From April 1, 2023, the maturity proceeds from conventional plans (generally often called endowment plans) with annual premium exceeding Rs 5 lacs can be taxable.
It is a huge change. We’ve got all grown up figuring out that the maturity proceeds from life insurance policy have been exempt from tax. There was a minor exception when the life cowl was lower than 10 occasions the annual premium. Aside from that, the maturity proceeds from all life insurance coverage polices have been exempt from tax.
That modified a number of years when the Govt. began taxing excessive premium ULIPs. Now, the Govt. has broadened the scope and introduced the standard life insurance policy underneath the tax ambit too.
Wished to rapidly discover out in regards to the totally different sort of life insurance policy, try this put up.
How Conventional Life Insurance coverage Plans can be taxed from April 1, 2023?
The maturity proceeds from the standard plans (endowment plans) shall be taxable offered:
- The plan is purchased on or after April 1, 2023. AND
- The annual premium exceeds Rs 5 lacs.
The revenue from such plans shall be handled as “Revenue from different sources”. And never as Capital positive factors.
You possibly can cut back revenue by the quantity of Premium paid offered you didn’t declare deduction for the premium paid underneath Part 80 C (or another revenue tax provision).
Subsequently, if you happen to took the tax profit for funding within the plan underneath Part 80C, you will be unable to scale back the premium paid from the maturity quantity. Nonetheless, as I perceive, if you happen to make investments Rs 8 lacs each year and take most advantage of Rs 1.5 lacs underneath Part 80C, you possibly can nonetheless deduct Rs 6.5 lacs from the ultimate maturity quantity and save on taxes.
This threshold of Rs 5 lacs for conventional plans is totally different from the edge of Rs 2.5 lacs for ULIPs.
So, you possibly can make investments Rs 4 lacs per yr in a standard plan and Rs 2 lacs per yr in a ULIP. Since neither of the thresholds (Rs 5 lacs for conventional plans and Rs 2.5 lacs for ULIPs) is breached, you wouldn’t have to pay tax on both of those plans.
The brink of Rs 5 lacs is an mixture threshold
You possibly can’t spend money on 2 conventional plans with annual premium of Rs 3 lacs to get tax-free maturity proceeds.
Instance 1: Let’s say you spend money on 2 plans (Plan X and Plan Y) with an annual premium of Rs 3 lacs every. Now, annual premiums for each the plans are underneath the edge of Rs 5 lacs. However on mixture foundation, they breach the edge of Rs 5 lacs.
On this case, you possibly can select the coverage whose maturity proceeds you wish to settle for as tax-free. My evaluation relies on the clarification the Revenue Tax Division gave within the case of taxation of ULIPs.
In case you select X, the maturity proceeds from Plan X will turn out to be tax-exempt, however the maturity proceeds from Plan Y will turn out to be taxable. Each can’t be tax-free (since their premium funds coincided in not less than one of many years and the edge of Rs 5 lacs was breached).
For the proceeds to be tax-free, this situation should be met yearly.
Instance 2: You purchase a brand new plan (Plan A) in April 2023 with an annual premium of Rs 3 lacs for the following 10 years. The coverage in FY2034.
In April 2032, you purchase one other plan with annual premium of Rs 4 lacs. Coverage time period of 10 years.
In FY2033, you pay a premium of Rs 7 lacs (Rs 3 lacs + 4 lacs) in the direction of conventional plans. There may be overlap of simply 1 yr in these plans.
Since this threshold of Rs 5 lacs was breached in FY2033 on mixture foundation (however not individually), the maturity proceeds from solely one of many plan can be exempt from tax. And you’ll select which one. Both Plan A or Plan B. Not each. You possibly can decide one the place you’re prone to earn higher returns.
Why has the Authorities accomplished this?
The tax incentives have been supplied to taxpayers to encourage financial savings and to subsidize the price of life insurance coverage. However not limitless financial savings. Subsequently, if you happen to take a look at the tax advantages on funding, these have been capped at Rs 1.5 lacs per monetary yr underneath Part 80C.
