The Income Tax Department of India has made it mandatory to file income tax returns for those earning above Rs.2.5 lakh per annum. For most salary earners in the country, income tax still remains a big expense they have to shell out every year. While losing your hard-earned money on taxes might be painful, you can save a great deal of tax money through the myriad of deductions offered by the IT department. If you are someone concerned about the taxes you may have to pay, this article is just for you.

Deductions offered for various investments
These deductions are offered by the IT department in a bid to encourage the habit of savings and investments. For instance, expenses like house loans, insurance premiums, donations, etc., are eligible for tax relief as per the regulations of the government. Let’s take a look at the different types of deductions that may be applicable to you as a salaried individual.
Section 80C: All salaried individuals can claim deductions under 80C for up to Rs.1.5 lakh. This section covers a range of investments including PPF, term life insurance , ULIPs, National Pension Scheme, post office investments, Equity-Linked Savings Schemes (ELSS), fixed deposits, Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme investments, etc. The principal component of the housing loan repaid is also eligible for tax relief under this section. Any amount invested in these schemes is eligible for tax relief from the government.
Section 80D: While 80C focuses on a multitude of other investments, Section 80D is specific to the premium amount paid for health insurance policies. A deduction of Rs.25,000 can be availed through investments made in health insurance policies. The premium paid for health covers can be for self or family. In case of premiums paid for senior citizen parents, one can claim deductions up to Rs.50,000.
Section 24B: This section allows deductions up to Rs.2 lakh for interests paid on home loans. The property for which the tax relief is availed must be a self-occupied property. In addition to this first-time homeowners can also claim an additional deduction of Rs.50,000 under Section 80EE for the interest amount on home loans. This additional deduction is applicable for properties purchased in the fiscal year 2016-17.
Section 80E: The money paid for the interest amount on education loan is also eligible for tax relief as per this section. This benefit can be availed only if the loan amount is taken in the name of the individual or his/her spouse. This deduction is applicable to education loan taken for pursuing all kinds of higher education including in India as well as abroad.
Section 80G: Any amount given as donations to charitable institutions is eligible for tax relief under this section. Based on the type of charitable organisation, one can get deductions ranging from 50% to 100% of the donated money. As per the new rules, any donations over Rs.2,000 must be paid through non-cash modes in order to be eligible for this deduction.
Section 80TTA: This section provides relief on the interest amount earned through savings bank accounts. A maximum deduction of Rs.10,000 can be claimed under this section. This deduction is available to both individuals as well as Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs).

Conclusion
If you are a salaried individual, you must be aware of these deductions before filing your income tax returns. In addition to the ones listed here, a key deduction for salaried individuals is the amount paid towards house rent. However, deduction for this amount will be reflected in your salary through Home Rent Allowance (HRA). Your Form 16 obtained from your company will have detailed information about this component of income tax relief. If this is already included in your HRA, you need to focus only on the other components listed here.

Author's Bio: 

Senior Financial Analyst at Farmer's Insurance