Tax payers can now e-verify income tax returns using bank, demat account details


“Currently an Income-Tax Return or ITR can be e-verified by using internet banking, email or an Aadhaar number- generated One Time Password (OTP).”


In a bid make e-verification of tax returns simpler, the Income-Tax Department has included bank account and demat account details among the modes that can be used to generate code to e-verify ITRs.

Currently an Income-Tax Return or ITR can be e-verified by using internet banking, email or an Aadhaar number- generated One Time Password (OTP).

To these, two more modes of bank account and share demat account have been added for generating an electronic verification code (EVC) that is used to submit annual ITRs.

The measures are intended towards ending the practice of sending paper acknowledgement of ITRs to CPC, Bengaluru.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has added two additional modes for generation of electronic verification code (EVC) for e-verification of ITRs.

The efiling website of the I-T department would now provide a facility to pre-validate bank account details. The assessee will have to provide bank account number, IFSC code, email id, and mobile number and these details will be validated against the details of the tax payer registered with the bank.

“Generated EVC will be sent by e-filing portal to taxpayers’s email id and or mobile number verified from bank,” a CBDT notification said.

The list of banks which will participate in this facility would be provided on the efiling website.

As regards generation of EVC using Demat account details, the CBDT said the assess would have to provide demat account number, email id and mobile number. This details, along with Permanent Account Number (PAN), would be validated against the information with depository (CDSL/NSDL).

“Generated EVC will be sent by e-filing portal to email id and or mobile number verified from CDSL or NSDL,” CBDT said.

After the EVC is generated, it can be put in the ITR form for final submission.

“Despite of all the efforts of the government to go green and paperless, the mandate of providing Aadhaar Number at the time of filing the return of income prevented e-filing from becoming a completely paperless process for those who did not have an Aadhar Card,” Nangia & Co Executive Director Neha Malhotra said.

Last year the tax department launched its ambitious One Time Password (OTP) based e-filing verification system for taxpayers using the Aadhaar number.

According to experts, bank account detail based EVC generation is a more reasonable mode for e-verification. It would be now easier for small tax payers as mostly all of them have bank accounts, even if they do not have Aadhaar numbers.

“With Jan Dhan Yojna, even the small taxpayers have a bank account and thus can complete easily complete the return filing process,” www.taxxcel.com

GST may be delayed further as parties get poll-ready

The government announced the schedule of Parliament’s Budget session on Thursday with a hope of getting crucial Bills related to goods and services tax, bankruptcy, and real estate regulation cleared. But the Opposition parties appeared unrelenting as the session coincides with the elections in five states — West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and Puducherry.

At the India Investment Summit on Thursday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley expressed hope that the Opposition will “see reason” to ensure the passage of the goods and services tax (GST) constitution amendment Bill in the coming session. Jaitley said a joint committee of Parliament, which is examining the details of the bankruptcy and insolvency Bill, is expected to submit its report by the first week of March and the Bill might be passed in the Budget session itself.
However, until and unless either of the two sides bows down for the sake of legislative reforms, the upcoming session might be unproductive like the previous two because the Opposition commands a majority in the Rajya Sabha.

The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) on Thursday met to finalise the dates for the presentation of the Railway Budget (February 25), tabling of the Economic Survey (February 26) and presentation of the General Budget (February 29). The President’s address to the joint sitting of Parliament will be on February 23, the first day of the session. The first part of the session will end on March 16, with over a month-long recess from March 17 to April 24. The Houses will meet again from April 25 to May 13. In total, the session meant for financial business of the government will see 31 sittings over 81 days.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said he was optimistic that GST, real estate regulation, and bankruptcy Bills will be passed during the session.

He claimed to be in touch with the Congress and other “friendly” Opposition parties. He said the government has already discussed the three points of disagreement on GST with the Congress. Naidu had met Congress President Sonia Gandhi after the Winter session in early January.

However, sources in Congress said there has been no effort by the government to build bridges after the Winter session washout. The imposition of President’s Rule in Arunachal Pradesh is a sore point with the Congress. Also, all Opposition parties are preparing to corner the government on its “insensitive response” to the death of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula. Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi had visited the Hyderabad Central University twice to express solidarity with the protesting students. The Congress and other opposition parties also complain of the government’s “misuse” of investigative agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate.

