Income tax exemptions and women
In his budget speech on June 5 for financial year 2010-2011, Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh had stated as follows regarding income tax exemptions:
(i) For salaried taxpayers, the basic exemption limit has been enhanced from Rs200,000 to Rs300,000, and
(ii) For non-salaried income, basic exemption has been proposed to be raised from Rs100,000 to Rs300,000 per year.
This means that in case of both salary and non-salary income, the basic tax exemption will be raised to Rs300,000 per year.
The point which needs clarification is that this limit of Rs200,000 and Rs100,000 as mentioned above (which is now proposed to be raised to Rs300,000) was applicable to male taxpayers only. In the budget for 2009-2010, salaried women taxpayers were granted basic exemption up to Rs260,000 per year, but for non-salaried taxpayers, the basic tax exemption remained static at Rs125,000 per year for the last 2-3 years. Accordingly, the non-salaried taxpayers (womenfolk) had been asking the government time and again to enhance their basic tax exemption limit, which it appears has been enhanced to Rs300,000 as stated above.
Hence, in order to avoid any further discrimination amongst male and female taxpayers, the finance minister should confirm that the basic exemption of Rs300,000 per year as announced in the budget speech on June 5 is applicable to both male and female salaried and non-salaried taxpayers, with no discrimination whatsoever. This is most necessary, especially for the guidance of FBR officials concerned.