Difference Between Tax Deduction and Tax Credit

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: June 06, 2023


Difference Between Tax Deduction and Tax Credit

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Understanding the distinction between the two is crucial when comparing the advantages of tax deductions and credits. A tax expert can assist you in navigating the complexities and determining whether to claim a credit, deduction, or both if you are qualified, as credits and deductions may be limited by your income.

Tax Deduction vs Tax Credit

Tax deductions are reductions in taxable income that lower the overall tax liability. Reducing the total amount of taxes owed by people or businesses encourages actions or expenditures. A tax credit is a reduction in the amount of taxes due on a dollar-for-dollar basis. For a variety of reasons, like having children, attending college, or making energy-efficient home modifications, tax credits may be received.

Difference Between Tax Deduction Vs Tax Credit (In Tabular Form)

BasisTax DeductionTax Credit
Meaningreduces taxable income, which lowers the tax liability.directly and dollar-for-dollar lowers the amount of taxes owed.
Examplessubtracting the cost of mortgage interest.obtaining a $1,000 tax credit for making home renovations that conserve energy.
Impact on taxes owedreduces taxable income, lowering the amount of taxes required.reduces taxes owed directly, regardless of taxable income.
Effectivenessmore advantageous for people paying higher tax rates.More advantageous since it offers more tax savings per dollar spent for people in lower tax bands.
Availabilityvaries depending on the individual deductions the taxpayer is eligible for.varies depending on the specific credits the taxpayer is eligible for.

Tax Deduction

A tax deduction is a sum of money you can take out of your taxable income to pay less in taxes overall. On Schedule A of your income tax return, you have the option of taking the standard deduction—a single, fixed-amount deduction—or itemizing deductions.

Itemization is useful if the amount of your itemized expenses exceeds the standard file deduction. Allowable itemized deductions include mortgage interest, charitable donations, unreimbursed medical expenses, and state and local taxes.

Tax Deducted at Source

TDS (tax deducted at source) is a method that the Income Tax Department of the Government of India implemented to collect revenue efficiently and swiftly. Tax can be deducted/collected at the source of income via TDS. TDS is one of the government's indirect tax collection strategies. Ensuring that taxes are collected when money is produced rather than when a taxpayer file returns at the end of the year, guarantees the government a consistent source of income.

Any authorized individual or organization to which the task of tax collection is delegated collects tax and pays it to the government on behalf of a taxpayer. The individual taxpayer receives a TDS certificate in return proving that the tax was paid on his or her behalf.

As a result, tax is withheld at the source and sent to the government on the payer's behalf. Several types of payments, including salary, commission, interest on fixed deposits, brokerage, professional fees, contract payments, royalties, etc., are covered by this provision of tax deduction at source.

Various Forms of Tax Deduction in India

There are numerous investment opportunities and ways to spend money that can lower your taxable income. Numerous provisions for this are included in the Indian Income Tax Act. Several distinct tax deduction alternatives are listed below: -

  1. PPF, or Public Provident Fund: - According to Section 80C of the Indian Income Tax Act of 1961, you can claim a tax deduction for contributions made to your PPF account.
  2. Cost of life insurance: - According to section 80C of the Indian Income Tax Act of 1961, you can deduct the cost of life insurance premiums for yourself, your spouse, and your children from your income tax. The sum received when the policy matures is tax-free. It is nevertheless subject to the conditions outlined in your policy.
  3. NSCs are National Savings Certificates: - Section 80C of the Indian Income Tax Act, 1961 permits a tax deduction for the amount invested in NSC. National Savings Certificates are among the most secure investment options available in India. The NSC interest, however, is taxed. An NSC qualifies for a tax deduction because interest is reinvested and part of a cumulative scheme.
  4. Bank Fixed Deposits (FDs): - Under section 80C of the Indian Income Tax Act, 1961, fixed deposits with a 5-year term are eligible for a tax deduction. In India, many banks provide fixed deposits that are tax-saving. However, interest accumulated on FDs is taxed.
  5. SCSS, or Senior Citizen Savings Scheme: - By contributing to a bank's Senior Citizen Savings Scheme, seniors can receive a tax deduction. Section 80C of the same statute allows for a tax deduction for these plans. These plans' interest earnings are wholly taxable.
  6. (POTD) Post Office Time Deposit: - Under Section 80C, you can claim a tax deduction for investments in five-year POTDs. However, the interest that has accumulated is completely taxed.
  7. ULIPs or unit-linked insurance plans: - section 80C allows you to deduct your investment in ULIPs for you, your spouse, and your children.
  8. House Loan EMI: - Under Section 80C of the same Act, you can deduct the equated monthly installments you make to pay off the principal balance of your house loan from your income.
  9. ELSS & Mutual Funds: - You are entitled to tax deductions for investing in mutual funds and equity-linked savings plans under section 80C of the Indian Income Tax Act, 1961.
  10. Taxes and registrations on stamps: - Under section 80C of the Indian Income Tax Act, 1961, fees for a Home Stamp duty and registration fee paid for transferring property are eligible for an income tax deduction.

