As the financial year draws to a close, it's time for salaried individuals to start planning their taxes. One of the most effective ways to save on income tax is by using Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. This section will allow you to claim deduction of up to Rs. 1.5 lakhs on certain investments and expenses.
Here are some of the most popular tax-saving investments that you can consider before March 31, 2023:
Public Provident Fund (PPF)
PPF is a government-backed investment scheme that offers an attractive interest rate and tax benefits. You can invest up to Rs. 1.5 lakhs per annum in PPF, and the investment qualifies for a deduction under Section 80C. The interest income and the maturity proceeds are tax-free.
Equity-Linked Saving Scheme (ELSS)
ELSS is a mutual fund scheme that invests primarily in equities and offers tax benefits. You can claim a deduction of Rs. 1.5 lakhs on your ELSS investment under Section 80C. The lock-in period for ELSS is three years, making it a relatively liquid investment option.
National Pension System (NPS)
NPS is a government-backed retirement savings scheme that allows you to claim a deduction of up to Rs. 1.5 lakhs under Section 80C, and an additional deduction of up to Rs. 50,000 under Section 80CCD(1B). The scheme has a long lock-in period, but it offers a good mix of equity and debt investments.
Tax-Saving Fixed Deposits (FD)
Tax-saving fixed deposits are offered by banks and qualify for a deduction under Section 80C. The investment has a lock-in period of five years, and the interest earned is taxable.
Apart from these tax-saving investments, there are other expenses and deductions that you can claim to reduce your tax liability. Here are some of them:
Home Loan Interest
If you have taken a home loan, you can claim a deduction of up to Rs. 2 lakhs on the interest paid under Section 24 of the IT Act. This deduction is in addition to the deduction available under Section 80C.
Medical Insurance Premium
If you have bought a medical insurance policy for yourself or your family, you can claim a deduction of up to Rs. 25,000 under Section 80D. If you have bought a policy for your parents who are senior citizens, the deduction limit is Rs. 50,000.
Education Loan Interest
If you have taken an education loan for yourself or your spouse, you can claim a deduction of up to Rs. 50,000 on the interest paid under Section 80E. This deduction is over and above deduction available under Section 80C.
In conclusion, tax planning is an important exercise that can help you save a significant amount of money. By investing in tax-saving instruments and claiming deductions on expenses, you can reduce your tax liability and increase your savings. It's essential to start planning early and make informed investment decisions to maximize your tax benefits. Remember to consult a financial advisor if you need help with tax planning.
Tags income tax