Life Insurance and Tax savings
As far as life insurance is concerned, endowment plans (money back plans) have been a popular source of investing.There are various long term life insurance policies which give you good returns, tax savings under 80C and an insurance cover as well.
ULIP's have taken a center stage now since they offer insurance as well as market related returns in a single product. However, investors should understand the underlying structure of ULIP carefully since these offerings have a substantial charge towards expense in the initial years and is advisable only for investors with a large investing horizon. Avoid ULIPs if you do not like to risk money. Also invest in ULIPs with a long term horizon of a minimum of 10 years.
Another avenue within insurance domain is Pension plans. Pension plans have got a boost in last finance bill with the overall limit raised from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 100,000. Senior Citizen Saving Scheme 2004 and Post Office Time Deposit Account have also been included in Section 80 C.
However some people may be biased towards other investing options as compared to Life Insurance products since they may prefer insurance and investments separately.
Infrastructure development Bonds
With a return in the range of 5-6% this is the last avenue a tax saver would resort to. The dismal returns provided by these bonds have resulted in the investors shying away from these bonds. The return is hardly good enough to fight inflation, leave alone wealth creation.
So investing in any of the above avenues would help you reduce your taxable income by a maximum of Rs 1 lakh, irrespective of how much you earn and under which tax bracket you fall.