Central Government has come up with a new scheme providing for some relief to employees in
the country. As we all know, due to COVID-19 pandemic, people are not in a position to travel, and the employees earning Leave Travel Allowance (LTA) are unable to claim the respective exemption. So, keeping a view to let such persons claim LTA exemption and at the same time give a boost to the GST collection, the government announced a scheme, under which LTA exemption can be claimed if there is expenditure done by employees on the purchase of goods and services attracting GST.
For claiming exemption in current year, expenditure needs to be done before 31/03/2021 as the current pre-defined 4 year block is 2018-2021. In case, the amount remains unclaimed it can be utilised during 1st journey of next block.
To understand better, let us take an example of Mr. A, a non-Central Government employee.
Total expenditure on GST Purchase
No. of Family Members (Self+Spouse)
Total Eligible Exemption
₹ 72,000 (36,000 x 2)
Total Amount to be spent
(36,000 x 2 persons x 3 times)
Total Allowable Exemption
Hence, on payment at least ₹ 21,600 (1,80,000 x 12%) as GST, Mr.A gets ₹ 60,000 as LTA exemption.
Assuming Mr.A comes under 30% tax-bracket, his tax savings would be ₹ 18,000 (60,000 x 30%).
This clearly shows that it would be beneficial to purchase such eligible goods and services only if needed. Purchasing goods or availing services only for the sake of claiming the exemption would not be recommended.
As a result, it would not be incorrect to conclude that if one is anyway going to purchase eligible goods or avail eligible services one must do it before 31-03-2021, to avail tax benefits for the current Financial Year.
(This article represents the views of the authors only and does not intent to give any kind of legal opinion on any matter)
CA Hardik Patel
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