Senior ministers met leaders of all political parties to explore whether there was any demand to curtail the session in view of the forthcoming state polls. The five states are scheduled to vote for a new government between the first week of April and first week of May. Both sides were unanimous in their support for a full session. Several members of the Parliament will be busy campaigning for the state polls and their attendance in the House is likely to be intermittent. In 2011, the month-long Budget session recess had been done away with because of the elections in these states. The then government had decided not to send the Finance Bill to the Standing Committees. The recess is the time given to department-related standing committees to examine the Budget proposals of different ministries and departments.

The assembly election dates are likely to be announced by first week of March. Communist Party of India (Marxist) chief and Rajya Sabha MP Sitaram Yechury said every year government should come out with a calendar of Parliament sittings so that there is no confusion. “The Election Commission will then decide the dates for elections knowing when Parliament is sitting. The Prime Minister will also know about the sittings and will remain in the House and not be abroad,” Yechury said.

 

Have You responded to income tax notice u/s 245?

There are a lot of taxpayers who are receiving intimation from the Income Tax Department under Section 245 of the Income Tax Act but they are often not able to understand the situation and what this actually means for them. In many cases the mere mention of some intimation from the tax department is enough to scare the taxpayer but this kind of step might require some quick action from the side of the investor and they have to pay attention to the details. There are now options to ensure that the right effect is given to the various conditions and the taxpayer does not end up suffering at the end of the day. Here is a look at the entire situation and how a taxpayer can respond to this kind of situation. Meaning of intimation The Income Tax Act allows the tax authorities to set off a refund that has to be paid by the tax department against some previous outstanding tax amount that the taxpayer has to be paid. However this does not mean that any adjustment can be done without the knowledge of the taxpayer. Under Section 245 this kind of adjustment can be done only after a proper notice is given to the taxpayer and they are given an opportunity of correcting any mistake that might have occurred in the raising of the demand. The intimation that is being received by the taxpayers is due to this condition wherein they are being informed that their current years refund is being adjusted against some past outstanding. First step The moment such intimation is received from the tax department the taxpayer has to first check the details of the previous outstanding tax demand against which the refund is being adjusted. This is significant because of the fact that it is not necessary that every past demand raised is correct. There have been a lot of cases wherein the demand raised have not been proper and hence the taxpayer does not have to pay this amount so this has to be taken care of. This will require some work on the part of the taxpayer because the previous demand can stretch back several years and to get the exact situation will require that the old details be looked at once again. Time period The intimation under Section 245 will also mention the time period during which the taxpayer has to respond after which if there is no reply then the adjustment would be completed. This time period is important and the earlier the reply is filed by the tax payer the better it is. In the online filing website the taxpayer will have to log in and under the e file segment they will need to go to the response to outstanding tax demand section. Here one can view the details of the demand and the reply can also be submitted here which can be under three heads. This would be that the demand is correct or it can be demand is partially correct and the third head is you disagree with the demand. There will be a way to reply to the outstanding demand but if this facility is not present then the meaning of the step is that the demand has already been finalised by the assessing officer. Since there is a specific time period that is allowed for the reply of the tax payer it is important for them to adhere to this as the facility for replying could then close which would end the matter. This is also the reason why every intimation needs to be seen immediately and then action taken in the matter.

Tax Department Issues Guidelines for E-Communication to Assessees

To ease communication with the Income-Tax department, the government has allowed tax payers to reply to notices using their registered email address.

The Income-Tax Department has issued detailed guidelines for using electronic communication, or emails, for paperless assessment proceedings.

As per the guidelines, the department will primarily issue notices or other communication through the email address provided by the assessee or the one available in the last income-tax return furnished.

In case of a company, its email address as available on the website of Ministry of Corporate Affairs or the one made available by the firm will be the primary address.

The assessee may furnish a letter to the Assessing Officer (AO) providing any other email address for the purpose of issuing email.

“Any email, in response to the notice issued by the AO, received from the primary email address of the assessee shall be considered as a valid response to the notice,” the guidelines said.

The guidelines will apply in respect of select non-corporate assessees as part of the pilot project on paperless assessment proceedings and can be extended to other assessees or proceedings as may be notified by the Board subsequently.

Commenting on the move, Vikas Vasal, Partner – Tax, KPMG said the government has clarified the procedural aspects of usage of electronic communication regarding paperless assessment proceedings.

“Gradually, the aim is to move most of the communication to the electronic format. Once done, it would save time and effort both of the tax payers and the tax department,” he said.

