Tax Saving

Multiple options. Contradictory advice. And a deadline that's approaching fast. Many taxpayers find themselves in this situation at the beginning of the year when they have to make tax-saving investments. Below are the most common investments under Section 80C rated on five basic parameters: returns, safety, flexibility, liquidity and taxability. The rating separates the chaff from the grain. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned investor, it will help you cut through the clutter and choose the investment option that best suits your financial situation.

Public Provident Fund (PPF)

PPF offers investors a lot of flexibility. You can open an account in a post office branch or a bank. There's flexibility even in the quantum and

ULIPs and NPS

Ulip allows you to switch from debt to equity, or vice versa, without incurring any capital gains tax. Low-cost structure, flexibility and other investor- friendly features make the NPS an ideal investment vehicle for retirement planning.

NSCs AND BANK FDs

A secure investment but the interest accumulated under both are taxable.

Life insurance policies

Though insurance policies more customer friendly by ensuring a higher surrender value and larger life covers, they are still the worst way to save tax. The tax saving is only meant to reduce the cost of insurance. It is not the core objective of the policy.