Sounds Like A Plan

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Sounds Like A Plan
Nidhi Sinha Editor­, Outlook Money
Nidhi Sinha - 06 February 2024

As expected, the Interim Budget made no changes to the tax rates or slabs, but even if there was any announcement in this regard, it would have made no difference to how you plan your taxes for the current financial year, FY2023-24.

Many of you, dear readers, would have already done this exercise. But for those who are still confused about how to choose between the two tax regimes, especially after the introduction of standard deduction in both the new and old last year, and the new one becoming the default regime, we have a guide. For those who have decided to stay with the old regime, we have a plan too.

We have listed the most efficient tax-saving investments among the many available under the Section 80C stable, but remember that there is no “best tax-saving investment” per se. The one that suits your individual needs and circumstances would be the best for you.

For instance, the equity-linked savings scheme (ELSS) may work best for young people who have the risk capacity to invest in equities, but it may be unsuitable for those in their 70s, who may prefer to invest primarily in debt.

For a large cohort of the middle-income, middle-age population, the Section 80C deduction limit of Rs 1.50 lakh may get exhausted by their Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) contributions and home loan principal payment, put together. Their plan needs to be completely independent of saving tax.

With only two months to go till the deadline to submit your investments proofs for FY24, time is short, and the decisions need to be made now. We hope our cover story will help you make the right decisions.

There is the Budget coverage, of course, with an eye on the Union budget that will be presented once the new government gets elected later this year.

What makes the month of January usually eventful for the media in general is the upcoming Budget in February, but this time it was more eventful for Outlook Money. We hosted the first Retirement Expo, Outlook Money 40After40, on January 23-24 in Mumbai. Distinguished speakers, including financial regulators, industry leaders and experts from the financial domain joined us for invigorating discussions. The expo had more than financial advice and insights to offer: there were sessions on assisted living, wellness and health; we also showcased “slice of life” discussions to apprise our audience of real-time life stories and experiences of celebrities. Look forward to a detailed coverage of the expo in our next issue.

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