5 Mistakes to Avoid While Saving Tax !!

Its March knocking on the door and the same mad rush is seen everywhere. For what ?? To save tax of course.

Be it businessman or salaried or professionals, there is still a huge chunk who are yet to make their tax saving investments and while doing so at the last moment, are likely to make a lot of mistakes. What could be those mistakes and why should one avoid them, lets have a look:

1.       Making long term commitments without considering all factors

Last year, Mr. Sunil had made a contribution of Rs. 36,000 towards PF deducted by his employer. So he bought a 15 year policy with an annual premium of Rs. 64,000 so that his Rs. 1 Lakh limit is achieved. However, this year, due to increase in his salary, his PF contribution has increased to Rs. 48,000 p.a. But still he has to pay Rs. 64,000 premium towards his policy. So, in effect, he is paying Rs. 1,12,000 this year towards 80C, however, he would be entitled for deduction of only Rs. 1 Lakh. This problem could continue further, as his salary is expected to increase every year and so would his PF contribution.

Similar story has occurred with Mr. Pramod. He had availed a home loan and was paying an EMI of Rs. 25,000 p.m. As per the repayment schedule, out of the total Rs. 3 Lakhs paid, only Rs. 71,000 was the principle and balance was interest. Thus, he purchased a ULIP with an annual premium of Rs. 29,000 and 5 years payment commitment. As we know, that every year, the principle component increases and interest component decreases, next year, he will have the principle component increased to Rs. 96,000 and will still have to pay Rs. 29,000 towards the ULIP premium.

If they had invested the balance amount of Rs. 64,000 and Rs. 29,000 in an avenue which does not compulsorily requires annual investment (Example ELSS, PPF, NSC etc) then this problem would not arise.

So its better to be careful while choosing long term commitment amount. You might be required to pay them for long, but wont be able to avail tax benefit on the same.

2.       Thinking that all life insurance policies qualify for tax deduction.

It is a general myth (mostly propagated by insurance agents) that a life insurance policy is the best thing for saving tax. Before agreeing or disagreeing to the same, I would like to draw your attention to something more important.

Not all life insurance policies would qualify for tax benefit u/s 80C. If you want to avail this benefit, you will have to ensure that the life risk cover is at least 5 times the premium paid by you. (This is as per the current tax laws. It could increase to 10-20 times the premium in DTC). Thus, if you think of following the first point and your agent starts pushing you for a single premium plan, first check if the plan is giving you a life risk cover of 5 times the premium or not. In most cases, single premium plans do not have this feature and would, therefore, not qualify u/s 80C.

There is another breed of products (of course insurance-cum-investment plan), which requires annual payments, gives 5 times life risk cover in the first year, but the cover drops to 1.25 times the premium paid from the second year. You need to be cautious while buying these plans, because, they will give you tax benefit in the current year. But the next year premium will not be eligible for tax deduction, but you still will have to pay the premium.

3.       Not considering the other items that qualify for tax deduction

Before arriving at the amount you need to invest for tax saving, make sure you have accounted for few other less-known items which qualify u/s 80C. One of the most important amongst them is the tuition fees paid towards your children’s education. Also, if you are salaried, don’t forget to deduct the HRA, Conveyance Allowance (within the prescribed limits) before you arrive at your amount required to be invested to save tax. Seeking professional help for the same could be of great help.

4.       Investing Blindly for just Tax saving

This tax saving season, many fly-by-night organisations (claiming themselves as NGOs) call and request you to donate them to save tax u/s 80G. While it is always good to do charity, it is also important that it is done for the right purpose and it is being used for the right purpose.

Remember that out of the amount donated to such NGOs, only 50% would qualify for tax saving. Just to give an example, if you still have a taxable income of Rs. 10,000 on which you want to save tax. Suppose You are in a 20% tax slab. If you donate this amount to the NGO, Rs. 5000 will qualify for tax saving. So in effect, you will pay tax on the balance Rs. 5,000 i.e. Rs. 1000. Which means your tax saving is Rs. 1000 and total money going from your pocket is Rs. 11,000 (Rs.10000 Donation + Rs. 1000 tax)

As against this, if you do not donate, you just require to pay Rs. 2000 as tax. There is no tax saving, but the total money going from your pocket is only Rs. 2000. We are nowhere suggesting that you should not donate. But while donating,

A] Don’t do it just to save tax.

B] Check the credibility of the organisation if they are putting your money to the right purpose.

5.       Not Being realistic with your expectations.

You have several options like PPF, LIP, NSC, ELSS, Bank FD etc for saving tax u/s 80C. Having said that, each of them have some merits and demerits over others. While choosing the investment product, take your overall financial planning into account and then make the investment. I have seen some people having expectations like, “Advise me a product for tax saving which will give me guaranteed tax-free returns of 15%. Also, there should be no lock-in for this product.”

Alas !!! If there existed such product, then maybe no other products were needed at all. But as on date such product does not exist, which will satisfy all these conditions. Some product will fulfil the ‘guaranteed’ part of it, and some other will fulfil the tax-free 15% part of it. So unless you are reasonable with your expectations, you will not find the right product for tax saving.

