CBDT clarifies the issue related to the determination of the status of individual taxpayers as “senior citizens” or “very senior citizens” based on the completion of their age of 60 or 80 to allow certain tax benefits under the Income Tax Act of 1961.
For this purpose, CBDT has issued a circular on clarification regarding attaining the prescribed age of 60 years or 80 years on March 31 itself in the case of senior or very senior citizens whose date of birth falls on April 1 for the purposes of the Income-tax Act, 1961.
It may be noted that higher tax exemption limits of Rs. 3 lacs/ 5 lacs have been prescribed for resident senior or very senior citizen taxpayers who have attained the age of 60 or 80 years at any time during the relevant previous year (i.e., from April 1 to March 31).
According to CBDT clarification, an individual born on April 1 would complete each year of his age on March 31, i.e., for FY 2022–23 (AY 2023–24), an individual’s date of birth (DOB) should be on or before April 1, 1963, or April 1, 1943, to complete 60 or 80 years of age on or before March 31, 2023, respectively, for income tax benefits or status as a senior or very senior citizen.
Senior Citizen Meaning
“Senior Citizen” means a resident individual who is at least 60 years old but less than 80 years old at any time during the relevant previous year.
For example, an individual born on or before April 1, 1963, shall be considered as having completed 60 years of age as of March 31, 2023, for the purpose of getting income tax benefits or status as a senior citizen in respect of FY 2022-23/AY 2023-24.
Very Senior Citizen/ Super Senior Citizen Meaning
“Very Senior Citizen” or “Super Senior Citizen” means a resident individual who is 80 years of age or older at any time during the relevant previous year.
For example, an individual born on or before April 1, 1943 shall be considered as having completed 80 years of age, as of March 31, 2023, for the purpose of getting income tax benefits or status as a “super/very senior citizen” in respect of FY 2022-23/AY 2023-24.
CBDT Circular 28/2016 dt. 27/07/2016: Clarification regarding Senior Citizen Status at Age 60/ 80 for IT Benefits
1. Higher tax exemption limits have been prescribed under the past Finance Acts for resident senior citizen taxpayers who have attained the age of sixty years. Even in such cases, the exemption limit is still higher for very senior citizens who have attained the age of eighty years. A doubt has been raised about the attainment of the aforesaid qualifying ages for availing higher exemption in cases of the persons whose date of birth falls on 1st April of calendar year. In other words, the broader question under consideration is whether a person born on 1st April of a particular year can be said to have completed a particular age on 31st March, on the preceding day of his/ her birthday, or on 1st April itself of that year.
2. The matter has been examined. Although specific provision does not exist in this regard under the Income-tax Act, 1961, the Hon’ble Supreme Court had an occasion to consider a similar issue in the case of Prabhu Dayal Sesma vs. State of Rajasthan &, another 1986, AIR, 1948 wherein it has dealt with on the general rules to be followed for calculating the age of the person. In this judgment, Apex Court observed that while counting the age of the person, whole of the day should be reckoned and it starts from 12 o’clock in the midnight and he attains the specified age on the preceding, the anniversary of his birthday. The observation of Hon’ble Supreme Court in para 9 of the aforesaid judgment reads as under:
“9……. At first impression, it may seem that a person born on January 2, 1956 would attain 28 years of age only on January 2, 1984 and not on January 1, 1984. But this is not quite accurate. In calculating a person’s age, the day of his birth must be counted as a whole day and he attains the specified age on the day preceding, the anniversary of his birthday. We have to apply well accepted rules for computation of time. One such rule is that fractions of a day will be omitted in computing a period of time is years or months in the sense that a fraction of a day will be treated as a full day. A legal day commences at 12 o’clock midnight and continues until the same hour the following night. There is a popular misconception that a person does not attain a particular age unless and until he has completed a given number of years. In the absence of any express provision, it is well settled that any specified age in law is to be computed as having been attained on the day preceding the anniversary of the birthday”
3. In view of the aforesaid judgment, the Central Board of Direct Taxes, in exercise of powers under section 119 of the Act, hereby clarifies that a person born on 1st April would be considered to have attained a particular age on 31st March, the day preceding the anniversary of his birthday. In particular, the question of attainment of age of eligibility for being considered a senior/ very senior citizen would therefore be decided on the basis of above criteria.
4. The field authorities are directed to take note of above position for ascertaining the age while computing tax liability of a taxpayer falling in ‘Individual’ category, being resident in India.