Difference Between Exemption and Deduction

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Exemption and Deduction

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Governmental imposition of obligatory taxes on individuals or corporations is known as taxation.

Taxes are an important part of the revenue system as it is imposed in every part of the country on this planet, it is largely raised the income of the government to spend, but they also serve other functional activities.

For the generation of revenue in modern countries, taxes are the most crucial source. Compared with any other form of revenue generation and taxes, taxes are much more distinct from it, as they are unrequited- they are not paid in case of something very specific, for example, for some specific services, public property sale, or the Issuing of any public debt. The taxes being ostensibly collected to benefit all the taxpayers, the individual liability is unrelated to any kind of specific benefit obtained. But there are a few exceptions: the widely collected tax on labor income to fund retirement, benefits, and other Social Security programs are called payroll taxes, for example, are all of which help the taxpayers. At times, like in the USA, there is most certainly there is a relationship between the tax paid and income benefits that the particular individual receives and what is sometimes called contributions.

The tax legislation has brought up the good form of chances as it provides several other provisions in case of deduction and exemptions, which helps in reducing certain tax liability and gives relief to the assessee from payment of the taxes. The deduction is allowed according to the rules, that is in full or in parts, initially, the sum is included in the taxpayer's income, or when the specific conditions are met. A tax exemption on the other hand is the income that is not subject to taxation.

Gross Total Income is commonly known as GTI, in the case of deduction it is based on GTI and anyone can profit from it if they apply for it. Whereas, in the case of exemption it is not included in the GTI.

Exemption vs. Deduction

At first glance, we cannot differentiate between the two words, deduction and exemption as they appear to be synonyms, but there is a significant distinction between the two in the Income Tax Act. The subtraction of an amount from the total amount of income that has previously been reported under various types of income is called deduction. Exemption, on the other hand, is the entire income that is tax-free. To put this meaning in another way, if you have an income, you can deduct it, whereas income is exempt. The incomes from which the deduction will be allowed under Chapter VI-A will first be included in the GTI and the income exempt under Section 10 will not be included in the calculation of the total income.

The government in case of the public interest declares the exemption by a circular or announcement. Most of the time it is for the entire crowd around rather than just a particular class. However, the government keeps on announcing several exemptions for certain types of courses. Higher-income class assessments, NRI income, for example. The government diverts the wealth of the people towards its schemes and initiatives with various sorts of deductions. Also, other types of government schemes or ideas that indeed demand quick attention are been supported by deductions. Just not improving the old schemes but also beneficial to the new ones. Talking about the exemption, they are limited in time, and deductions are permitted usually on the regular basis.

For calculating income under any of the heads of income, expenses incurred in connection with any exempt income are not recognized as a deduction.

To qualify for a deduction, one must either invest or expense in a designated region, which is often sometimes referred to as a cash outflow. Nevertheless, the intake of the income is tax-free(I.e exemption), which results in a rise in the cash inflow.

Each class of assessee is specified with the government-provided separated set of deductions and exemptions. Deductions are available from section 80C to 80U, as well as under sections 10,11, and 12 for another kind of assessee. Chapter VI-A deduction in case of particular income is the deduction under section 80 and different Tax Holidays provided to certain industries, firms, and other entities under section 10. There are some exemptions and deductions such as standard deduction in case of salary, standard deduction in case of house property, various other deductions from sections 32 to 37 under the profit or gain from business and profession, deduction from capital gains, and also from the income from other sources, under each head of income.

Income is specifically exempt under section 10. Assessees are divided into the categories given below.

  1. Individual
  2. HUF
  3. Partnership firm or any limited liability partnership.
  4. Company
  5. Associate of person
  6. Body of individuals.
  7. Charitable Institutes.
  8. Co-operative society
  9. An entity under local authorities
  10. Juridical person.

Once the deduction is available for one class of assessee, it will not be available for another. Let's take an example, suppose if a person receives a deduction for spending a certain amount on an investment made, pr for any other expense, the same deduction is not available for the company or any firm. They can probably take an advantage of any other deduction but the individual or the HUF cannot. For example, additional assessees beyond Individual and HUF are permitted to take a weighted deduction.

The deduction and exemption for Non-residents are also different in several ways. Foreign institution investors, individuals, HUFs, and companies are examples of non-residents. An NRI might benefit from such deduction as for NRIs, the government enters into an agreement with several other nations and then provides a Double Taxation Agreement.

The following article highlights the significant distinctions between deduction and exemption.

Difference Between Exemption and Deduction in Tabular Form

Specifications for comparison Exemption Deduction
Meaning Subtraction, or a sum that can be used to lower taxable income, is referred to as a deduction. Exemption denotes exclusion, which indicates that if a specific amount of money is tax-free, it does not go against a person's total income.
Conceptual means To get at the net income, the amount of the deduction is first included in the gross income and then deducted from it. The exempted income is not counted as part of the taxpayer's overall income; the entire amount is considered an exemption.
What it is? Concession Relaxation
Objectives To encourage the general public to save and invest. To increase the number of people who are exempt from paying taxes in that particular portion.
Conditions Yes No
Allowed to Specific persons. All the persons.

What is Exemption?

The amount of income that is subject to income tax is reduced by an exception the international revenue services allow for the number of exemptions. The two most popular forms are the personal and dependent exceptions. The changes made by the 2017 tax cuts and Job Act (TCG)which resulted in the personal exemption have been eliminated until the end of 2025.

The amount of income that would otherwise be taxed is reduced by an exemption.

Personal exemptions have been eliminated and replaced by larger standard deductions until the end of 2025. Other exemptions exist, and they can take many different forms.

