Follow Us :

Articles deals with deduction under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act and explains who is eligible for deduction, Eligible Investments, Limit for deduction, who can invest for whom and time period for investment. 

Background for deduction under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act (India) / What are eligible investments for Section 80C:

Section 80C replaces the Section 88 with more or less same investment mix available in Section 88.  The new section 80C has become effective w.e.f. 1st April, 2006.  Even the section 80CCC on pension scheme contributions was merged with the above Section 80C.  However, this new section has allowed a major change in the method of providing the tax benefit.  Section 80C of the Income Tax Act allows certain investments and expenditure to be tax-exempt.  One must plan investments well and spread it out across the various instruments specified under this section to avail maximum tax benefit. Unlike Section 88, there are no sub-limits and is irrespective of how much you earn and under which tax bracket you fall.

The Maximum limit of deduction under section 80C is Rs 1.50 lakh from Financial year 2014-15 / Assessment Year 2015-16. Before FY 2014-15 the limit was Rs. 1 Lakh. Under this heading many small savings schemes like NSC, PPF and other pension plans. Payment of life insurance premiums and investment in specified government infrastructure bonds are also eligible for deduction under Section 80C.

Hand writing Tax Planning word with chalk

Most of the Income Tax payee tries to save tax by saving under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act.  However, it is important to know the Section in toto so that one can make best use of the options available for exemption under income tax Act.   One important point to note here is that one can not only save tax by undertaking the specified investments, but some expenditure which you normally incur can also give you the tax exemptions.

Besides these investments, the payments towards the principal amount of your home loan are also eligible for an income deduction. Education expense of children is increasing by the day. Under this section, there is provision that makes payments towards the education fees for children eligible for an income deduction.

Section 80C of the Income Tax Act is the section that deals with these tax breaks. It states that qualifying investments, up to a maximum of Rs. 1.50 Lakh , are deductible from your income. This means that your income gets reduced by this investment amount (up to Rs. 1.50 Lakh), and you end up paying no tax on it at all!

This benefit is available to everyone, irrespective of their income levels. Thus, if you are in the highest tax bracket of 30%, and you invest the full Rs. 1.50 Lakh, you save tax of Rs. 45,000. Isn’t this great? So, let’s understand the qualifying investments first.

A. Investments Qualifying for deduction under section 80C

i. Provident Fund (PF) & Voluntary Provident Fund (VPF):

PF is automatically deducted from your salary. Both you and your employer contribute to it. While employer’s contribution is exempt from tax, your contribution (i.e., employee’s contribution) is counted towards section 80C investments. You also have the option to contribute additional amounts through voluntary contributions (VPF). Interest is tax-free. Must Read-EPF Act 1952 vis-á-vis Income Tax Act – Tax Treatment of PF Dues 

ii. Public Provident Fund (PPF):

Among all the assured returns small saving schemes, Public Provident Fund (PPF) is one of the best. Interest is compounded yearly and the normal maturity period is 15 years. Minimum amount of contribution is Rs 500 and maximum is Rs 1,50,000. A point worth noting is that interest rate is assured but not fixed. Also the interest on Public Provident Fund (PPF) is exempt under Income Tax Act, 1961. Read more- Public Provident Fund Scheme, 2019- Detailed Analysis

iii. Life Insurance Premiums:

Any amount that you pay towards life insurance premium for yourself, your spouse or your children can also be included in Section 80C deduction. Please note that life insurance premium paid by you for your parents (father / mother / both) or your in-laws is not eligible for deduction under section 80C. If you are paying premium for more than one insurance policy, all the premiums can be included. It is not necessary to have the insurance policy from Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) – even insurance bought from private players can be considered here.  Read More-Life Insurance Premium- Tax benefit on Payment and Maturity.

iv. Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS):

There are some mutual fund (MF) schemes specially created for offering you tax savings, and these are called Equity Linked Savings Scheme, or ELSS. The investments that you make in ELSS are eligible for deduction under Sec 80C. Read More-Section 80C – Investment in Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS) 

v. Home Loan Principal Repayment:

The Equated Monthly Installment (EMI) that you pay every month to repay your home loan consists of two components – Principal and Interest.The principal component of the EMI qualifies for deduction under Sec 80C. Even the interest component can save you significant income tax – but that would be under Section 24 of the Income Tax Act. Please read “Income Tax (IT) Benefits of a Home Loan / Housing Loan / Mortgage”, which presents a full analysis of how you can save income tax through a home loan.-Income Tax Benefits from House Property and Loan

vi. Stamp Duty and Registration Charges for a home:

The amount you pay as stamp duty when you buy a house, and the amount you pay for the registration of the documents of the house can be claimed as deduction under section 80C in the year of purchase of the house.

vii. Sukanya Samriddhi Account :

Sukanya Samridhi Account’ can be opened at any time from the birth of a girl child till she attains the age of 10 years, with a minimum deposit of Rs 250. A maximum of Rs 1.5 lakh can be deposited during the financial year. Interest on this account is fully exempt from tax in the year of accrual as well as in the year of receipt. Sukanya Samriddhi Account meaning Girl Child Prosperity Scheme is a special deposit scheme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 22 January 2015 for girl child. The details of this scheme is as under:

  • Per girl child only single account is allowed. Parents can open this account for maximum two girl child. In case of twins this facility will be extended to third child
  • Minimum deposit amount for this account is ₹ 250/- and maximum is ₹ 1,50,000/- per year
  • Money to be deposited for 15 years in this account.
  • Interest  is calculated on yearly basis ,Yearly compounded.
  • Passbook facility is available with Sukanya Samriddhi account.

Read More- Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme, 2019- Detailed Analysis

viii. National Savings Certificate (NSC) (VIII Issue): 

NSC is a time-tested tax saving instrument with a maturity period of Five Years.  Interest is Compounded Yearly. While the minimum investment amount is Rs 1000, there is no maximum amount. Premature withdrawals are permitted only in specific circumstances such as death of the holder or on forfeiture by a pledgee or when ordered by a court. Investments in NSC are eligible for a deduction of upto Rs 1,50,000 p.a. under Section 80C. Furthermore, the accrued interest which is deemed to be reinvested qualifies for deduction under Section 80C. However, the interest income is chargeable to tax in the year in which it accrues.

Read More- National Savings Certificates (VIII Issue) Scheme, 2019- detailed Analysis

ix. Infrastructure Bonds:

These are also popularly called Infra Bonds. These are issued by infrastructure companies, and not the government. The amount that you invest in these bonds can also be included in Sec 80C deductions.

x. Pension Funds – Section 80CCC:

This section – Sec 80CCC – stipulates that an investment in pension funds is eligible for deduction from your income. Section 80CCC investment limit is clubbed with the limit of Section 80C – it means that the total deduction available for 80CCC and 80C is Rs. 1.50 Lakh. This also means that your investment in pension funds upto Rs. 1.50 Lakh can be claimed as deduction u/s 80CCC. However, as mentioned earlier, the total deduction u/s 80C and 80CCC can not exceed Rs. 1.50 Lakh.

xi. 5-Yr bank fixed deposits (FDs):

Tax-saving fixed deposits (FDs) of scheduled banks with tenure of 5 years are also entitled for section 80C deduction.

xii. Senior Citizen Savings Scheme 2004 (SCSS):

Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS) is the most lucrative scheme among all the small savings schemes but is meant only for senior citizens. Interest Senior Citizen Savings Scheme 2004 is payable quarterly instead of compounded quarterly. Thus, unclaimed interest on these deposits won’t earn any further interest. Interest income is chargeable to tax. The account may be opened by an individual,

1. Who has attained age of 60 years or above on the date of opening of the account.

2. Who has attained the age of fifty-five years or more but less than sixty years, and who has retired on superannuation on the date of opening of the account.

