Hey Woman! Take Charge Of Your Finances To Be Truly Independent

Take charge of your finances

Some Facts and Stats

  • Lack of sufficient funds and home responsibilities largely come in the way of women’s aspirations to start their own business/venture as per a study conducted by Nielsen for biscuit major Britannia.
  • A whopping 4% of women do not have a medical cover as per a survey conducted by Economic Times. Many separate studies across Indian states and cities have shown that women are wary of investing in the equity market.
  • On the positive side,
    • The number of Indian women investing in mutual fund schemes and stocks is on a rising trend which is a good sign.
    • 27% of the stock market investors are women.

 

Indian women have come a long way in terms of education, independence and self-identity. But the tendency to leave financial decisions in the hands of the men in their lives – son, husband, father is still quite prevalent. Though this has been changing, it is important that more women take charge of their financial life as there are many indicators that women are good investors – Why?

  • Indian women are historically and culturally well-versed with saving. Women save more and therefore can invest more.
  • Women are more risk-averse as compared to men. Therefore they perform in-depth research before investing their money. They stay away from risky products.
  • Women have more self-control. They are less prone to impulsive trading and over trading. Overtrading usually results in reduced performance portfolio.

 

But on the other hand, there are certain weaknesses that are inherent in women investors –

  • They are very conservative investors and this can lead to reduced overall portfolio returns.
  • On an average, women earn less. They also take breaks in their career. This leads to lesser funds available for investment. Since there is a smaller kitty, they prefer to invest in debt products which are secure but give less returns
  • They are busy with too many responsibilities of family and work that they do not find time to manage their finances.
  • Women are not part of discussions related to financial matters in social realm as some feel they do not know anything. Sometimes they are not included as it is assumed they do not know much. These discussions are sometimes closed men’s clubs or informal networks; which are not easy to get into.
  • Women are hesitant to ask for raises in salaries. They underplay their skills and achievements while negotiating for a pay package.
  • Women let emotions rule and end up helping friends and family financially without considering the dent it would do to their financial portfolio. It is of course good to help others in need but not at the cost of putting yourself in financial peril.

 

Women  have to play to their strengths and overcome their weaknesses and gain financial independence. Here are some steps that you can take to get involved in matters of personal finance –

  1. Get involved in the finances of the household by managing a budget. It is the simple task of tracking income expenses and savings. You will get an idea of how much is the monthly expenditure and if you can cut back on some expenses.
  2. Read up on personal finance. There are many personal finance websites and books that can be referred to.
  3. Start investing small amounts in different financial products with the guidance of an experienced investor or financial planner to understand how investments work, the returns and tax implications and tax saving opportunities.
  4. Set up financial goals and work towards achieving them. You will be really proud of yourself when you achieve it and gain confidence in financial matters.

 

Make your financial resolutions this Women’s Day to be truly independent

Key takeaways:

  • Women need to participate actively in financial matters. 
  • Personal financial freedom should be every woman’s goal.

 

This women’s day, Right Horizons offers a FREE financial planning session for women at Dialogues cafe, JP Nagar on March 9th, 3-5pm. To register, write to us at contactus@righthorizons.in or 9845399780.

How to be tax-free with Income up to Rs 10 lakh

 

The Interim Budget 2019 may not have directly touched the income tax slab rates, but a small tweak in income tax rebate is virtually doing the job for many. Salaried employees earning up to Rs 10 lakh in a year can escape paying tax if they use some of the investment and expense related deductions available. In the same breath, non-salaried individuals earning Rs 9.5 lakh do not have to pay a single paisa in income tax. All this is possible because full tax rebate has been given for taxpayers having taxable income of Rs 5 lakh. This means if your total income is more than Rs 5 lakh, all you have to do is to claim deductions so as to bring the taxable income to Rs 5 lakh or below. Read on to know more.