Also, such a move would bring in more transparency and consistency in tax positions. “A number of tax simplification measures have been announced by the government recently and few more are expected to form part of the forthcoming Union Budget,” he added.

The email address to be used by the AO for communication shall be his official designation-based email address under the domain @incometax.gov.in. “The AO shall issue all statutory notices/questionnaires including notice u/s 143(2) and notice u/s 142 (1) of the Income Tax Act 1961 from his designation email address to the assessee’s email address,” it said. www.taxxcel.com

Income Tax Department Lists Norms for Faster Tax Refunds

The CBDT has issued guidelines for expeditious tax refund of up to Rs. 5,000 in cases where the department wants to adjust the refund with a pending demand, which has been contested by the assessee.

The guidelines would help further streamline the process of refunds. Between mid-April and January, the Income Tax department has issued a record Rs. 65,000 crore worth refunds.

“Where the tax payer has contested the demand, Central Processing Centre (CPC) would issue a reminder to the Assessing Officers about the contention of the tax payer, asking them to either confirm or make appropriate changes, to the demand within 30 days,” the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said in an office memorandum.

The CBDT, further, said where the tax demand has not been contested by the assessee, the CPC would issue a reminder to the taxpayer asking to either agree or disagree with the demand and submit response on the e-filing portal within 30 days.

The office memorandum relates to cases where a notice has been served under Section 245 of the I-T Act to the assesse wherein the I-T Department wants to adjust refund due to an assessee against a demand pertaining to an earlier assessment year.

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Last month, CBDT had directed CPC-Bengaluru and field units that refunds up to Rs. 5,000, and refunds in cases where outstanding arrears are up to Rs. 5,000 may be issued without any adjustment of outstanding arrears. The move was aimed at expediting the process of issue of small refunds.

Commenting on the guidelines, KPMG in India Tax (Partner) Vikas Vasal said: “Adjustment of refunds against outstanding demands, has been a matter of concern for the tax payers for some time now. The recent instructions regarding refund process are a move in the right direction”.

The CBDT said in case where assessee had contested the tax demand, and there is no response from AO to the reminder sent by CPC, then the CPC would issue the refund without any adjustment.

“The responsibility on non-adjustment of refund against outstanding arrears would lie with the AO,” the CBDT said.

With regard to cases where there is no response from tax payer to the reminder notice from CPC, the CPC would adjust the demand along with applicable interest, against the refund due and issue the balance refund, if any, to the tax payer.

The committee formed to simplify I-T Act under Justice R V Easwar had also recommended that the tax refund process should be streamlined and the procedural issues be ironed out to avoid unnecessary litigation.

“It is expected that suitable changes are likely to be made in the forthcoming Union Budget to further smoothen the refund process,” Vasal added. www.taxxcel.com

Eight Types of Income on Which You Don’t Have to Pay Taxes

There are certain incomes that are exempt from income tax. If you get your income from these sources, your tax liability will be zero.

1) Dividend from shares and equity mutual fund: If you have invested in the shares of an Indian company, any dividend that you receive is not liable to tax under Section 10 (34) of Income Tax Act. The reason being the company has already paid tax from its own profit. Similarly, dividend income from an equity mutual fund is also exempt from tax. However, if you being an Indian resident have received dividend from a foreign company, it will be taxable. In case the dividend is taxed both in the foreign country and in India, you can claim taxation relief either as per the provisions of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (if India has such agreement with that country) or can claim relief as per Section 91, if no such agreement exists.

2) Proceeds received on maturity of life insurance policies: Any sum received under a life insurance policy (including bonus if any) is exempt from tax provided the premium paid to actual capital sum assured does not exceed the prescribed thresholds provided by Income Tax Act.

“For policies issued till March 2012, the premium shouldn’t be more than 20 per cent of the actual sum assured. For policies issued from April 1, 2012, the percentage was reduced to 10 per cent of actual sum assured,” says Ms Neha of Nangia & Co. The tax exemption is applicable for endowment policies only, she adds.

However, if the above conditions are not met, the individual will be liable to pay a tax deducted at source (TDS) at the rate of 2 per cent, if the amount received during the financial year is more than Rs. 1 lakh.
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3) Scholarship or grant received: If you have received any scholarship or grant as a student to meet your education cost, it is totally exempted from tax.