3. Retired personnel of Defence Services (excluding Civilian Defence employees) shall be eligible to open an account under this Scheme on attaining the age of fifty years subject to the fulfilment of other specified conditions

Read More- Senior Citizens’ Savings Scheme, 2019- Detailed Analysis

xiii. Amount Contributed (for a fixed period of not less than 3 years) by a Central Government employee to his NPS (Tier –II) account (Applicable from the Assessment Year 2020-21):

A recent addition to section 80C list, the contributions made to Tier-II NPS account will become eligible for deductions u/s 80C of the Income Tax Act provided that the amount deposited is not withdrawn before completion of three years from the date of deposit. Further, please note that for other NPS subscribers (other than Central Government employees), there will not be any 80C benefits on contribution made to Tier-II account.

xiv. 5-Yr post office time deposit (POTD) scheme:

POTDs are similar to bank fixed deposits. Although available for varying time duration like one year, two year, three year and five year, only 5-Yr post-office time deposit (POTD) qualifies for tax saving under section 80C. Interest is compounded quarterly but paid annually. The Interest is entirely taxable.

xv. NABARD rural bonds:

There are two types of Bonds issued by NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development): NABARD Rural Bonds and Bhavishya Nirman Bonds (BNB). Out of these two, only NABARD Rural Bonds qualify under section 80C.

xvi. Unit linked Insurance Plan :

ULIP stands for Unit linked Saving Schemes. ULIPs cover Life insurance with benefits of equity investments.They have attracted the attention of investors and tax-savers not only because they help us save tax but they also perform well to give decent returns in the long-term. All About Unit-linked insurance plan (ULIP)

xvii. Others:

Apart form the major avenues listed above, there are some other things, like children’s education expense (for which you need receipts), that can be claimed as deductions under Section 80C.

B. So, where should you invest for Section 80C Deduction?

Like most other things in personal finance, the answer varies from person to person. But the following can be the broad principles:

Provident Fund: This is deducted compulsorily, and there is no running away from it! So, this has to be the first. Also, apart from saving tax now, it builds a long term, tax-free retirement corpus for you.

Home Loan Principal: If you are paying the EMI for a home loan, this one is automatic too! So, it comes as a close second.

Life Insurance Premiums: Every earning person having dependents should have adequate life insurance coverage. (For more on this, please read “Life after life – Why you should buy Life Insurance”) Therefore, life insurance premium payments are the next.

Voluntary Provident Fund (VPF) / Public Provident Fund (PPF): If you think that the PF being deducted from your salary is not enough, you should invest some more in VPF, or in PPF.

Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS): After the above, if you have not reached the limit of Rs. 1,50,000, then you should invest the remaining amount in Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS).

Equities provide the best, inflation-beating return in the long term, and should be a part of everyone’s portfolio. After all, what can be better than something that gives great return and helps save tax at the same time?

C. When to Invest for Section 80C deduction?

Many of us start looking for investment avenues only in February or March, just before the Financial Year is getting over. This is a big mistake! One, you would end up investing your money without putting proper thought to it. And secondly, you would end up losing the interest / appreciation for the whole year. Instead, decide where you want to make the investments, and start investing right from the beginning of the financial year – from April. This way, you would not only make informed decisions, but would also earn the interest for the full year from April to March.

(Republished with amendments)

Join Taxguru’s Network for Latest updates on Income Tax, GST, Company Law, Corporate Laws and other related subjects.


  1. Mathivanan T says:

    Sir, I am a senior citizen. When I retired from Government service, I invested Rs. 15 lakh in the Senior Citizen Savings Scheme of the Post office. The account is likely mature shortly, i.e. on completion of 5 years. Please clarify me if I reinvest the same amount in the same SCSS of Post office, can I get the benefit of Section 80C of IT Act for the amount reinvested?

  2. Ashok Dhaker says:

    I have bought a policy in June 2020 and claimed benefit in FY 19-20.
    Can I get the benefit of Renewal premium of that policy for FY 20-21 as it will due in in June 2021

  3. rakesh kumar says:

    any one can tell me if an employee made his general provident fund subscribed Rs.450000 in a financial year, his wife can claim saving of husband’s GPF under section 80c for her tax purpose or otherwise

  4. Rakesh Kumar says:

    I am a Central Government Employee and contributed my Provident Fund Rs.4,00,000/- for the financial year 2019-20 and only Rs.150000/- claimed under section 80c. My wife is also working in private sector and she has no separate savings under section 80c. Can she claim Rs.1,50,000/- u/s 80c out of my total subscription of Rs.4,00,000/- subscribed by me through my salary or otherwise. please clarify.

