Tax saving is the strategy by which one saves taxes by using the provisions specified under law. At the time of filing your return, you can seamlessly claim these exemptions and deductions from the income tax department. Such provisions are provided by the government to incentivize savings and investments in the economy. The process of tax saving is completely legal and encouraged by the government. It is a compulsory contribution to state revenue levied by the government on workers income and business profits or added to the cost of some goods, services and transaction. Taxes paid by public are used by the government for carrying out various welfare schemes including employment programs. Under section 80 of Income Tax Act, 1961 (“Act”) there are various deductions a taxpayer can claim from his total income which would bring down his taxable income and thereby reduce his tax outgo.
Every year most of us struggle to save our tax and it might be challenging for the new earners or newly recruited employees as well. Most commonly used option to save income tax is section 80C. According to this section, if an individual or hindu undivided family (HUF) invests in or spends on specified sources, then up to INR 1.5 lakhs of such investment can be claimed as a deduction from gross total income before calculating tax payable on it in financial year. Such deduction made can be claimed only from the income in the financial year in which such investment was made.
Tax saving investment is an essential part of tax planning we do to save our tax and also an activity which every tax payer should undergo. So, here is all the information and analysis we need in order to choose the tax saving investment scheme under section 80C:
- Public provident fund (PPF): Investment in PPF is the best option under section 80C of Income Tax Act. It is worthiest for the ones who need to keep aside funds for their retirement. It declares to allow the return on par with the inflation generally. Contribution amounting INR 150,000 is allowed under PPF. Rate of interest is determined by Ministry of Finance from time to time. Interest earned is tax-free. The lock-in period for PPF is 15 years. After five years amount can be withdrawn subject to certain conditions. It is amongst the best strategies for tax saving.
- 5 year bank fixed deposits (FDs): Any term deposit with the tenure of at least 5 years with the scheduled bank also qualifies for the deductions under section 80C and the interest earned on it is taxable. The investment made in FDI cannot be withdrawn in between.
- Equity Linked Saving Schemes (ELSS): ELSS funds have the shortest mandatory lock-in period of three years among the tax-saving investment options available under section 80C. The investment is made in equity, directing more prominent returns and gives about 15% in the long term. The deduction can be claimed u / s 80C easily. ELSS is an overall financial plan and is perfect to assemble one’s long-term fiscal goals.
- National Savings Certificate (NSC): The best thing about this instrument is that unlike an insurance policy or a pension plan NSC does not require a multi-year commitment. So, it is a good option for those who don’t have time to study the features of the plan or look up to the promising ELSS funds. It is issued in the post offices. The income tax deduction for this investment can be claimed under section 80C of the Act.
- Unit Linked Investment Plan (ULIP): ULIP came into focus from last year after the budget introduced tax on long-term capital gains from stocks and equity funds. It is the combination of investment and insurance which is eligible for tax exemption. It covers the return but there are no guaranteed returns.
- Premium of life insurance: The scheme is covered under section 80 of the Act. The schemes of life insurance help a person to protect itself and its dependents from any risk occurring in future.
- Senior Citizens Savings Scheme (SCSS): SCSS was already the best tax-saving option for those above 60 years of age, but last year’s budget made it more attractive by offering senior citizens an additional INR 50,000 exemption on interest income. This means that the overall tax exemption for senior citizens above 60 is now INR 3.5 lakhs and for very senior citizens above 80 is INR 5.5 lakhs. Maximum limit for the above mentioned investment is INR 15 Lakhs. The lock-in period of 5 years. The deduction is allowed under section 80C.
Above stated are the investments which provide deductions that can be claimed under section 80C for saving the tax, considering various provisions. The last quarter of every financial year that is January to March is the time when most of us rush to settle our tax saving exercise by submitting the documents to our employers and also making various investments. Doing this we should keep in mind some important points or measures which we should take for exercising the tax saving benefit. The same will be discussed in our next segment.
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