We have entered March 2021 and soon we will be celebrating our 1 year lockdown anniversary. It Maybe not so much of a celebration but still, we have survived 1 year of COVID with some gains and some losses, and lots of learnings. Another reason to look forward to March 2021, is the last month to make all your tax-saving investments!

Choosing tax regime without comparing liability The finance ministry in the previous financial year 2020 had introduced a new tax regime that gives individual taxpayers the option to pay income tax at a concessional rate.
Read more about old regime vs new regime

Notably, if you opt for the new tax regime with lower tax rates, you will have to forego the deductions and exemptions including the standard deduction, deduction under Section 80C, interest paid on housing loan, etc. This can be helpful if you do not want to lock-in your funds for a longer period in tax-saving instruments such as Tax Saving Bank FD, Provident Fund, etc.

Comparing liability under the existing and the new tax regime while helping you to decide on the most suitable option depending on your income and expenses and customize your investment preferences accordingly.

1. Failing to ascertain actual taxable income 

When computing the taxable income, it is important to take into account all sources of income. Besides the income from salary, you may have income from a business, rental income from property, interest from bank/post office deposits, capital gains from assets, or any other source.

Determining the taxable income is an important step in streamlining your tax planning exercise which will help you to correctly estimate the amount of tax-saving investment to be made for reducing your tax liability.

2. Taking the wrong approach to insurance

The primary purpose of a life insurance policy is to provide financial protection to dependents in case of the untimely demise of the insured person. Simply opting for a policy because it offers a tax deduction under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961 is an imprudent approach.

There is a possibility that you may end up investing in investment cum insurance policies such as endowment policies, money back plans, or ULIPs that provide tax-saving components along with life cover in a bid to meet tax-saving requirements. However, you must know that these products will neither provide adequate cover nor generate optimal returns. A simple-term plan is enough to take care of your life insurance requirement at a very reasonable premium. Read this article to compute how much cover should you have

3. Not aligning your Investments as per your goals and investment objective

Ensure that you are not investing in 80C investment options only for tax savings purposes. Check how it fits into your debt - equity allocation which is determined based on your risk profile. Further, these investments should be made to achieve your goals not just for the purpose of tax savings. Align them to your requirements. Do not just invest in 80C investment options, if you have already exhausted this limit, you can explore options beyond Section 80C. Besides, certain payments that are eligible for deductions such as payment of house rent, expenses towards children's school tuition fee, interest payment on the home loan.

Read these articles to  know more about your tax planning before March 2021
1. How to save taxes before you invest your money.  
2. Ways to save taxes under various sections of the Income-tax Act.
3. Mutual Fund taxation
4. How to save taxes on health insurance

Disclaimer: - The articles are for information purposes only. Information presented is general information that does not take into account your individual circumstances, financial situation, or needs, nor does it present a personalized recommendation to you. You must consult a financial advisor who understands your specific circumstances and situation before taking an investment decision.