERED THAT IN ONE SPECIFIC INSTANCE, DUE TO OVERSIGHT, THE PENSIONER’S DISABILITY PENSION WAS WRONGLY TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT WHILE CALCULATING INCOME-TAX.

RBI HAS ISSUED INSTRUCTIONS TO ALL AGENCY BANKS TO STRICTLY ADHERE TO THE PROVISIONS OF PARA 88.3 OF DEFENCE PENSION PAYMENT INSTRUCTIONS, 2005, REGARDING EXEMPTION OF INCOME-TAX OF THE DISABILITY PENSION OF THE PENSIONERS OF ARMED FORCES.

BANKS HAVE BEEN ADVISED TO ISSUE SUITABLE INSTRUCTIONS TO ALL THEIR PENSION DISBURSING BRANCHES THAT INCOME-TAX SHOULD NOT BE DEDUCTED FROM THE DISABILITY PENSION PAID TO THE PENSIONERS OF THE ARMED FORCES.

Conclusion
The disability pension given to Armed Forces Personnel are having two components-disability element & service element. Both are tax free vide Ministry of Finance notification read with clarification from CBDT and also there can not eb any TDS as the amount is fully tax free.

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