4) Interest received from government notified bonds: Interest income that you earn from certain bonds notified by government is exempt from tax. Recently, the government allowed certain public sector companies to issue such tax-free bonds to raise money for infrastructure projects. The interest that you will receive on these bonds will be tax-exempt but if you make any gains by selling these bonds on exchange before maturity, you will have to pay tax on the capital gains.

5) Agriculture income: As per Section 10 (1) of Income Tax Act, agriculture income in terms of rent or from any agriculture produce is exempt from tax. However, the agriculture income will have to be added to one’s total income for the determination of the income-tax slab of the individual, says Neha Malhotra, executive director of taxation at Nangia & Co, a tax advisory firm.

6) Share of profit from partnership firm: If you are a partner in a partnership firm, you will not have to pay any tax on your share of profits. “The share of profit is exempt for the individual partner, if received from a partnership firm which has been subjected to tax on the profits at the partnership firm level,” says Parizad Sirwalla National Head-Global Mobility Services-Tax, KPMG.

7) Interest on Non Resident External (NRE) account: “Any interest received by an individual is exempt from tax until such time the individual is a person resident outside India (PROI) as per Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA),” says (USE Mr or Ms) Parizad of KPMG.

8) Leave Travel concession (LTA): If you receive LTA as part of your salary is exempted from income tax unlike house rent allowance (HRA) against which you can claim deduction. You can claim exemption on the cost of domestic travel incurred under Section 10 (5) of Income Tax Act provided you give the proofs. You can claim LTA twice in a block of four years. www.taxxcel.com

Waiting for Income Tax refund? Here is some Good News

In a taxpayer-friendly move, the government has directed income tax officials to issue refunds in cases where outstanding arrears are up to Rs 5,000 without any adjustment.

In an initiative to reduce taxpayer grievances and enhance taxpayer satisfaction, the Central Board of Direct Taxes had issued instructions to the Central Processing Centre (CPC), Bengaluru and the field officers in December to issue refunds of amounts less than Rs 50,000 expeditiously.

“In order to further expedite the process of issue of small refunds, CBDT has also directed CPC-Bengaluru and the field units that refunds up to Rs 5,000, and refunds in cases where outstanding arrears are up to Rs 5,000 may be issued without any adjustment of outstanding arrears,” said CBDT, the apex policymaking body of the Income Tax Department.

As a result of the special drive to issue smaller refunds in December, as many as 18,28,627 refunds below Rs 50,000, involving a sum of Rs 1,793 crore, have been issued between December 1, 2015 and January 10, 2016, CBDT said.

These refunds relate to assessment years 2013-14 to 2015-16.

In another statement, CBDT said reducing litigation with the taxpayers has been a key focus area for the Income Tax Department.taxrefund

“Several initiatives have been taken by the Central Board of Direct Taxes in the last three months up to December 2015 to significantly reduce disputes and provide relief to taxpayers facing long standing litigation,” it said.

The significant steps taken by CBDT include issue of a circular revising the monetary limits for filing of appeals by the department with the objective of reducing litigation as a part of its initiatives to reduce grievances of the taxpayers.

CBDT has also directed principal chief commissioners to constitute a collegium of chief commissioners of income tax to consider withdrawal of appeals filed by the department in cases involving tax effect above certain monetary limit.

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Tax planning: Invest only after evaluating the options

The goal of tax planning is to arrange your financial affairs in a manner that it minimizes the impact of taxes. This should also play a major role in the financial planning and investment decisions to meet the long term financial needs of an individual. In a country like India where we do not have a social security, it is also important to secure the future of the family as a part of financial planning. With intent to promote savings the government provides various tax benefit schemes on different financial planning tools. It is extremely important for an individual to understand these benefits and align their long term financial needs in a manner which maximizes the tax benefits.

How to plan for tax savings.

Tax planning needs to be “planned” and have to be done with extreme care, after a detailed research and understanding of the options on offer. However, most taxpayers tend to defer this decision to March and then rush into putting their money into anything and everything with the sole objective of saving tax for the year. As a result, the returns are likely to be not commensurate to the amount invested and might not serve financial planning needs.It is therefore of utmost importance that one must do his planning in a timely manner with focus on products that can result in good returns as well as help in saving tax . Also, the product must be chosen based on their long term merits and in such a manner that multiple life goals can be fulfilled.

Tax planning opportunities-

Pension / Retirement Plans.

