Small Savings Schemes: Now only investment in EPF up to 2.5 lakh in a financial year is tax free. Tax on EPF Interest will be levied on the interest earned on the additional amount. Meaning if you have deposited 3 lakh rupees annually, then the interest earned on 50 thousand will be taxed at the rate of your income tax slab. In such a situation, other options should be chosen to look for tax exemption option. There are some schemes in which you can save tax and earn good interest by investing money.
1. Public Provident Fund (PPF)
- Public Provident Fund account can be opened with a nominal amount of Rs 500 only. It is necessary to deposit Rs 500 every year in one go.
- Maximum 1.5 lakh rupees can be deposited in the account every year. The scheme is for 15 years. After 15 years, it can be extended for 5-5 years.
- Cannot be closed before 15 years, but after 3 years loan can be taken against this account.
- If anyone wants, one can withdraw money from the PPF account from the 7th year under the rules.
- Interest rates are reviewed every three months. At present, 7.1% interest is being given on PPF.
- The scheme can be opened anywhere in the bank or post office. Transfer facility is also available in any bank or post office branch.
2. Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP)
- In the Kisan Vikas Patra scheme of the post office, 6.9% interest is being given.
- There is no maximum limit for investment in KVP. Minimum investment should be Rs 1000.
- The age of the investor must be at least 18 years. Apart from the single account, there is also the facility of joint account.
- Minors can also open an account in the scheme. However, the care of the account will be in the hands of the parents till the age of majority.
- The lock-in period of two and a half years has been kept in the scheme. If you want to withdraw your annual investment, then you have to wait for at least 2.5 years.
3. National Saving Certificate (NSC)
- To open an NSC account, you have to invest a minimum of 1000 rupees.
- Investment in Post Office National Saving Certificate is getting 6.8% annual interest.
- Interest is calculated on an annual basis, but the amount of interest is paid only after the completion of the investment period.
- Account can be opened in the name of a minor and joint account can also be opened in the name of 3 adults.
- Account can be opened in the name of minor above 10 years of age under the supervision of parents.
4. Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS)
- 42 mutual fund companies run tax saving schemes in the country. Every company has ELSS to save income tax.
- ELSS can be bought online or through an agent sitting at home.
- If you want to invest one time to save income tax, then you can deposit a minimum of 5 thousand rupees.
- If you want to invest every month, then investment of minimum 500 rupees per month can be started.
- Maximum tax exemption of Rs 1.5 lakh can be taken, but there is no maximum investment limit.
- Investments in income tax saving schemes are locked-in for 3 years. After this the investor can withdraw this money if he wants.
- Full or partial withdrawal can be done after 3 years. Leave the remaining amount in the ELSS for as long as you want.
- Market link return is given instead of interest rate on investment.