Certain types of income, such as interest from municipal bonds, are exempt from taxation.

The term "tax exemption" refers to a monetary exclusion from taxable income. You may receive entire tax relief, lower tax rates, or tax on only a portion of your income. As a result, The statutory exemption from taxation as a general rule rather than the absence of taxation in specific circumstances is referred to as tax exemption.

The tax exemption and tax deductions are not similar they have distinct features. The tax deduction is a part of taxable income that can be deducted from taxation if certain requirements are met. On the other hand,  talking about the exemption, it is the income that is not taxed in the first place meanwhile the taxable income. A tax credit is applied to lower the amount of tax owing.

The government usually exempts philanthropic groups from paying income taxes. And also religious groups are not allowed to pay taxes, it happens only when the organizations serve the public good. To promote public welfare the government relieves certain organizations of their tax burden allowing them to continue and serve.

Federal taxes are not imposed in the United States for non-profit organizations. For example charities, churches, schools, and labor unions. There is a variety of variables for non-profit tax exemptions including the organization's mission activities and revenue sources. The government meets the state tax rules vary but such groups are typically exempt from state income and property taxes as well as sales tax in some cases.

Now, talking about the individual tax exemption an individual can claim one personal tax exemption if he or she is not listed as a dependent on another taxpayer's return most of the time. the exemption decreases taxable income in the same way as it is done in deduction but with fewer limitations. Individual tax exemption is a yearly rise in a fixed amount. Suppose if the taxpayer is married both spouses receive an exemption and submit combined tax returns. The Internal Revenue Service allows the taxpayer to claim an extra exemption

According to the list of exempted incomes, certain incomes are tax-free for example agricultural income. The exemption is limited to a particular amount of certain income that is partially exempted from taxation. The portion that is partially exempted exceeds the tax threshold will be taxed and factored into the gross total income calculation.

What is Deduction?

One can deduct from the taxable income to reducible the tax liability which is the process called tax deduction.  One must have the option of taking the standard deduction as a single or a fixed amount deduction or it can even be an itemizing deduction on the Schedule A of the tax return.

It makes sense to itemize if the value of your itemized costs exceeds the standard deduction for your filing status. Mortgage interest, charity gifts, unreimbursed medical expenses, and state and local taxes are all allowed itemized deductions.

The amount that will be removed from the gross amount is referred to as a deduction. According to the Income Tax Act, deductions are payments or investments made by the assessee that reduce their gross total income by a certain amount or percentage to arrive at total taxable income. If GTI is zero, no deduction is allowed, or the deduction amount cannot exceed GTI, i.e. the deduction is only allowed to the extent of gross total income.

These are only available to the taxpayer if he claims deductions for investments in specific instruments. As a result, such money becomes part of the taxpayer's gross total income, which is subsequently reduced by deductions to arrive at total income.

There are three different types of deductions:

  • Deduction for specific payments, such as life insurance premiums paid, medical insurance premiums paid, charity contributions made, and so forth.
  • Deduction for specific types of income: Income from cooperative societies, royalties on patents, and other sources.
  • Other considerations.

Main Differences Between Exemption and Deduction in Points

  1. Subtraction, or a sum that can be used to lower taxable income, is referred to as a deduction. Exemption denotes exclusion, which indicates that if a specific amount of money is tax-free, it does not go against a person's total income.
  2. The exemption is a relaxation, whereas the deduction is a concession.
  3. As of now, tax-free income is eligible for tax exemption, hence the deduction only applies to taxable income.
  4. Only some people who meet certain criteria in case of deduction are eligible for the discount. On the other hand, everyone is eligible for the exemption.
  5. The deduction is conditional, meaning that it is only available to individuals who meet the eligibility requirements. The exemption, on the other hand, is unconditional.
  6. The deduction is intended to stimulate savings and investments in specific instruments, while the exemption is intended to assist the less fortunate.
  7. Sections 80C through 80U of the Income-tax Act of 1961 deal with deductions, while Section 10 deals with exemptions.
  8. Deductions are added to GTI before being subtracted from it. Exemptions, on the other hand, are not included in total income.


The government levies fees on residents and corporations to generate income, which helps to meet their budgetary obligations. All of these include the country's business environment to promote the most important factor which is economic growth, funding for government and public projects are also included.

To meet the demands of the societies the government imposes taxes. If they do not leave the taxes, they would be unable to meet the demands of society. Taxes are imposed and are important because they are not only a source to be utilized but they allow the government to collect money and then make it to fund social projects.

Taxes support a lot of things and government contribution to the health sector would be impossible without taxes. For Example, the healthcare services such as social healthcare, medical research, and Social Security.

When no taxes are applied, case of investment the post-tax returns are higher.

There has been a shift in the taxpayers as the tax burden on taxpayers is decreased which motivates them not to conceal or understate their earnings. The savings has expanded leaving them with greater disposable money, philanthropic organizations are beneficial from a socio-economic standard point because they not only contribute to social being but give tax-exempt status to groups.

Saving money on taxes is not easy. But, tax deductions allow you to minimize your taxable income. Only saving and investing in other areas is easy, as the taxable income is reduced, and the amount of your income that is liable to tax is reduced when you claim an income tax deduction.

The assessment of income is lowered to a level because the government uses deductions to encourage and enhance investments in specific areas, societies thrive and prosper when exemptions are utilized to help the weaker members. The government is attempting to provide an equitable opportunity to boost the offering of exemptions and deductions in a much broader aspect of revenue.



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"Difference Between Exemption and Deduction." Diffzy.com, 2023. Sat. 23 Sep. 2023. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-exemption-and-deduction-81>.

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