Different Ways to Save Tax
The government levies tax at different rates based on your net taxable income. Paying taxes is important because it is a direct revenue collection for the government. However, the Income Tax (IT) Act provides several deductions that reduce your tax liability while filing your income tax return (ITR).
Such deductions will help you save significantly when done correctly and on time. When you undertake accurate tax planning, these deductions are subtracted from your gross income. Tax is then levied on the balance amount as per the current rates.
Here are seven effective ways to save your taxes:
1.Sections 80C, 80CCC, and 80CCD
The Income Tax Act sections offer tax deductions to encourage more people to save higher amounts. When these savings are invested in tax-saving instruments, you not only reduce your tax liability but can also enjoy capital appreciation. Some of the financial instruments that offer tax benefits under these sections include:
- Public Provident Fund (PPF)
- National Savings Certificate (NSC)
- Five-year fixed deposits (FDs)
- Life insurance plans
- Equity mutual funds
- Employee Provident Fund (EPF) contributions
- Pension plans
When investing in the instruments above, remember that the total deduction is capped at INR 1.5 lakh per annum. An additional deduction of INR 50,000 is available under section 80CCD when you invest the same in the National Pension Scheme (NPS). This deduction was introduced in Budget 2015.
2.Sections 80D, 80DD, and 80DDB
The Income Tax Act also offers deductions when you purchase a health plan for yourself or your family members. These sections provide different health insurance tax exemptions depending on the type of policy.
An INR 25,000 is allowed as a deduction when you buy the policy for yourself, your spouse, or your dependent children. If you are a senior citizen, the sectionincreases to INR 50,000.
Tax benefits under this section are available to individuals and Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) for dependent family members of differently-abled people. The deduction if the disability is over 40% but less than 80% is capped at INR 75,000. The benefits are capped at INR 1.25 lakh per year if the disability exceeds 80%.
This section offers tax benefits for treating an individual suffering from specific diseases. Such deductions are available only to individuals and HUFs. Moreover, thistax benefit is public only if the treatment is for self or dependent family members such as spouses, parents, siblings, or children. The deduction is the least of actual expenses, or INR 40,000 annually.
3. Home loans
The principal on home loans is eligible for tax benefits under section 80C. Additionally, section 24 allows a maximum deduction of INR 2 lakh paid as interest on the home loan.
4. Education loans
If you have availed of an education loan for higher studies for yourself, your spouse, or your children, you may claim a deduction under section 80E. The conclusion is available only on the interest paid on the loan amount.
5. Rajiv Gandhi Equity Saving Scheme (RGESS)
If your annual income is less than INR 12 lakh, section 80CCG allows a deduction when investing in specific mutual funds or equity shares under the RGESS. However, such a deduction is allowed only to first-time investors and may be slightly complex.
6. Long-term capital gains (LTCG) through property sale
Assume that you hold a property for a long term. You sold the property during the financial year and earned long-term capital gains. You may claim exemptions on these LTCGs when the profits are invested in specific instruments.
7. Donations under section 80G
If you contribute to the National Relief Fund or donate to a philanthropic purpose, you may claim an exemption under section 80G. The eligible charitable organizations are listed by the Finance Ministry. In some instances, you may get a 100% deduction; in other cases, the deduction may be capped at 50% of the donated amount.
Additional ways exist to save taxes under sections 80GG, 80U, and 80GGC. However, most of these do not apply to most individuals and are not beneficial when planning taxes.