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ICICI Lombard Expert Blog
 

Important Financial Dates For 2018: Save These!

January 01 2018
Financial Planning 2018

These are the dates that matter for making the most of your finances in 2018

The year 2017 has come to a close, and the New Year has already been welcomed with fervour, enthusiasm and optimism. We have made the most of year-end holidays and are back to the daily grind. After thoughtfully jotting down the New Year resolutions, the focus has shifted to making them happen.

It is important to have fun and let your hair down, after working hard all year round. But, it is also equally important to plan for next year, especially when it comes to financial matters. In 2017, there must have been instances where you might have missed out on some important dates, resulting in monetary loss or a missed investment opportunity.

To ensure that your 2018 goes as smoothly as it can, we have listed out the important dates on a monthly basis, so that you can plan your finances beforehand, and in the most efficient and prudent way possible.

January

The first month of the year is all about laying the foundation for the entire year. The very first thing that you need to do is review your financial portfolio. This is also a good time to take your financial goals for the year into consideration and create a plan to start saving for it.

It is also recommended to set reminders of payment dates that you’ll encounter throughout the year, these can be pertaining to property taxes, insurance premiums or other important financial commitments. January is also a good time to submit tax-saving proofs to your company’s HR so that you’re not faced with unnecessary tax deductions later on.

A New Year resolution can also be made of paying your bills on time. Timely payment of utility and other bills ensures that you are taking care of your financial liabilities and are also avoiding any late fees/penalties that are associated with delayed payments.

February

February of 2018 is most likely to host the Union Budget. The Budget is the document that sets the tone for the financial expenditure of the entire nation, and it also has a significant impact on your expenses. Key announcements are made in the Budget Speech by the Finance Minister that have a direct impact on your investment and savings.

March

March is historically a busy month for financial activities, being the last month of the financial year. If you haven’t already completed filing your Income Tax Returns (ITR), now is high time to do the same, as March 31 is the last date for doing so. For those who need to pay advance tax, March 15 is the last date to make the final instalment for the financial year 2017-18.

March 2018 also gains prominence because, the last day of that month is also the deadline for linking of Aadhaar with various essential services. These are detailed below.

Document If Action Not Taken
Insurance Insurance coverage continues, but submission of KYC documents necessary
Bank Accounts Accounts will not function
PAN Card Income Tax Returns will not be calculated
Mutual Funds Accounts will be inoperable
Small Savings Schemes Will not be accessible

April

From the 1st of this month, the measures announced in the Union Budget come into effect. April 18 will mark the festival of Akshaya Tritiya. This festival is considered auspicious for purchase of gold, which is done in full force throughout the country. Along with gold, it is also advisable to purchase home insurance cover for structure and contents, as it insures not only your home, but also the contents inside from any calamity or unforeseen circumstances.

April also sees the start of the new school season, so if you’re a parent, you’ll also have to ensure that there are enough funds on hand to take care of the child’s school fees and related expenses. Also, higher interest can be availed on your lump sum Public Provident Fund (PPF) account if the investment is made before April 5.

May

May is usually the time when companies assess the performance of their employees in the appraisal process. Most people get a raise in their salary or a bonus in line with their contribution to the company. The pay increase is likely to affect the taxable amount. It is essential to keep this in mind while planning for tax-saving measures and future investment strategy.

With the increase in salary, one should also consider purchasing a health insurance policy as it protects your savings and provides coverage from expenses arising out of hospitalisation, AYUSH (Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy) treatment, day-care expenses, and other medical expenditures.

In addition, if you are already investing in SIPs of mutual funds, with the raise in pay you can consider stepping up the amount being invested. This will help you resist the temptation of splurging and help you save more. Several mutual funds schemes allow you to automatically step-up the SIP amount at pre-determined intervals. You can increase the amount by a fixed number, or a fixed percentage of the existing SIP amount.

June

Not a demanding month from the finance point of view. The only date to watch out for is June 15, which is the last date for payment of the first instalment of advance tax. Since this month is not that stressed in terms of financial requirements, it would be a good idea to start the procurement of Forms 16 and 16A for hassle-free filing of Income Tax Returns (ITR).

July

The last date of July is also the last date for filing your income tax returns for FY 2017-18. Be very particular about this as from this assessment year, the penalty for late filing can set you back by Rs. 10,000. Missing the deadline also results in you losing out on certain benefits.

August

This month of the year is the time to take stock of your financial situation. Meet up with your financial advisor and go through your expenditures and investments. Doing this will give you some perspective and also let you know if you’re on track to achieve your saving goals.

August can also make for a short international holiday. India celebrates its independence on August 15, and Parsi New Year will come up on August 17; August 18 and 19 fall on Saturday and Sunday respectively. If you have holidays on all these days and can also squeeze in a leave on August 16, then you’ll have enough time to enjoy an international holiday trip to a nearby destination, such as Dubai.

Going on a holiday will rejuvenate you and help you in getting back to your normal schedule with vigour and enthusiasm. Also, don’t forget to take out travel insurance for the trip, as it will cover you from anything unfortunate that may happen.

Travel insurance covers you in the event of baggage loss, hospitalisation and loss of passport etc., these things, occurring on a foreign land, can cost you in a big way and may also eat into your savings. Getting an insurance cover will indemnify your savings, should anything unfortunate occur.

September

September is a good time to focus on your tax-saving investments, as the festive season begins from next month onwards. Get an update on whether the Income Tax Department has processed your returns or not. If you’re expecting a tax refund, it is advisable to know the status of that too. For those paying advance tax, September 15 will be the last date for payment of the second instalment.

October

The festive season begins! Lots of festivities and big spending will take place from this month on. It is essential to prepare a budget for festival spending, as that shopping spree can easily go out of control and put you in an uncomfortable financial situation later on. Dussehra will ring in the festive cheer, starting from October 19.

November

Probably the busiest time of the year with Diwali festivities, crackers, shopping and travelling on the radar of most people. This is the time when following a pre-determined budget and controlling expenditure is paramount to fulfilment of financial goals.

Car companies are known to offer heavy discounts during this season, hence purchasing a four wheeler is also on the shopping list of many. So, go ahead and make full use of the discounts coming your way, and grab the car of your dreams. However, don’t forget to secure your car with a comprehensive motor insurance cover, as it offers benefits such as road side assistance, cashless network garages and coverage against third party liabilities.

December

The last month of the year. Now is the best time to conduct a review of your investment portfolio and find out which investments have worked, and which ones haven’t. 15th of December is also the last date for paying the third instalment of advance tax, so don’t lose sight of this amidst all the partying. December 31 is New Year’s Eve, welcome the New Year and don’t forget to plan for the next one.

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