Not simply that, the revenue from a few of these investments was made tax-free. Nonetheless, the Authorities thinks that these incentives have been misused to earn tax-free returns. Clearly, small traders can’t abuse the system past a degree. It’s the greater traders (HNIs) that the Authorities appears cautious of.
Right here is an excerpt from Finances memo.
By the way in which, not all Part 80C investments take pleasure in tax-free returns. Consider ELSS, SCSS, NSC, and now even EPF and ULIPs. Thus, taxing conventional plans is a logical step ahead.
PPF is the final bastion however that’s too politically delicate. As well as, the investments in PPF have been all the time capped. Thus, it might by no means be misused to the extent different merchandise have been.
Let’s take a look at how the Authorities has introduced numerous funding merchandise into the tax internet.
Fairness Mutual Funds and shares: Introduced underneath the tax internet in Finances 2018
Unit Linked Insurance coverage Plans (ULIPs): Excessive premium ULIPs introduced underneath the tax internet in Finances 2021.
EPF Contribution: Employer contribution introduced underneath the tax internet in Finances 2020. Worker contribution (exceeding Rs 2.5 lacs) in Finances 2021.
It’s only logical that top premium conventional plans additionally began getting taxed.
The brink of Rs 5 lacs additionally ensures that smaller traders aren’t affected. And that is additionally according to how different merchandise have been introduced underneath the tax internet.
With fairness funds and shares, LTCG as much as Rs 1 lac is exempt from tax. Helpful for small traders. Meaningless for giant portfolios.
Capital positive factors from ULIPs with annual premiums as much as Rs 2.5 lacs are nonetheless exempt from tax.
EPF contribution as much as Rs 2.5 lacs remains to be exempt from tax.
What stays unchanged?
The demise profit from any life insurance coverage plan (time period, ULIP, or conventional) stays exempt from tax regardless of the annual premium paid. Solely the maturity proceeds from conventional plans (with annual premiums over Rs 5 lacs and acquired after March 31, 2023) are taxable.
The maturity proceeds from conventional plans purchased as much as March 31, 2023, stay exempt from tax regardless of the premium paid. Subsequently, if in case you have paid the primary premium on or earlier than March 31, 2023, your coverage is protected from taxes. Word it’s possible you’ll pay premium for such plans (purchased on or earlier than March 31, 2023) within the coming years however such premium gained’t rely in the direction of the edge of Rs 5 lacs.
Thus, you possibly can besides large push from the insurance coverage trade to promote excessive premium conventional plans earlier than March 31, 2023. A bit stunned that the Authorities gave the cushion of two months. ULIPs and fairness investments didn’t get such a cushion. The rule was efficient February 1.
What do I believe?
It’s a sensible transfer.
There is no such thing as a purpose why conventional life insurance policy ought to proceed to take pleasure in particular tax remedy when all different funding merchandise are getting taxed.
Whereas taxation of funding product is a vital variable within the choice course of, it may well’t be the one one. You could select funding merchandise that may assist you to attain your monetary targets. Primarily based in your threat urge for food and monetary targets.
What are the issues with conventional plans?
Excessive price and exit penalties. Low flexibility. Poor returns.
Chances are you’ll be pleased with all that. Nonetheless, most traders don’t perceive the product and implications of excessive exit penalties. They belief the salesperson to maintain their pursuits. Nonetheless, entrance loaded commissions connected to the sale of such plans can put investor curiosity on the backseat. The entrance loading of incentives additionally makes these merchandise ripe for mis-selling. By the way in which, front-loaded commissions are additionally the rationale for prime exit penalties.
Since IRDA, the insurance coverage regulator, doesn’t care about trying into this apparent difficulty, it’s good that the Authorities has attacked these plans, albeit with a really totally different motive.
This tweet from Ms. Monika Halan, an creator and Chairperson IPEF SEBI, aptly captures the difficulty.
My solely criticism is that the Authorities might have saved this threshold decrease. ULIPs have a threshold of Rs 2.5 lacs. A decrease threshold would have compelled even smaller traders to assume deeper earlier than investing in such plans. In spite of everything, it’s the small investor who’s affected probably the most by such poor funding choices.
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