  5. Sushil Kumar says:

    I invested Rs 1500000 in scss on feb 2019 but not shown in itr on ay2019-20. Can i take tax exempt under 80c in this ay 2020-21. Please guide me.

  6. devesh kumr nautiyal says:

    how I can save my income tax .my total taxable income 705000.00 gpf deduction 360000(30000/month) insurance ded 728/month

  7. Deepak Kumar Shrivastava says:

    One person having SCSS (Senior Citizen Saving scheme) got it extended for three years and wishes to take exemption under 80c for tax benefit. Whether he eligible for the said rebate?

  8. R Viswanathan says:

    I am a central government pensioner. I would like to know the following. If I deposit Rs. 1.50 lakhs under Senior citizen service scheme for a particular year and claim tax exemption under 80C in that year, can I close prematurely after one year by incurring 1.5 percent penalty without loosing the 80C benefit. The doubt is that the scheme has 5 years locking period. Kindly reply.

  9. Tusar Mohanty says:

    Thanks for the information. The article is full of information. What about the declaration of Govt about extra saving of Rs. 50,000/- in case of NPS or Atal Pension Yojana ?

  10. CA. S.C.Podder says:

    Read carefully / invest properly = that is tax planning
    The above write up is self explanatory ,
    Join in forum for your specific queries .
    Don,t jump to earn extra income in excess of earning with out knowing the details of Specific Bonds / mutual funds etc ( Lucrative monthly earning ) to meet the family expenditure etc. All are risk factors for the market condition .
    Well written details -Tax planing

  11. G R Jagadeesh says:

    by 2014 i have invested Rs 100000/ in RID Tax Saver Scheme Sr Citizn in State Bank of Mysore. Lock in period is five yrs. I have to get back my money as am not liable to pay Income tax as my total income will not exceed 3,60,000/ per annum. pls suggest the way out .
    Only my untimely death before the completion of five yrs will be making nominee eligible for that money. I can not take back money deposited in tax saver scheme before five yrs

  12. Abhas Verma says:

    Me and my mother are joint ownerrs in a Flat , we paid for the registration fee and Stamp Duty Rs. 2lakh fifty thousand in September 2016 . The amount was paid by a DD in my mother’s name . Can I claim an exemption of 1 lakh in 80C ?

    Can you please guide me . Your help will be highly appreciated

  13. Manish Hinger says:

    I fully agree with these notes, when it comes to tax saving SIP is also one of the best option for tax saving. Just like there are taxes saving government securities, FDs, there are also tax saver mutual funds to cut down your tax bill,
    one of which is ELSS SIP’, i.e., Equity Linked Saving Scheme. However, the according to section 80C, the maximum limit of investment is up to Rs. 1 lakh.

  14. EDWINA DSOUZA says:

    Is the NSC to be purchased every year to save tax. I have bought NSC last year and claimed exemption from saving tax and the same can be shown in this year or i should apply for new one. Whether the Fixed Deposits also to be bought every year.

  15. Surender Singh Dagar says:

    If any female got flat as a alimony after transfer of this property on her name do she need to pay income tax on difference of circal rate (2) after some time she sold it out and purchased small flat in this transaction also do she need to pay tax please clear

  16. Pearl Xavier says:

    HI, I would like to know if I could claim Tax exemption with 80C for 1.5 lakhs as I have PPF, LIfe Insurances (3 nos), LIC, PF ( as all comes under 80c.).

  17. Rajendra Savant says:

    One query
    Insurance premiums paid by father on the policy of the major son without PAN card, premiums exceeded Rs 5000 LIC asked for Pan card of son. What to do?

  18. vipin kumar says:

    me and my brother have joint housing loan. the principal amount paid is about 95000 this year.. can i claim the whole amount as deductions under 80C, when he (my brother) is not claiming the same under section 80C… or it is to be divided equally as per our share in property?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search Post by Date
June 2024