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Form 15G or 15H?

Referring to “Travails of tax credit” published in The Hindu dated July 9, clarification is requested whether it is not in order to submit Form 15H by a senior citizen where his total income exceeds the exemption limit, but getting it reduced within the limit by making contributions under Sec. 80C. Unlike in Form 15G, there is no declaration in 15H as to the maximum exemption limit.

Form 15G is for all taxpayers, while Form 15H is a special form for senior citizens. In either case, it can be filed only if their income falls below the taxable limit. Both forms incorporate a declaration that the declarant is not liable for tax. Such a form is bound to be accepted by the person required to deduct tax at source under Sec. 197A of the Income-tax Act, which spares them the obligation to deduct tax.

The special form for senior citizens is meant to be concessional in as much as the restriction for taxpayers other than senior citizens does not apply to them.

The restriction is that, assessees other than senior citizens cannot file the form, even if they have no taxable income, as long as the amounts liable for tax deduction at source exceeds the minimum exemption limit. Such a condition is not considered necessary for senior citizens.

Since both Form 15G and 15H incorporate the declaration that the tax payable on the estimated income during the year is nil, the inference that Form 15H is more favourable than Form 15G for the senior citizen is not correct.

But if a senior citizen utilises Form 15H, where tax deductible amount does not exceed the minimum exemption limit, there could be no harm. In other words, there would be no violation of any law, but it is really not necessary.

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