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Top Tax Saving Investments You Should Consider

    Tax-saving investments are crucial for everyone. They not only offer tax saving under Section 80C and 80CCC of the Income Tax Act of India – but also act as long term / retirement savings.

    ​Are you planning to invest for the FY 2021-22?  Still not finalized the financial products to invest in? Here are top saving investments options which you can consider to reduce your tax outgo for the year.

     

    Public Provident Fund (PPF)

    A government-guaranteed investment option - Public Provident Fund or PPF provides fixed returns along with tax benefits under section 80C. Individuals can open a PPF account at a bank or at a post office. It has a locking period of 15 years, however, one can extend the duration of the account by a block of 5 years.

     

    Features:

    • You can start your PPF account with a minimum contribution of Rs. 500 per year and a maximum of Rs. 1.5 lakh in a financial year.
    • An individual can open only one account under his/her name. 
    • PPF payments can be made in the form of demand draft, cheque, cash, or via online transfer.
    • PPF loans can be availed against the account, amidst the 3rd and 5th financial year(from the date of opening the PPF account).
     

    NPS (National Pension Scheme)

    NPS or the National pension scheme is a government-sponsored pension scheme. Launched in January 2004 by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority of India (PFRDA), the scheme encourages people to invest in a pension account at regular intervals during the course of their employment. On retirement account holders can withdraw a part of the corpus. The individual will receive the remaining amount as a monthly pension post-retirement.

     

    Features

    • Tax Benefits Under Section 80CCD (1)  - Any individual who is a subscriber of NPS can claim tax benefit under Sec 80C within the overall ceiling of Rs. 1.5 lac.  You can invest the entire amount in NPS if you wish and claim the deduction. The deduction under Section 80CCD (1) is available to both salaried individuals and non-salaried individuals.

    • Tax Benefits Under Section 80CCD (1B)  - Under this section, you can claim tax deductions for your investments up to Rs 50,000. This is over and above the deduction that you can claim under Section 80CCD (1).

    • Tax Benefits Under Section 80CCD (2) -This one is meant for salaried individuals and not self-employed individuals. This benefit can be availed on the contributions made by the employer.
     

    National Savings Certificate (NSC)

    Similar to FD and PPF, the NSC is considered a low-risk tax-saving investment option. Backed by the Government of India - NSC offers a guaranteed return on investment. You can invest in this short-term investment plan via the nearest post office in your name or as a joint account with another adult individual.

     

    Features

    • As a government-backed tax-saving scheme, you can claim up to Rs 1.5 lakh under the provisions of Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961. 
    • You can invest as low as Rs 1,000 (or multiples of Rs 100) as an initial investment, and increase the amount when feasible.
    • The interest you earn on your investment gets compounded and reinvested by default, though the returns do not beat inflation.
     

    Mutual Funds

    A mutual fund is a simple, tax-efficient, and effective tool to invest in. Mutual Funds Company usually pool money from various investors and invest that money in securities such as bonds, stocks, and short-term debt.

    Equity-Linked Saving Scheme (ELSS), commonly referred to as the tax-saving funds, falls under the diversified category of mutual funds. ELSS is covered under the Section 80C provisions and therefore, you can claim tax deductions of up to Rs 1,50,000 a year. This scheme has a mandatory lock-in period of 3 years. You can either invest in lumpsum or in small amounts e.g. SIP.

    Mutual funds in India are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), hence, your investment is safe.

     

    Unit Linked Insurance Plans (ULIPS)

    When you make an investment in ULIP, the insurance company invests part of the premium in shares/bonds, etc., and the balance amount is utilized in providing an insurance cover. Hence, ULIP is both an insurance policy and an investment. It provides life insurance cover, investment opportunities, and tax-saving benefits under section 80C of the Income-tax act. The minimum locking period is 5 years. With regular premium payments, you can enjoy the benefits of wealth creation for your loved ones.

     

    Features:

    • You are required to pay the entire premium amount as a lump sum at the beginning of the policy term.
    • You can switch your portfolio between debt and equity based on your risk appetite and market performance.
    • It offers stable performance or low risks or both.
     

    Tax-Saving FD Account

    Many risk-averse individuals utilise the tax-saving FD accounts. Such deposits gain tax deduction under section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The minimum tenure for a term deposit under Tax Saving Scheme is 5 years. You can get a tax exemption of a maximum of Rs.1.5 lakh.

     

    Features:

    • Premature withdrawal is allowed after completing 5-year lock-in period.
    • Most Tax Saving FD schemes come with an option of joint account.
    • In case of a joint account, only the primary account holder is eligible for tax benefits
     
    All the above investment options are great for tax saving. You can compare your investment options on the basis of overall returns and their wealth-building potential – before you finalize any product.  You can also approach financial advisors for help if you want guidance on long-term goals. Knowledgeable and certified, financial planners will not only assist you with the best possible saving option but will also help you improve your financial situation in the long run.

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