At a time when the country is going through an economic transition - with several rules and regulations coming into place - more taxpayers are seeking investment opportunities to optimise returns. Investment options are now becoming even more popular, in the wake of stagnant income tax rates. If you have not filed your returns for the year yet, here are some investment options that would help you mop up better returns:
1) ELSS or Equity Linked Savings Scheme: One such investment option that has gained traction in recent times is ELSS. It is similar to a mutual fund. however, there is an exception: the amount you invest in this ELSS instrument would be allowed a deduction from your total income. Also, the returns you make through this instrument will vary in accordance with the market.
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2) PPF or Public Provident Fund Scheme: With a lock-in period of 15 years, this investment option does not allow you to withdraw investments for a considerable period, but is a very popular investment scheme when it comes to saving taxes on returns. It may be noted that some amount can, however, be withdrawn over a period of five years from the date of investment. It is attractive because of the rate of interest at 7.60%, one of the highest in the market. Individuals should note that the deposits can be made in lump-sum or in 12 installments, but a joint account cannot be opened. The deposits qualify for deduction from income under Sec. 80C of IT Act and the Interest is completely tax-free.
3) 5-year NSC or National Savings Certificate: Roughly like government bonds, this investment option comes with a 5-year duration and an interest rate of 7.3 percent. It may be noted that the scheme is specially designed for government employees, businessmen, and other salaried classes who are Income Tax assesses. There is no maximum limit for making an investment, and there is no tax deduction at the source. These certificates can be kept as collateral security to get a loan from banks. On its maturity, it will fetch you an amount of pension based on the investment. Also, the deposits qualify for tax rebate under Sec. 80C of IT Act.
4) Post Office Savings Account: While it is not so popular anymore, given the fact that it offers a low interest rate of 4 percent, which is like any regular savings account. However, within the scheme, there is the Monthly Income Scheme (MIC), where you can put in a certain amount every month at an interest rate of 7.30 percent.
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5) Senior Citizens Savings Scheme: This scheme is only limited to senior citizens above 60 years of age. It has a lock-in period of five years with an attractive interest rate of 8.4%, which is subject to quarterly revisions by the government.
6) Sukanya Samriddhi Accounts: This is another government scheme for empowering girl children, which matures as soon as the girl turns 10. It offers an attractive interest rate of 8.10 percent.
All the aforementioned schemes come in real handy while filing returns at the end of the year, as it will help you save a significant amount of money. It may be noted that all these investments are applicable for deduction under Sec. 80C of the IT Act. Hope these investment options will help you get better returns in future.