Income tax is a tax paid by citizens to the government on income earned through various sources. It is applicable to both employed and self-employed persons. Income tax is a form of direct tax since it is applicable directly on the income earned. Income tax relief is a set of tax deductions granted by the tax authorities in the case of certain expenses and during certain occasions.
While computing the annual income tax, taxpayers can offset the amount of tax relief granted against the income tax that they owe to the government. Similar to personal tax allowance, tax relief for employees is offered throughout the year. Tax relief is normally placed under various categories as tax relief for employees, self-employed people, training and educational institutions, property, medical and insurance premiums, and payments to charitable institutions.
However, not all expenses come under the purview of tax relief. Common expenses that qualify for tax relief are ones incurred on maintenance, travel expenses, interest on educational loans, certain fees and subscriptions, and contributions to pension schemes. Some part of expenses incurred on lighting, phone bills, and rents is also considered for providing income tax relief. Income tax relief is particularly granted to citizens who are affected by natural calamities. An example of this is the income tax relief granted by the federal government to victims of the devastating hurricanes that hit the southern states in 2005.
It is expected that the “Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001,” will provide tax relief to taxpayers across the country. The Department of Treasury has estimated that 3.9 million individuals and families will be able to completely eliminate their income tax liability on account of the Act. Also, further estimates show that senior citizens, married couples, and families can expect reductions in their annual income tax liabilities.