As we heading towards the end of financial year 2012-2013, there is no room for procrastination now. If you do not plan your taxes

Punch cartoon (1907); illustrates the unpopula...

now, you will end up paying a hefty sum.

As a late planner, you will not get the maximum benefits from tax-savings instruments due to the notional loss in investment, but you can minimize the damage. For most of the people “Tax-Saving” brings to mind life insurance, Equity-linked saving scheme, NSC etc. under section 80-C of the Income-Tax Act. An individual can claim tax deductions of upto Rs. 2 lakh under 80C.

There are quite a few options you can opt for tax savings:-

  1. Life Insurance Premiums.
  2. Contributions to Employees Provident Fund.
  3. Public Provident Fund.
  4. NSC (National Savings Certificates).
  5. Unit Linked Insurance Plan (ULIP).
  6. Repayment of Housing Loan (Principal).
  7. Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS) of Mutual Funds.
  8. Tuition Fees including admission fees or college fees paid for full-time education of any two children of the tax payer.
  9. Education Loan.
  10. Donation to any registered charitable organisation.
  11. Any short-term capital loss.
  12. A Physical disability.
  13. If you have any ill dependent to look after.
  14. Infrastructure Bonds issued by Institutions/ Banks such as IDBI, ICICI, REC.
  15. 5-Year fixed deposits with banks and Post Office Savings Schemes.
  16. Senior Citizens Savings Scheme (SCSS).
  17. Investing in National Pension System.
  18. House Rent payment.

Small piece of advice:- These are the widely used investment plans now a days. If you are a risk taker then go for 100% MF, if you are a moderate risk taker then go for 60% MF, 20% PPF and 20% FD and if you do not want any risk then go for 100% PPF, FD and/or NSC.