When it comes to tax-saving investment avenues, Section 80C tops the charts. It is a favourite among every investor as it allows a range of investment options and expenses to be eligible for deduction from your taxable income. Some of the popular options for claiming deduction under Section 80C include the following –

  • Payment made towards a Life Insurance Policy
  • Investments into Equity Linked Savings Schemes
  • Investment into 5-year Fixed Deposit Schemes
  • Principal repayment of a Home Loan availed
  • Tuition Fees paid for child’s education (up to a maximum of 2 children)
  • Investment in Employees’ Provident Fund
  • Investment in Public Provident Fund
  • The Investment in National Savings Certificates, etc.

The maximum deduction which can be claimed under Section 80C, combining all the eligible options is INR 1.5 lakhs. What if you want to save additional tax?

If you are looking for additional tax saving, Section 80CCD of the Income Tax Act comes into the picture. This section lets you reduce up to INR 50,000 of your taxable income over and above the tax-free limit that you get under Section 80C. Thus, if you choose to invest in the avenue under Section 80CCD, you can claim a total deduction of INR 2 lakhs, INR 1.5 lakhs through Section 80C and INR 50,000 through Section 80CCD. Let’s understand how –


Deductions available under Section 80CCD

Section 80CCD allows deductions from your taxable income if you invest in the National Pension Scheme or the Atal Pension Yojana scheme. Whether the investment is made by you or your employer, deduction on the investment done can be claimed under this section.


What are National Pension Scheme and Atal Pension Yojana?

Both the National Pension Scheme and Atal Pension Yojana are retirement oriented investment schemes launched by the Government of India. Both the schemes provide pension income after maturity.


Salient features of the National Pension Scheme

Here are some of the features of National Pension Scheme –

  • When the National Pension Scheme was launched, it was designed as a saving scheme only for the Government employees. However, the scheme was then offered to the public also. As of today, any individual can invest in the National Pension Scheme
  • Investments done in the National Pension Scheme help investors create a retirement corpus. The created corpus can then be used to avail annuity pay-outs when the individual retires
  • Contributions to the National Pension Scheme can be done till the individual attains 60 years of age
  • Contributions to the scheme are mandatory for employees of the Central Government. However, for the general public, contribution is voluntary
  • There are two types of accounts under the National Pension Scheme. One is the Tier I account which is mandatory and the other is the Tier II account which can be opened if the individual has a Tier I Account
  • To become eligible to claim an income tax deduction on the contributions to the National Pension Scheme, the investor should contribute a minimum of INR 500/month or INR 6000 in one financial year towards the Tier I Account
  • To become eligible to claim an income tax deduction for contributions done towards the Tier II Account, the minimum contribution should be INR 250/month or INR 2000 in one financial year
  • National Pension Scheme allows investors to invest their money in different funds like Equity Funds, Government Funds or Government Securities
  • Since equity investments are allowed, investors can grow their retirement corpus in trend with the economic growth
  • Though investments in the National Pension Scheme are for a long period, partial withdrawals are allowed subject to certain terms and conditions. Investors can withdraw up to 25% of their investments if they fulfil the prescribed conditions of the scheme
  • When the scheme matures, investors would have the option to avail up to 60% of the accumulated corpus in lump sum. The remaining 40% of the corpus should be availed as annuity income or pension.

Salient features of Atal Pension Yojana

Here are the salient features of Atal Pension Yojana for you to know –

  • This is also a retirement oriented investment scheme which seeks to provide a regular income to investors after they retire.
  • The scheme has an option of choosing a fixed pension amount of INR 1000 to INR 5000 when the investor attains 60 years of age. The amount of pension would depend on the investor’s age and the amount of investment done by him/her
  • Joint life annuities can also be availed under the scheme wherein the spouse of the annuitant would receive the annuity pay-outs on death of the annuitant. Moreover, on death of the spouse, the contributed amount is paid back to the nominee
  • Individuals aged between 18 years and 40 years can join the Atal Pension Yojana scheme
  • Contributions are required to be made for a minimum period of 20 years
  • If the investor dies before attaining 60 years of age, the spouse can choose to exit the scheme and avail the accumulated corpus or continue with the scheme till the stipulated tenure
  • The scheme can be applied with any nationalised bank of India

How to claim deductions under Section 80CCD

Now that you know which deductions are eligible for Section 80CCD and the features of these deductions, let’s understand how to claim such deductions. There are two sub-sections under Section 80CCD, Section 80CCD (1) and Section 80CCD (2). Let’s understand these sub-sections in details –

Section 80 CCD (1)

This sub-section is applicable to both self-employed as well as salaried individuals to claim deductions on the contributions made towards the National Pension Scheme or the Atal Pension Yojana. In case of an employee, the employee can be a Government employee or a private-sector employee. If the tax-payer is between the ages of 18 years and 60 years, contributions made towards both the schemes would be allowed as a deduction under Section 80CCD (1). If the tax-payer is a salaried employee, the maximum deduction allowed under this section would be limited to 10% of the salary which means basic salary and dearness allowance. In case of self-employed individuals, the maximum available deduction is 20% of the gross total income of the financial year earned by the tax-payer. In both the instances, the maximum limit is INR 1.5 lakhs which would include the options of Section 80C too. Moreover, an additional deduction of INR 50,000, over and above INR 1.5 lakhs can be claimed under Section 80CCD (1B). Thus, the total deduction available under Section 80CCD (1) including Section 80C would be INR 2 lakhs in a financial year.

Section 80 CCD (2)

This Section is applicable for salaried employees where their employer is also contributing to the National Pension Scheme. The employer can make contributions towards National Pension Scheme besides contribution to EPF. The limit of contribution allowed would be either equal to the contributions made by the employee or higher than that. This deduction is available over and above the deduction under Section 80 CCD (1).

So, understand the deduction available under Section 80CCD so that you can lower your tax liability further and also create a retirement corpus in the process.


FAQ's

 

Q- Can I surrender the National Pension Scheme account?

Yes, you can surrender your NPS account provided some conditions are fulfilled.


Q- Are the benefits provided by the National Pension Scheme and the Atal Pension Yojana tax-free?

No, the benefits are not tax-free. Both these scheme allow pension income which is taxable in the hands of the annuitant as income from salary.


Q- What if I buy an annuity plan using NPS corpus? Would that be taxable?

The accumulated corpus of the National Pension Scheme can be reinvested in any pension plan. Such a reinvestment would not attract any tax. Only the pension payments which would be later paid would be taxable.


Q- What is the maximum deduction which I can claim?

You can claim a maximum deduction of INR 2 lakhs after availing the benefits allowed under section 80CCD of the income tax act.


Q- What documents would be required to claim tax deduction?

A proof of joining the scheme and making the contributions would be required to avail deductions under Section 80CCD.


CA Abhishek Soni

Abhishek Soni is a Chartered Accountant by profession & entrepreneur by passion. He is the co-founder & CEO of Tax2Win.in. Tax2win is amongst the top 25 emerging startups of Asia and authorized ERI by the Income Tax Department. In the past, he worked in EY and comes with wide industry experience from telecom, retail to manufacturing to entertainment where he has handled various national and international assignments.