Most insurance companies offer pension plans which provide option to save when you are earning and thereafter receive pension/ annuity based on your future needs. One can avail benefit of up to Rs. 1.5 lakh on the premium paid towards a pension plan under Section 80CCC. On maturity, one-third of the maturity amount withdrawn is tax-free. Based on risk appetite, one can decide either for a unit-linked or a traditional plan and opt for pension after a defined time frame.

Life Insurance.

One of the most efficient tax planning tools is life insurance which provide financial security and good returns as well as offer tax saving benefits. There are a variety of products available and one can opt for them based on individual’s needs.

Under Section 80C a deduction from taxable income in respect of life insurance premium paid is available up to a maximum of Rs. 1.5 lakh annually limited to 10% of sum assured. The deduction is available for life insurance policies, on the life of individual, his/her spouse or his/her children, while the children may be major or minor or even married or unmarried.

Further, amount received from an insurance company by the nominee in the event of an unfortunate event of death of the insured individual is exempt from income tax under Section 10(10D). Also, amount received from insurance company in case of maturity, money back etc will also be exempt from tax under Section 10(10D) if the premium in respect of such policies does not exceed 10% of the sum assured in any year.

Health Insurance.

With the rising cost of medical treatment, this option is a must to cover self and family from hospitalization and medical expenses. One can also claim deduction up to Rs. 25,000/- for covering health of self, spouse and dependent children and up to Rs 25,000/- for covering health of parents (up to Rs 30,000/- in case of senior citizen) under Section 80D in respect of health insurance premium.

Other Options.

There are other investment options available to avail the benefit of income tax deduction. Some of the investment options available under the popular Section 80C of the Income Tax Act are contribution to Public Provident Fund (PPF), post office savings schemes, contribution to your Employee Provident Fund, investments in tax saving mutual funds etc. In addition, investment in house property by availing a loan has dual tax benefit. In addition to the deduction under Section 80C of Income Tax Act towards principal repayment, deduction of interest on such loan from income from house property is also available.

One can invest in combination of products so as to meet different need, namely, tax saving, family protection, housing, optimum return, retirement planning and future cash flow at appropriate time. Most banks in India currently market these products and one can approach them to get the best suited products.

As mentioned earlier, a correct and timely tax planning helps not only to save tax in the immediate future but to optimise returns and provide financial protection to your family against any unfortunate event with you in future. Therefore, instead of waiting till the last month of the year one should start discussing, researching and investing in tax-saving avenues throughout the year. Hence, plan and invest now.
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Seven ways your family can help you save taxes

Your family is always there to give you support – not just emotional, but sometimes financial as well. For instance, your family members can be of great help for saving on taxes. However, all your investments and spending for your family are not eligible for tax rebates. There are rules and some of them are pretty complex. To make things simpler, here we list 7 perfectly legal ways your family can assist you cut your tax bill.
1. Buy health insurance for the family: A medical insurance is a necessity that helps you save taxes. If you buy it only for yourself, you can save up to Rs 15,000, but if you buy it for the whole family (including your parents), you can save up to Rs 40,000.

Under Section 80D, a deduction of Rs 15,000 can be claimed for the health insurance premium and preventive healthcare check-up costs for yourself, spouse and your children. If you decide to protect your parents as well, you get an additional deduction of up to Rs 20,000, if they are senior citizens. Otherwise the regular Rs 15,000 limit is also applicable for your parents. Also, this deduction is available irrespective of whether the parents are financially dependent on the taxpayer or not. So, if your wife is an earning member as well, she can use the same strategy and reduce the taxable income of the family by buying her parents a plan as well.

2. Invest through your spouse: Exhausted your 80C limit? Gift some money to a non-earning spouse and invest that in a tax-free instrument. There is no upper limit to the amount you can give as your spouse is in the list of specified relatives whom you can gift any sum without attracting a gift tax. However, the taxman is not foolish. If you invest the gifted money, the Section 64 of the Income Tax Act, a provision for clubbing income, comes into play. Therefore, the escape route is by investing in a tax-free option such as a PPF or ELSS scheme.

Also, there is no tax on long-term gains from shares and equity mutual funds. So, if you invest in them in your spouse name and then hold for more than a year, there will be no additional tax liability. What’s more? When you re-invested these earnings from the investment, it will be considered the spouse income and you’ll have no further tax liability on that money. You can use this strategy even if your spouse is earning, but falls in a lower tax bracket.

