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5 best ways to save tax at the last minute
March, 23rd 2015

Equity-linked savings scheme ( ELSS) funds do not require recurring payments. You do not have to pay in subsequent years if you realise that the fund does not suit your needs. Moreover, you can easily invest online if you are KYC-compliant.

All you need to do is visit websites that track mutual funds. Identify the fund with the help of ratings given and log on to the selected fund house's portal to invest.

You will have to register on the site by providing the information asked for and click on the 'invest online' link. Next, select the scheme identified, choose its direct plan version and pay. The acknowledgement will serve as proof of investment.

Tax benefit: Exemptions up to Rs 1.5 lakh under Section 80C

Term insurance offers a large cover at a minuscule cost. Online term plans are also cheaper than physical term products. The buying process is simple and requires an hour. As the online process does away with the need for an agent, no part of your premium is directed towards commissions.

Check the insurer's claim settlement record. To buy, visit the selected life insurer's portal and furnish personal information, nominee details, income level and so on. The process is completed with payment of premium, unless you have to undergo medical tests. The premium receipt will suffice to claim tax deductions.

Tax benefit: Exemptions up to Rs 1.5 lakh under Section 80C

Taxability on maturity: Exempt

Several companies and aggregators facilitate purchase of health insurance policies online. Cases which do not require pre-policy medical check-up can be bought online in an hour. Typically, insuranceseekers under 45 without any adverse health history do not need to go through medical tests.

However, it's best to buy a health cover now to ensure that the entire process is completed before March 31 as those over 45 will have to wait till the policy is issued post-medical tests.

Tax benefit: Deductions up to Rs 15,000 under Section 80D (Rs 20,000 for senior citizens)

Invest in a tax-saver deposits

A popular instrument, it is simple to invest in one if you are registered for Internet banking. All you have to do is open a five-year tax-saver fixed deposit by transferring funds from your savings account. The FD receipt mailed to your account will serve as proof for claiming tax benefits.

However, not all banks allow customers to open a tax-saver FD online, even though the facility is enabled for regular FDs.

Taxability on maturity: Interest earned is taxable

PPF is best-suited for those with a low risk appetite. You can open a PPF account with online facilities through some banks, but you will have to submit your application form and KYC proof in person at a branch. Subsequently, you can transfer funds online through your linked savings bank account.

From the next financial year, NPS will offer an additional tax break of up to Rs 50,000. Opening of the account still entails cumbersome paperwork and visits to points of presence authorised by the Pension Funds Regulatory and Development Authority.

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