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Tax saving guide for FY 2018-19

Bookmark this page as we will be updating it with stories regularly to help you through the tax-saving season this year.

ET Online|
Updated: Mar 29, 2019, 12.27 PM IST
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Buying health insurance for your family can help you save tax under section 80D.
Right from January to March end, many of us are busy doing one common thing -- figuring out the best way to save on tax. In our hurry to complete the tax-saving exercise before the end of the financial year, we end up making mistakes (many times rather expensive ones). These include investing in products without weighing the pros and cons properly, and not making full use of the various deductions and exemptions.

However, don't worry, here is a handy guide that can lead you on the right track this tax-saving season. You will find here stories to help manage your taxes efficiently, these include making proper use of the various sections of the income-tax Act, stories on financial products and expenditures that can help you save the most tax, and how to go about using your office reimbursements.

So, bookmark this page as we will be updating it with stories regularly.

Have you done your tax-saving right?
While completing your tax-saving exercise you have to make sure that you have done it properly, especially if you are doing it at the last minute. To help you, here are five questions you should answer to check if you are on the right track. If you are not, remember that you still have a couple of months left to take corrective measures.

These new tax laws allow you to save more tax
Budget 2018 introduced certain changes in tax laws that allow you to save more tax than you could in previous years. Here's a look at these new rules and how much tax you would be able to save this financial year due to them.

Best tax saving options for FY 2018-19
ET Wealth has assessed 10 tax-saving instruments on eight key parameters—returns, safety, flexibility, liquidity, costs, transparency, ease of investment and taxability of income. Each parameter is given equal weightage and the composite scores of the various tax-saving options determine their place in the ranking.

Understanding how section 80C works
Here is all you need to know how section 80C of the Income Tax Act works.

How to save income tax under section 80C
The most widely used option to save income tax is section 80C of the Income Tax Act. As per this section, if an individual or Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs) invests in or spends on specified avenues then up to Rs 1.5 lakh, as per the current laws, of this investment/expenditure can be claimed as a deduction from gross total income before calculating tax payable on it in a financial year. The deduction can be claimed only from income in the financial year in which the specified investment/expenditure is made.

Tax saving options other than section 80C
The most popular deduction that comes to mind when you think about tax-saving investments is section 80C. There are other deductions as well which may be available to you, but you might miss out on them due to lack of awareness. Here's a list of deductions that you can claim under different sections of Income Tax Act. Make the most of it and reduce your taxable income as much as possible.

Submitting fake bills to lower your tax liability? Tax department has ways to catch you
Those who do not have bills/receipts of sufficient value to claim the full amount they are entitled to (as per their company policy) as exempt from tax may be tempted to claim the reimbursements by submitting fake bills/rent receipts to their companies. But this is not a good idea. This is because if fake bills are submitted for reimbursement then you are yourself liable even if the employer accepts the bills and reimburses you for them.

Tax-saving for young earners simplified
If you are a young earner who wants to save on tax without locking away your money in a long-term investment and don't want to put a dent in your wallet, here are a few tax-saving investments and tax breaks you can use.

How to save tax on House Rent Allowance
For most employees House Rent Allowance (HRA) is a part of their salary structure. Although it is a part of your salary, HRA, unlike basic salary, is not fully taxable. Subject to certain conditions, a part of HRA is exempted under Section 10 (13A) of the Income-tax Act, 1961. The amount of HRA exemption is deductible from the total income before arriving at a taxable income. This helps an employee to save tax.

Don't forget to claim your LTA tax exemption this year: Here is how
Employees who are eligible for Leave Travel Allowance (LTA), as part of their cost-to-company (CTC), can claim reimbursement of expenses incurred on travel. Subject to certain limits and conditions, this reimbursement is not included in one's taxable income.

Medical expenses that can be claimed as tax break under section 80DDB
This section of the Income Tax Act allows you to claim a tax-break if the expenditure is done on the certain specified diseases. This expenditure can be claimed by the individual for the expenditure on himself/herself or for the dependant as mentioned in the Act. The amount of deduction that can be claimed as deduction depends on the age of the person. Read more about how much tax you can save for these medical expenses.

Benefits of investing in tax saving fixed deposits
If you have not made any tax-saving investments yet and are looking for a safe and easy bet for saving tax, then a tax-saving fixed deposit could be an option. In this tax saving instrument, one can invest to save tax under section 80C of the Income Tax Act. This can be done easily by visiting a bank, filling the form and giving a cheque.

Does Budget 2019 make 2nd house mandatorily 'self-occupied'? Experts differ
One of the measures announced in the Interim Budget 2019 was to exempt levy of tax on notional or deemed rent from a second house. This means that a second house A visit to a medical lab or diagnostic centre can help you save tax; here's how property will be treated as 'Self-occupied property', if not let-out. As per current laws, a second house lying vacant (not let out) or used by family members is considered as deemed to be rented out and tax has to be paid on notional rent earned. However, there is no clarity among experts on the applicability of this proposal and its tax implications.

Want a safe option to save tax and fund your retirement? Invest in PPF
There are two reasons why people invest in PPF: the tax-free yearly interest it offers and the annual compounding. Since the PPF has a long tenure of 15 years, the impact of compounding is massive. Also, because the interest earned is backed by sovereign guarantee, it makes it a safe investment. Therefore, linking one's investment in PPF to a long term goal such as retirement helps. C

How a visit to a diagnostic centre can help you save tax
Jumping on board the 'milk the tax saving season' bandwagon are medical diagnostic laboratories. Many renowned diagnostic centres have been sending SMSs and printing ads in newspapers telling people how they can save tax by undergoing a preventive health check-up from their centres. 'Save tax and your health' is the message these medical labs are spreading.

4 ways medical expenses can help you save tax
It is a known fact that buying health insurance for your family can help you save tax under section 80D. However, if you can't afford to pay for health insurance premium or are unable to buy one due to pre-existing conditions, then you can save tax via medical expenditures. Here is everything you need to know about this process.

6 fixed income investments to help you save tax under section 80C
Fixed income instruments are typically meant for risk-averse investors who want safety of capital and assured returns. Along with these aspects, schemes like the Public Provident Fund, National Savings Certificate and Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana etc. also provide tax-saving benefits under section 80C of Income Tax Act. These investments should form a part of every investor's portfolio to maintain stability, believe tax experts.

This LIC scheme won't give you tax saving benefit
When it comes to making tax-saving investments, senior citizens should not only focus on tax planning but also funding their retirement through the investment. While doing so, they should know that not all pension schemes give them tax benefit. Here is one such scheme and all that you need to know about it.

Also Read

Have I chosen the right tax-saving mutual fund schemes?

Tax saving options under section 80C: Features explained

Best tax saving investment for my retired mother

Best tax saving investment for my retired mother

Earnings upgrades can touch 25% if cos retain tax savings: John Praveen, QMA

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