Advantages of Tax Deduction

  1. Tax Deductions: Tax deductions reduce taxable income, which lowers the overall tax obligation.
  2. Certain tax deductions encourage positive spending habits or expenses, including property ownership or charity contributions.
  3. Encourages Savings: Tax deductions for health savings accounts or retirement plans can inspire people to put money aside for the future.
  4. Boosts Businesses: Tax deductions for business expenses like equipment purchases or employee benefits can lower costs and boost profitability.
  5. Simplifies Record-Keeping: Since tax deductions frequently call for proof of expenses, keeping financial records organized can be beneficial for both individuals and corporations.
  6. Supports the Economy: Tax deductions can raise disposable income and spur economic expansion by reducing tax obligations.
  7. Helps Low-Income Earners: Tax breaks geared for the low-income population, like the Earned Income Tax Credit, can aid in lowering poverty and boosting financial security.

Disadvantages of Tax Deduction

  1. Complexity: The tax law is complicated, and navigating tax deductions can be challenging.
  2. Limited Availability: Tax deductions aren't available to everyone, and their accessibility can change depending on a person's income, career, and other circumstances.
  3. Time-consuming: Completing the relevant paperwork and gathering the requisite supporting evidence often takes a significant amount of time when claiming tax deductions.
  4. Limited Savings: The actual savings from a deduction may be modest, depending on its magnitude and the taxpayer's tax level.
  5. Unfair to Low-Income Earners: Because they might not have enough taxable income to write off, those with low incomes might not benefit from tax deductions as much as people with higher incomes.

Tax Credit

A tax credit is a sum used to reduce a person's overall tax obligation. Essentially, it is the amount that can be deducted from a person's overall tax liability. Tax credits differ from deductions in that tax credits immediately reduce the number of liabilities regardless of the tax player's base tax liability, but deductions are only applicable indirectly, helping to lower an individual's base taxable amount.

Types of Tax Credits

  1. Income Tax Credit: - A common type of tax credit is the income tax credit. An individual may be eligible for a tax credit if they are consistently charged more tax than their real liabilities because of a variety of causes. This credit can be used to offset future tax liabilities in an absolute sense, meaning that it  reduces the amount of tax payable in full, regardless of the taxpayer's tax liability or other liabilities.
  2. Child Tax Credit: - In India, there are no regulations governing child tax credits. However, if you have a child, you may be eligible for several exemptions and deductions.
  3. Input Tax Credit: - Manufacturers and dealers are eligible for an input tax credit. These people are eligible for a tax credit on inputs bought during the manufacturing process. Similarly, to this, a dealer will be given an input tax credit on products bought to resell. Only those products that are used in manufacturing or processing are eligible for this credit, and tax credits are only granted on capital goods purchases done within the state.
  4. Foreign Tax Credit: - According to the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA), which India maintains with more than 80 nations globally, foreign tax credits are accessible to Indians. If you are an Indian resident who receives income from overseas, you will be subject to taxation in both countries in accordance with this agreement. If the host country has deducted TDS from income, DTAA permits tax credits in the country of residence to prevent duplicate payments. The amount of countrywide tax that must be paid might then be decreased using this credit.

26AS Tax Credit

The Income Tax Department offers a form called 26AS that allows people to check their personal tax credit statements. This form contains the following information:

  • Information on the tax deductions made by the taxpayer on their income.
  • information on tax collection from the collectors
  • PAN holders deposit regular assessment tax, advance tax, self-assessment tax, etc.
  • Data on refunds that were paid within a fiscal year.
  • Information about big-value transactions including instruments like mutual funds, stocks, and so on.

To view the tax credit statement, you must have a working PAN number.

Advantages of Tax Credit

  1. Tax credits are more beneficial than deductions since they immediately lower the amount of tax that must be paid.
  2. Tax credits are frequently used to encourage behavior that the government wants to promote, such as investing in renewable energy.
  3. Tax credits can be used to offset taxable income, lowering the overall tax burden for eligible taxpayers.
  4. Refundable: Some tax credits are refundable, which means you may be eligible for a refund even if you do not owe any taxes.
  5. Tax credits may be directed at groups of people, such as low-income people or families with young children.

Disadvantages of Tax Credit

  1. Complex Eligibility rules: Tax credit eligibility rules are frequently complicated, making it challenging for people to know if they qualify.
  2. Limited Availability: Tax credits frequently have a limited number of recipients and are subject to annual caps, so not everyone who qualifies can take advantage of them.
  3. Phase-out Ranges: Some tax credits lose value as income rises because they phase out when a person's income rises.
  4. Time-sensitive: Tax credits might only be accessible for a little time; therefore, people must act right away to benefit from them.
  5. Some tax credits are challenging to collect because they need significant documentation and record-keeping.
  6. Tax credits are vulnerable to fraud because some people can try to claim credits, they are not eligible for.

Main Differences Between Tax Deduction and Tax Credit in Points

  1. Tax credits equal a dollar-for-dollar dollar reduction in taxes owing, whereas tax deductions lower the amount of taxable income.
  2. Timing: Credits may be used this year or carried forward to future years, whereas deductions must be made in the tax year in which the expense was incurred.
  3. Eligibility: Credits are frequently limited to specific taxpayers based on income, work status, or other characteristics, whereas deductions are accessible to all taxpayers who itemize their deductions.
  4. Effect: Deductions reduce taxable income, potentially lowering the taxpayer's tax rate, while credits reduce the amount of money payable in taxes.
  5. Examples of typical tax credits and deductions include the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. Typical tax credits include mortgage interest and state and local taxes.


Taxes are immediately reduced via a tax credit. Deductions, on the other hand, reduce the taxable income and rate, which are required to calculate the tax. As a result, a credit is preferred to a deduction for the same amount.


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"Difference Between Tax Deduction and Tax Credit." Diffzy.com, 2024. Thu. 29 Feb. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-tax-deduction-and-tax-credit>.

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