There are tax deductions for long-term investments. If, however, you invest only for the short-term, your tax liability increases.
Every year, an individual tax payer gets certain tax deductions under the Income Tax Act, 1961. The most common is under Section 80C, of Rs 1.5 lakh, which covers Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF), life insurance premium, equity-linked savings schemes, Public Provident Fund, loan repayment of principal amount five-year bank and post office deposits, etc. A tax payer also gets tax exemption of up to `2 lakh for interest paid on home loan.
However, the Income Tax Act also has provisions for withdrawal of the deductions/exemptions claimed at later years if the conditions are not met.
Here are three popular tax deductions which will be reversed for non-fulfillment of the conditions.
Sale of property with home loan
If an individual tax payer takes a bank loan to purchase a house property, he can claim tax deduction of up to `1.5 lakh under section 80C of the I-T Act. Also, under Section 24B of the Act, one can get tax exemption of up to Rs 2 lakh for interest payment every year. However, if the individual sells the house property bought with a home loan within five years from the end of the tax year in which possession of the property is obtained, then deduction under Section 80C of the Act towards principal repayment of the house property claimed in earlier years will be taxable in the year of sale. The deduction for interest payment on the housing loan will not be withdrawn.
Experts say one must always do the tax calculations including the long-term capital gains for sell of house property in the initial years after pocession. The tax outgo will nullify all the gains as property prices tend to rise in the long-run.
EPF withdrawal within five years
Contribution made by employees to EPF is eligible for tax deduction up to `1.5 lakh every year under Section 80C of the I-T Act. But, if the subscriber withdraws the money before completing five years of continuous service, then the deduction claimed at the time of making the contribution will be withdrawn and he will have to pay tax on the entire amount in the year of the withdrawal. Even employer’s contribution, together with accrued interest thereon, which was exempt in earlier years, would become taxable as profits in lieu of salary and interest on employee’s contribution would get taxed as income from other sources. However, in case the service is terminated because of employee’s ill health or closure of the business or reasons beyond employee’s control, then he will not have to pay any tax.
Surrender of life insurance policy
Premiums paid for life insurance—first year or renewal—are eligible for tax deduction under Section 80C of the I-T Act for up to Rs 1.5 lakh a year. For individuals, the policy should be taken in the name of the
taxpayer or his spouse or children. In the case of a Hindu Undivided Family, the deduction is available in respect of the policy taken in the name of any members of the HUF. No tax deduction is available for a policy taken under the name of any other person.
There is a restriction on the amount of eligible deduction with respect to the capital amount assured. Irrespective of the insurance premium that has been paid for the insurance policy, the total amount eligible for a deduction is fixed at 10% of the sum insured. For policies issued before April 1, 2012, the deduction 20% of the sum insured.
However, if the individual surrenders the policy within two years, then the deductions claimed in earlier years would become taxable in the year in which the policy is discontinued. Apart from the tax outgo for discontinuing a life policy, the insurance company will also deduct the full amount of the premium if it is discontinued after one year. If one surrenders after year 2 and 3, then the insurer will pay back only 30% of the total premium. Data from Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India show average 13th month persistency is 64.7% in 2017-18.