No more taxes

Apart from hiking standard deduction to Rs 50,000 a year, The government has not made any extra income tax deduction related announcements in Interim Budget 2019. By smartly using the norms, all of your income can be made tax-free. Of course, some might argue that claiming Rs 5 lakh as deductions out of Rs 10 lakh income is difficult. Dear friends, life is an art of possibilities. If you know there is a way, you can always succeed.

Before the Budget, taxable income up to Rs 2.5 lakh attracted no tax while taxable income falling between RS 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh attracted 5% tax. In simple terms this means that if your taxable income was Rs 5 lakh, you paid tax on the Rs 2.5 lakh beyond the zero-tax income.

This 5% of Rs 2.5 lakh translated into Rs 12500 and was your income tax liability. The Interim Budget 2019 has given 100% rebate on up to Rs 12500 amount. So, there will be no tax liability for you.

How do individuals earning more than Rs 5 lakh take advantage of the situation? It is easy. If you have a salary income of Rs 10 lakh, you need to claim deductions worth Rs 5 lakh and bring your taxable income part to Rs 5 lakh.

Deduction game

Assume your salary income is Rs 10 lakh. You can make a deduction of up to Rs 2 lakh for interest paid on housing loan for self-occupied property under Section 24. This will reduce your taxable income from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 8 lakh.

Then, there is maximum Rs 1.5 lakh deduction for investments made under Section 80C (like principal paid on housing loan, insurance premium, ELSS, PPF etc.). This brings your taxable income from Rs 8 lakh to Rs 6.5 lakh.

The Interim Budget 2019 has increased the standard deduction for salaried persons to Rs 50,000 (increased from Rs 40,000 earlier). Using this standard deduction, your taxable income falls from Rs 6.5 lakh to Rs 6 lakh.

To encourage National Pension System (NPS), the income tax norms allow us to claim a maximum and separate deduction under Section 80CCD(1B) for additional investment in NPS of Rs 50,000. This when claimed will bring your taxable income from Rs 6 lakh to Rs 5.5 lakh.

Each and every nook

Lastly, you can claim Rs 25,000 medical insurance premium for self & spouse and Rs 25,000 mediclaim premium for your dependent parents. The combined Rs 50,000 premium (under Section 80D)when deduced from your taxable income of Rs 5.5 lakh brings it to the magic figure of Rs 5 lakh.

The process will be similar for non-salaried persons but they will not able to claim the Rs 50,000 standard deduction (available for salaried only). Thus, non-salaried with Rs 9.5 lakh in the above example will pay zero tax.

Below is a a table that shows your example of a salaried person (below 60 years of age).

A) Gross Income – Rs 10,00,000

B) Deductions

i) Deduction for Interest on Housing loan for self-occupied property – sec 24        – Rs 200,000

ii) Deduction – Section 80C (Insurance premium /Principal on housing loan / ELSS / NPS /) – Rs 150,000

iii) Standard Deduction for salaried – Rs 50,000

iv) Deduction under Section 80CCD(1B) – Additional investment in NPS – Rs 50,000

v) Deduction under Section 80D – Mediclaim – Rs 25,000

vi) Deduction for parents (senior citizens Mediclaim) – Rs 25,000

C) Taxable income (A minus B) – Rs 500,000

D) Income tax payable (5% of amount between Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh) – Rs 12500

E) Rebate under section 87A – Rs 12500

F) Net tax payable- Rs 0 (zero)

Do remember that many salaried and non salaried persons can also other deductions available under the Income Tax Act. For instance, interest paid during a financial year on an education loan is allowed as deduction for individuals from the total income under Section 80E. The deduction is provided only for the interest part of the EMI. There is no limit on the maximum amount that is allowed as deduction. If you are paying education loan interest, you can claim the maximum amount per financial year. If the amount is Rs 5 lakh per year, you will not have to do any other investments to come to zero-tax club.

Likewise, taxpayers can use the Section 80G of the Indian Income Tax Act that allows you tax deduction on donations made to any charitable organization. The various donations specified in section 80G are eligible for a deduction of up to either 100% or 50% with or without restriction, as provided in Section 80G.

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