1. Public Provident Fund (PPF)
Public Provident Fund or PPF is one of the government savings schemes that produce assured returns. A PPF matures after 15 years.
The returns generated from PPF are exempted from taxation under Section 80C. However, you will have to declare the returns generated from PPF while filing your income tax returns each year.
2. Investments in Tax Saving Mutual Funds (ELSS)
These tax-saving mutual funds, known as Equity Linked Savings Scheme, have a lock-in period of 3 years and are so named because they invest 80% of the total corpus in equities.
The returns from ELSS are tax-free up to a limit of ₹1 Lakh. For returns exceeding the limit, you will be subject to long term capital gains tax at a 10% rate.
3. Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF)
The portion constituted of an employees’ contribution to an Employees’ Provident Fund is included in the list of deductions under Section 80C. The employers’ contribution to the fund is also tax-free, even though it is not included under Section 80C.
The EPF interest rate is also tax-free. But it becomes taxable under the following circumstances:
- If you leave your service at an EPF registered company.
- If you withdraw from the EPF before completing 5 years at any EPF registered company.
4. National Pension Scheme (NPS)
Under Section 80C, both an employee and the employers’ contributions are exempt from taxation. But it is important to remember that, in this case, the employers’ contributions cannot be higher than 10% of the employee’s basic salary + dearness allowance.
Further, a self-employed person can also claim this tax deduction under Section 80C for contributions that amount up to 20% of their gross income.
Again, voluntary contributions made towards the National Pension Scheme are also exempt for up to ₹50,000 over the available exemption limit of up to ₹1,50,000. Thus, individuals making voluntary contributions towards NPS can avail an exemption of up to ₹2 Lakh under this Section.
You should, however, remember that the returns from NPS are exempt from taxation only until maturity. After the scheme matures, 60% of the accumulated amount becomes taxable.
5. Tax Saving Fixed Deposits
The tax-saving fixed deposits with a 5-year tenure, which you can open through banks and post offices, are eligible for income tax exemption under 80C. However, the interest accumulated in these FDs is fully taxable.
6. National Savings Certificate (NSC)
These are government-backed savings schemes with 5-year tenure. The interest accumulated under the National Savings Certificate is eligible for tax exemption under 80C.
7. Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana
This is one of the savings schemes introduced by the Government of India to financially support the education of a girl child and later, her marriage.
This account can be opened by the parents of a girl child below the age of 10 years; the account matures after 21 years and the returns availed under the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana scheme is tax-free.
8. Senior Citizens’ Savings Scheme (SCSS)
These are government-backed savings schemes with 5-year tenure. You can further opt to extend the tenure by a period of 3 years;
The investments made under this scheme are exempt from taxation under Section 80C. However, the returns accumulated from this scheme are fully taxable as per your income tax slab.
Apart from these investment options, deductions under Section 80C are also available on:
9. Home Loans
This exemption is available on the principal amount of a home loan, every year, for both self-occupied and rented-out properties. However, to claim the deduction, you cannot sell the house within 5 years of possessing it.
Further, Section 80C also allows you to claim deduction on registration fee and stamp duty paid for your property.
10. Premium Payment on Life Insurance Policies
This exemption can be availed on life insurance premium payment for self or family members. In case of single premium policy, you cannot terminate the insurance policy within 2 years of its commencement. For multiple premium policies, you have to pay at least 2 years’ premium to avail the tax exemption.
If you do not follow the above-mentioned rules, your tax deductions under this section will be reversed.
The premium paid in Unit Linked Life Insurance Policies (ULIPs) is also eligible for tax exemption under Section 80C.
11. School or Tuition Fees paid for your Child’s Education
This section also offers exemption on tuition fees paid to any college, school, university, etc. for the education of up to two children.
Tax deductions are ways through which you can reduce your taxable income. However, you must remember that your amount of deduction varies according to the type of tax deductions you claim.
Tax Exemptions other than Section 80C
Apart from Section 80C, you can also avail tax exemption from various other sub-sections of Section 80. For example:
- Section 80D – You can avail tax exemptions on the premium paid towards health insurance policies for self, spouse, children and parents. You can claim a deduction of up to ₹25,000 under this section for self and spouse and an additional ₹25,000 for your parents. The exemption under this section can go up to ₹1 Lakh.
- Section 80G – This section includes donations towards various charities and social causes. These donations are eligible for up to 50% or 100% exemptions, without restrictions, depending on the cause you are donating towards.
- Section 80GGC – This section includes donations made towards any political party. These exemptions are available only if the payment is made through modes other than cash.
Thus, with such deductions and more, the tax liability on taxpayers can be reduced to quite an extent. So, before filing your income tax returns, make sure that you check all the provisions under Section 80C and other sub-sections of Section 80 to ensure that you avail the maximum tax deductions.