Income Tax filing 2017: You can make these 6 investments for tax-free income

While filing your income tax this year, you can think about these tax saving instruments that will not only constrain your returns but also help you build wealth over the long term.

By Reema Sharma | Updated: Apr 30, 2017, 00:33 AM IST
Income Tax filing 2017: You can make these 6 investments for tax-free income

New Delhi: The government has notified a simplified income tax returns (ITR) form for individuals, which is available for filing ITR for the assessment year 2017-18 from April 1.

Currently, SAHAJ (ITR 1) is filed by salaried employees and ITR 2 by individuals and HUFs whose income does not include income from business.

At the time of filing the form, the taxpayer has to fill in PAN, Aadhaar number, personal information and information on taxes paid. TDS will be auto-filled in the form.

The e-filing facility for ITR-1 is enabled from April 1 and ITRs can be filed till the stipulated deadline of July 31.

While filing your income tax this year you can keep in mind a few important tax saving instruments that will not only constrain your returns but also help you build wealth over the long term.

Chetan Chandak, Head of Tax research, H&R Block India in conversation with Zee Media elaborates on these 6 investments for tax-free income.

Equity-Linked Savings Schemes

Equity-Linked Savings Schemes (ELSS) is the best tax saving investment option as it has the potential to provide you highest return in the category. Though it carries the market risk, which to a certain extent is neutralised with a lock-in period of three years (minimum in the category), through the SIP mode of investment, one can further reduce the risk.

Public Provident Fund

Public Provident Fund (PPF) is considered as one of the safest long-term tax saving instrument which earns a taxfree return of 7.9 percent. This is a lot better than taxable FD interest. It can also fetch tax deduction up to Rs 1.5 Lakh u/s 80C. So effective post tax returns (factoring in tax deduction) for a person in highest tax bracket comes to 12.25 percent.

Insurance Plans

Both Life Insurance and Medical Insurance Plan are very good tax saving instruments providing you dual benefit of, protection against eventualities and tax saving u/s 80C and 80D respectively. But one should not mix insurance with investment and should prefer Pure Term Insurance Plan for security. For investment, there are many better options available.

Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana

Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana is one of the best tax saving options for those who wish to invest for the future of their girl child less than ten years of age. It provides you with the tax-free interest of 8.4 percent with a tax deduction of up to Rs 1.5L under 80C. Maximum yearly deposit of Rs. 1.5 Lakh can be made for 14 years with a maturity of 21 years. Withdrawals from the scheme are tax exempt, and 50% of the corpus can be withdrawn once the child turns 18.

NPS (New Pension Scheme)

New Pension Scheme (NPS) is an excellent tax saving investment option for those who are planning a long term corpus to fund their retirement. It has potential to provide you returns comparable with any ELSS scheme as both invest in equity and debt instruments only. But NPS has substantially low fund management charges as compared to ELLS maximizing your returns. Further, it can provide you additional deduction u/s 80CCD (1B) up to Rs 50,000 which is over and above Rs. 1.5 lakh under 80C. The only downside is the investment gets locked in till retirement age, and the rate at which the annuity will be fixed is also not sure.

SCSS (Senior Citizens Saving Schemes)

Senior Citizens Saving Schemes (SCSS) is one of the best tax saving instruments for senior citizens who wish to earn a good return on their investment without any risk as well as want to claim the deduction u/s. 80C. It provides taxable interest of 8.4 percent which is paid on a quarterly basis providing regular income. One can invest maximum 15 lakh for an initial period of 5 years which can be further extended for three years. The option of premature closure is available after one year.