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Business News/ Money / Personal Finance/  How to achieve tax efficiency through life and health insurance plans? MintGenie explains

How to achieve tax efficiency through life and health insurance plans? MintGenie explains

Insurance can be a strategic tool for tax optimization, offering financial safety net and potential tax-saving benefits.

Strategic selection of insurance products provides potential tax-saving advantages for consumers. Premium
Strategic selection of insurance products provides potential tax-saving advantages for consumers.

In personal finance, taxes are a significant part of our financial lives, and it is crucial that we explore every avenue to minimise our tax liability. While investment tools like mutual funds, PPFs, FDs, and NPS are some of the mediums to save tax, insurance too can be a tax-saving medium. It is not just a protective shield, but a strategic instrument for tax optimization.

Following the budget announcement in FY 2023-2024, there have been some minor adjustments in the tax framework concerning insurance. Nevertheless, the strategic selection of insurance products can offer consumers not only a financial safety net but also potential tax-saving benefits.

Tax deductions for life insurance premiums 

In case of life insurance plans, individuals can claim a tax deduction of up to 1.5 lakh on premiums paid, falling under Section 80C. This deduction is usually applicable to life insurance policies covering the individual, their spouse, and children. It is crucial to note that the life insurance policy must have a minimum term of five years to qualify for this tax benefit. 

There have been revisions in tax regulations concerning ULIPs as well, where the tax-exempt status of ULIP proceeds will be impacted if the total premiums across all ULIP policies held by an individual exceed 2.5 lakh yearly, under Section 80C.

Deductions for health insurance premiums

In health insurance, there's a scope for tax savings under Section 80D. Individuals can claim deductions up to 25,000 for their health insurance, covering themselves, their spouse, and children. Moreover, for parents aged 60 and above, this limit extends to 50,000, whereas for parents below 60, the deduction limit is 25,000. 

Under Section 80D, Hindu Unified Family policyholders supporting a disabled family member can claim exemptions up to 1.25 lakh. Additionally, there's a provision for tax exemptions up to 5,000 for preventive health check-ups. This exemption can be claimed for the policyholder, spouse, children, and even parents.

Tax benefits and phases of pension plans

Pension plans or annuity plans represent a distinct facet of life insurance, aiming for a different outcome. Life insurance safeguards the family in case of the insured's demise, a pension plan aims to provide financial security for the individual and their family during the individual's lifetime. The pension process is typically divided into two key phases: accumulation and withdrawal. 

In the accumulation phase, individuals set aside funds during their earning years. Once retirement sets in, the withdrawal phase commences. Tax benefits primarily apply during the accumulation phase of pension plans. The key advantage of a deferred annuity lies in its ability to enable tax-free growth of income during this accumulation phase. 

This means that the money set aside during premium payments accrues without tax implications, providing a tax advantage to the consumer. There is also the option of withdrawal during vesting, where 1/3rd of the accumulated fund can be withdrawn and does not attract any taxes.

Consumers should understand that life and health insurance should not be solely seen as a means for tax-saving. They serve as crucial financial instruments offering life coverage, shielding against unforeseen events, and at times, doubling as savings vehicles or income supplements. 

Consequently, obtaining these insurances at a young age is a prudent choice. However, it is imperative to conduct extensive research and compare plans thoroughly before making any decisions on buying any insurance plan.

Aftab Chaz, Associate Director and Business Head at (Alliance Insurance Brokers)

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Published: 03 Jan 2024, 12:16 PM IST
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