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Income tax exemption: 4 financial instruments you can still invest into before March 31
March, 29th 2024

With the investment deadline to claim income tax exemption set to expire on March 31, taxpayers are scurrying to invest in the tax-saving instruments before the financial year draws to a close. 


With financial markets closed until the start of the next financial year (2024-25), it is not possible to claim tax exemption via investment in equity instruments, one can – however – still invest in non-equity instruments such as tax-saving fixed deposits, insurance and PPF.

Additionally, banks are open on March 31, so one can invest in these instruments in order to claim tax exemption.

These are the investment options one can explore:

1. Tax saving FDs: These fixed deposit (FD) schemes have a five-year tenure and the interest earned on these schemes is taxable. 

 However, the investment made in these deposits is eligible for income tax exemption under section 80C. One can open a tax saving FD via net banking and claim income tax exemption.

2. National Pension System (NPS): Just as a tax-saving FD, one can invest in an NPS account and use the investment to claim exemption under section 80C. However, it is recommended to invest in the scheme on the last day when you already hold a Tier-1 account and a PRAN (Permanent Retirement Account Number). 

3. Public Provident Fund: PPF is another investment avenue which can be done promptly. “If you invest in PPF, the acknowledgement is received instantaneously. So, this does not require a number of days. You can do it on any day since the entire thing is online-enabled," says Ravi Saraogi, co-founder of Samasthiti Advisors. 

4. Insurance: You can also pay a premium for your current insurance policy on March 31 in order to claim tax exemption for the current financial year. 

Notably, income tax exemption can be claimed for a maximum amount of 1.5 lakh under section 80C of Income Tax Act in a financial year. And the tax exemption is permitted only for the taxpayers who have opted for the old tax regime, and not the new tax regime.

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