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Section 80C of Income Tax Act provides you with the benefit of doing tax savings of Rs 1.5 lakh in a particular financial year. Here are nine tax savings solutions.

Public Provident Fund: Public Provident Fund or PPF in simple terms is known for doing long-term retirement savings. Whether you are a salaried employee or non-salaried employee, you can open a PPF account very easily visiting any nearest bank branch or post office. Investing your monies in such account will give you Exempt-Exempt-Exempt (EEE) benefit. However, you need to complete the lock-in period of 15 years to avail such benefit.

Employee Provident Fund: Employee Provident Fund or simply EPF is an automatic deduction made from your salary by your employer also comes under the ambit of section 80C. Do check your salary slips and calculate how much tax is getting saved through this instruments. You can also contribute your whole basic salary (DA if any) towards your EPF account and save more tax under voluntary Provident fund (VPF) and gain good returns as per the EPFO discretion made on yearly basis.

Unit Linked Insurance Plans: Unit Linked Insurance Plans or ULIPs are an investment-cum-insurance product which gives you a dual tax benefit, where you not only save tax under section 80C but also, you get the maturity benefit exempt under section 10(10D). Mostly, ULIPs have a lock-in period of 5 years. However, to get good returns one should ideally redeem money after 7 years onwards.

National Pension Scheme: National Pension Scheme is commonly known as NPS scheme. This scheme gives you an overall tax saving benefit of Rs 2 lakh (1.5 lakh under section 80C and Rs 50000 under section 80CCD (1B) of income tax act). To avail such benefit, one needs to invest in tier 1 account of NPS scheme. You do such investment online visiting NPS website The dispersal of money is done in percentage at the time of taking retirement, where the amount is given in partial percent in lump-sum and the rest is given in form of an annuity. The dispersal percent is based on an individual’s age whether he/she wants to retire before 60 or after 60 years of age.

Bank Fixed Deposit: Deposits made under 5 years FD only qualify for availing tax benefit. This instrument provides safe and guaranteed return. Despite the interest earned is taxable and deducted at source, FD return scores over returns getting from a normal savings account. Deposits are also insured under deposit insurance and credit guarantee corporation (DICGC) for up to Rs 1 lakh.

National Savings Certificate: National Savings Certificate or NSC which comes under the EET category. The investment you make in NSC is exempt from tax under Section 80C. The interest earned in one year is rolled back to the principal. Since it is not paid out, that interest is also not taxed. The interest earned in the last year is taxable on maturity. A good instrument to save taxes comes with a lock-in of 5 years.

Post Office Time Deposit: If you do not find any of the options which you think you cannot avail at this current point in time then in such case, you can visit the nearest post office and invest in a 5-year post office time deposit scheme. The scheme is similar to FD's which also comes with a lock-in period of 5 years. Any individual can open an account with any branch of Indian Post Office. One thing which you should know is that the interest earned under this scheme is fully taxable.

Senior Citizen Saving Scheme: If you are retired individual then you should ideally look for this tax saving solution who has reached an age of 60. Also, if you are taking voluntary retirement then in such case you can open your SCSS account at the age of 55 provided that the account is opened with a month of the date of receipt to avail retirement benefits. The lock-in-cum-maturity cycle is of 5 years. You can invest up to Rs 15 lakhs. However, the benefit of tax saving is capped up to Rs 1.5 lakh under section 80C of income tax act.

Principal repayment of loan: If you have recently bought a home for yourself and availed a loan against it then in such case you do not need to worry as you can claim principal repayment for up to Rs 150000 within the overall limit of Section 80C. In such case, you need not have to make a compulsory investment in section 80C. The only thing you need to check is that the loan you have availed should be taken for a purchase or construction of a new house property and the property is not sold in last five year from the time of possession.

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