Tax-saving season is here for last-minute taxpayers who have finally started comparing investment options and other tax-saving schemes. Since some plans have a deadline until March 31 to make minimum contributions, do so quickly. Here are some of the best ways to save tax and generate tax-free income.

Under section 80C of the Income Tax Act 1961 you can reduce your tax liability by obtaining deductions for all of your taxable income in the year.

Here are some schemes/transactions eligible under 80C for tax deductions:

Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS): Equity Linked Savings Schemes is a type of mutual fund with a lock-up period of three years. This is the only section of the mutual fund in India which is eligible for tax deductions under Section 80 (C) of the Income Tax Act. For profits from your ELSS investment of more than Rs 1 lakh per fiscal year, you only have to pay 10% LTCG tax and the investments made are eligible for tax deduction.

Seniors Savings Plan (SCSS): SCSS is a good option for a risk-free investment. It is a long-term savings option supported by the Indian government. The maturity period is five years and investors may wish to extend it for an additional three years. The current interest rate is 7.4%. Interest is taxable and TDS applies if interest exceeds Rs 10,000 per year. All contributions qualify for a tax deduction.

National Pension Scheme (NPS): The NPS is a pension scheme, administered and regulated by the Pension Regulatory Fund Authority of India. NPS is the cheapest investment product available and may qualify for tax deductions under Section 80C.

Term life insurance premium: Your life insurance premium may qualify for a tax deduction under Section 80C.

Public Provident Fund (PPF): It is a long-term investment way to gain tax benefits. The current interest rate on the PPF account is 7.1% per annum, compounded annually, and the closing term is 15 years.

National savings certificates: The National Savings Certificate is a fixed income investment option supported by the Indian government. The current interest rate is 6.8% per annum. The minimum amount required to purchase an NSC certificate is Rs 1,000. Only interest earned in the last year is taxed.

Tax saving DF: You can invest in Fixed Tax Savings Deposits and get a maximum tax deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh. The minimum investment amount varies depending on your bank, but the maximum amount is reached within 80C or Rs 1,50,000.

Repayment of the mortgage: If you have taken out a home loan, the EMI portion leading to payment of the principal amount is eligible for a tax deduction under Section 80C.

Section 80CCD (1): Investments in the NPS are taxable under this section. The maximum profit you can earn annually in this category is Rs 1.5 lakh.

Section 80CCD (1b): This clause provides an additional deduction of Rs 50,000 investment in the NPS. This is more than Rs 1.5 lakhs secured under Section 80CCD(1).

Under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, you can claim up to Rs 1 lakh tax deductions for payments relating to purchased medical insurance premiums for spouse, children and parents . These benefits can be claimed by individuals and Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs). A tax deduction of Rs 25,000 is available for yourself, your spouse and your dependent children and for the elderly if it is Rs 50,000.

Under Section 80E of the Income Tax Act, the interest you pay on your student loan may be assessed as a tax deduction. There is no limit to the amount of the tax deduction and it is available for up to 8 years or until the interest is paid.

Section 80EE of the Income Tax Act 1961 allows deductions from interest paid on the repayment of home loans taken out by a first-time home buyer. If you fall into this category, you can still claim a tax deduction of up to Rs 50,000 under Section 80EE. This limit is higher than the limit provided for in Article 80C and Article 24 of the Computer Act 1961.

The following conditions must be met in order to benefit from this deduction.

Any other residential real estate must not be owned by the individual on the loan sanction date.

The value of the property must be less than Rs 50 lakh.

The loan amount should be less than Rs 35 lakh.