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Top Income tax picks
March, 30th 2009

March 31, is the last date for filing income tax returns for the assessment year 2008-09.

Most of you must have already filed your returns, while some may be busy doing some last-minute number crunching.

But if you are like 25-year-old Satish, who joined a media firm a year back, words such as taxes, investments and returns may seem alien to you.

Satish is excited about his new-found financial freedom his company pays him well. He is busy with his deadlines on weekdays and the weekends just zip by at parties, malls or multiplex.

Who has the time for boring taxes!

But taxes and investments are a reality in a professionals life. Theres no running away from them.

To make your job easy we list here the top five investment options so that you save money and save on taxes.

Under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961, individuals can get a maximum deduction of Rs 1 lakh from their gross income if they invest a similar amount in tax-saving schemes.

Innumerable investment options are available to tax payers, who can pick particular investments or a combination of certain schemes to claim their tax rebates.

Tax payers are free to decide in what ratio they want to invest in the available instruments.

They can invest the whole Rs 1 lakh in a particular scheme or divide the money in two or more schemes.

However, they can invest a maximum of Rs 70,000 in Public Provident Fund.

Here are the top five:

Payment of premium on a life insurance policy bought to insure the life of the assessee and other members in the family

Contribution to Provident Fund and Public Provident Fund

Fixed deposits of a minimum five-year tenure with a scheduled bank or a term deposit for five years with a post office

Equity-linked savings schemes having a lock-in period of three years

Investment in Senior Citizens Savings Scheme

The best combination for most tax payers would be investment in life insurance policies and equity-linked savings schemes.

A Hindu Undivided Family can also go for this combination.

For a Hindu Undivided Family, the life insurance premium can be paid for any member of the family.

Thus, different insurance policies can be taken for different members of the family. However, a Hindu Undivided Family is not permitted to open a Public Provident Fund account.

The Senior Citizens Savings Scheme enjoys an interest rate of 9 per cent per annum and is very attractive for senior citizens.

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