Similarly, you can also invest in your parent’s name and the best part is the clubbing rule won’t be applicable here. Also, there is no gift tax on the money you give to your parents. So make use of their a basic tax exemption limit—Rs 2 lakh for up to 60 years, Rs 2.5 lakh for people above 60 and Rs 5 lakh if they are above 80 years of age. In case, they are exceeding the exemption limit, help them save taxes by investing in a tax-free option.

3. Loan money to spouse: Another way to avoid tax is by showing the monetary transaction as loan. So, for instance, if you buy a house in your wife’s name or transfer the second property to her, the rental income from it will not be treated as your income if she pays you a nominal interest on the loan. She can also transfer her jewellery worth the value of the property in your favour. Then also the rental income from that house would not be taxable to you.

Even your fiancee (or, fiance) can help you save taxes. “If a couple is engaged, and the one of them does not have any taxable income or pays tax at a lower rate, her fiance can transfer money to her. The income from those assets won’t be included in his income because the transaction took place before they got married,” says Sudhir Kaushik, co-founder and CFO of Taxspanner.com. One can give up to Rs 2 lakh (the tax exempt limit) without putting any tax liability on the partner.

 4. Children can help as well: You must be already claiming a deduction for the education fee of your children. You can also gift your minor child some cash. But if you plan to invest that amount, the income will be clubbed with that of the parent who earns more.

To avoid clubbing of your child’s income, you may invest in tax free instruments such as PPF, mutual fund (MF) or ULIP. Open a minor PPF account in the name of your child and it won’t be taxable. However, there is a limitation to this option—the contribution to your own PPF account and that of the child cannot exceed the overall limit of Rs 1 lakh a year.

You can buy a child plan from an insurance company or invest in an MF. The premium paid (or investment made, in case of MFs) by you for your child’s future qualifies for a deduction under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961. A private trust for your child can also be created to save tax.

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Section 80C investments should be guided by your needs

The last few months of the financial year are addressed towards ensuring that the tax benefits that are available are utilised effectively. One of the most widely used benefits covers the deduction under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act and while making use of this there is a need to take a careful look at the overall strategy that one is following. This will ensure that there is no wastage of funds and that the best use of the money is possible. There are a few parameters that can be followed for this purpose and here is a detailed look at what an individual investor needs to do in this regard.

Reach the limit.

One of the first things that people with a high income needs to do is to ensure that they are making the full use of the Section 80C limit available under the Income Tax Act. This is Rs 1.5 lakh per annum and if there is no full use of the limit then it would mean that some amounts that could have been taken have been allowed to lapse. This can result in a rise in the tax liability as the reduction of the amount from the taxable income is less. The overall limit that is being utilised by the existing investments should be checked and there should be a plan to ensure that the figure that is required is achieved during the year. Some of the options that are suitable for last minute investing include those like PPF, NSC and for senior citizens the Senior Citizens Savings Scheme.

Do not make excess investments.

There are times when the individual will realise that they have already crossed the limit of Rs 1.5 lakh that has been allowed and their eligible investments are already above this figure. This is a tricky situation because it could mean that there are some additional investments that are not required but are still being made and hence an effort needs to be undertaken to try and cut down the investments. This is difficult because in some cases it might not be possible to do so with an example being the payment of an insurance premium where if this is curtailed then the benefits on the policy can be terminated. This is the reason why any investment should be checked for its future impact before it is actually made rather than during this exercise after the process has been completed. An overall review of the excess investments will show whether there can be some investments that can be cut down and the money directed elsewhere.

Actual need.

For some people there might not be the need to make the full use of the Section 80 C deduction because they might not have the necessary income that can be reduced by the investments. Take for example someone who has a total income of just Rs 3.5 lakh. In this case since there is no higher inflow that is present the individual need not invest more than Rs 1 lakh in order to bring down their tax liability to zero. The basic exemption limit is Rs 2.5 lakh for those below 60 years and hence this plus the Rs 1 lakh deduction will reduce the taxable income to Nil. This means that there would be a reduced pressure on the finances of the individual in trying to make the highest use of the available limits because there might not be the need for such an effort. This can help in the overall financial planning process because it will free up the amounts that can be used effectively for some other investment that can actually yield better benefits in terms of the achievement of other goals. Or it could be that the investment can yield higher returns than what would have come had the amount just been directed towards tax saving debt investments.

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