We look forward to your feedback and comments on the above article. Please feel free to contact us on saurabh@nidhiinvestments.com if you have any questions.

(The views mentioned in the article are personal opinion of the author. The characters used in the article are hypothetical).

 

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Published by professorbajaj

Prof. Saurabh Bajaj is an Author, Mentor, Motivational Speaker and Wealth Planner. He has done his MBA from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) Mumbai, one of the top 10 management institutes in India. He holds the prestigious FRM (Financial Risk Manager) degree awarded by Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP), USA. Till date, there are less than 15,000 professionals in the world, who have been honored with this degree. He has also been awarded CFGP (Chartered Financial Goal Planner) Certification by AAFM (American Academy of Financial Management). After his MBA, he joined J P Morgan, the second largest Investment Bank in the world. He has worked with J P Morgan as Risk Analyst for more than two years. Prof. Bajaj also holds an Advisory certification awarded by AMFI (Association of Mutual Funds of India). During his stint at Bombay Stock Exchange, he has handled Investment Management and Treasury operations of the BSE Corpus. He has set up an entrepreneurship venture in the field of Wealth Planning and Investment Consulting under the name “Nidhi Investments” and holds the profile of CEO. Prof. Bajaj sits on the Expert Panel of CAClubindia.com and MBAClubindia.com as Investment Expert. He is actively involved in investor education through his blog www.professorbajaj.com which has a readership from 78 Countries all over the world. His articles are also regularly published in caclubindia.com , mbaclubindia.com , totalca.com , charteredclub.com, bankbazaar.com and lawyersclubindia.com . He has been awarded the title of “Best Article Writer” from caclubIndia.com in Jan 2012 and has been selected amongst “Top 5 Technical Writers” from all over India in Feb 2013. He has been invited by various TV Channels like SPIN TV, CNBC TV18, UTV Bloomberg Etc for programs like "Expert Advice" , "What Markets Want ", "Budget Analysis" etc. He has been invited by Several organisations like Lions Club, Rotary Club, Agrawal Welfare Foundation, Rajasthan Mandal, Agroha Vikas Trust, Union MF, UTI MF, Arthamitra Gurukulam, Vidyalankar Institute of Technology etc for expert lecture on "Smart Investing", "Life is A Celebration", "Financial Freedom", "The Digital IFA" etc. He was ranked 8th Merit at All India level NMAT which got him selected for MBA programme at NMIMS, Mumbai. He did his MBA with Capital Markets as his specialisation. Soft Skills has become an inevitable part of every selection process and teaching learning process these days. The students from small towns and tier II cities, in spite of being talented and well equipped with technical skills, are seen struggling in the selection process. This is because of their lack of exposure to these soft skills. Mr. Bajaj has a zeal for training candidates to develop these skills and has been imparting the same on since last two years. This zeal and passion inspired him to set up his own firm called “Knowledge Circle” which aims to train candidates for soft skills. Till date, he has trained more than 5000 participants from over 220 organizations across various fields of soft skills. He has been associated with MSBTE (Maharashtra State Board of Technical Education) to conduct Soft skills training workshop for the faculties of Polytechnic Colleges in Entire Maharashtra (Mumbai Region, Pune Region, Aurangabad Region and Nagpur Region) since last 8 years. He has also been associated with ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India) for training CA Students on various topics related to Communications skills, Group Discussions etc. He was invited by Fr. Agnel Polytechnic College, Vashi for a motivational workshop for faculties. He was also invited by Vivekanad Polytechnic College for "Communication Skills and Email Etiquette" training for non-teaching staff. Apart from these, he has conducted “Capacity Building Soft Skills workshop for Faculties” at ITI Gunj, ITI Pusad, ITI Digras and ITI Umarkhed. This was the first ever soft skills workshop for faculties in the history of ITI’s in Vidarbha. He was also invited by Shivaji Education Society to conduct similar Soft skills workshops for the faculties and office staff of Shivaji Junior College Pusad, Shivaji High School Pusad, Shivaji Vidyalaya Belora and Shivaji Vidyalaya Bhojla. He has conducted training workshop on “Effective Presentation Skills” for the relationship managers of HDFC Mutual Fund, Andheri Branch, Mumbai. He has also been invited at College of Management and Computer Science, Yavatmal, College of Dairy Technology, Warud, B N College of Engineering, Pusad, B D College of Engineering, Wardha, College of Engineering and Technology, Akola, Dr.N.P.Hirani Institute of Polytechnic, Pusad etc. for the Guest lecture on “Developing Interview Skills”.

13 thoughts on “5 Mistakes to Avoid While Saving Tax !!

  1. Aw, this was a really nice post. In idea I would like to put in writing like this additionally – taking time and actual effort to make a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and by no means seem to get something done.

    1. Thanks for your comments.

      Planning and implementing are both equally important. Hope this article helps you to achieve both.

      Thanks again for your visit and feedback. Looking forward to more in future.

  2. March knocked and went and started a new financial year.This is a good time to start your tax savings instead of waiting first March to knock. That way you get more time to study for better avenue to invest and may catch good opportunites comming along in whole year.

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