PPF Tax Benefits & Features you must Know About
03 Jul 2019
A popular investment and tax saving instrument for Indians since it was first introduced in 1968 by the Central Government, the Public Provident Fund is a great tool to boost small savings by every individual across India. One of the biggest reasons thousands open opt for PPF is the PPF tax benefits.
The following are the features of a PPF for your comprehensive understanding:
The PPF is a long-term investment with a minimum tenure of 15 years. PPF holder can extend the tenure by a period of 5 years every time.
Rate of interest
The rate of interest is determined by the Ministry of Finance every quarter. The compound interest is paid out at the end of the financial year i.e. on March 31. The interest is determined based on the balance between the closing of the 5th day and last day of each month.
Limits on investment
PPF is appealing to every section of society with different income levels. The minimum deposit every financial year is Rs.500 while the maximum amount is Rs.1, 50, 000. You can deposit the amount in lumpsum or in instalments in a financial year.
You need to have at least Rs.500 to begin with when you open the account. Maximum amount upto Rs.1,50,000 can be invested every year and is eligible for exemption under section 80C of IT Act.
Mode of deposit
There is limited restriction on how you can deposit money into your PPF account. You can transfer funds online, deposit cash, cheque or pay through a demand draft.
Frequency of deposit
The account holder needs to make a deposit at least once a year for 15 years.
The account holder may nominate one or more people (maximum 4) who will receive the amount in the PPF in case of the account holder’s death. The amount that each nominee will receive can also be determined by the account holder during nomination.
One individual can hold only one PPF account at any given point of time. No joint account is allowed.
The PPF is backed by the government and offers complete protection of investment regardless of market conditions.
You are eligible to take loan against your PPF provided it is between its 3rd-6th Financial year. The loan amount is capped at 25% of the balance in the 2nd year preceding the year in which you applied for the loan.
You need to be an Indian citizen residing in India. Members of HUF cannot open a PPF account. One eligible individual can hold only one PPF account. However, an individual can hold another PPF account on behalf of a minor.
Can one withdraw from their PPF before maturity?
A PPF account can be closed only when it completes 15 years. However, if the account holder needs to withdraw money from their PPF account due to a financial emergency, they can do so only from the 7th year onwards. These withdrawals can be made only once in a fiscal year.
What are the tax benefits offered with a Public Provident Fund? Is PPF maturity taxable?
A PPF is categorised as EEE which stands for Exempt-Exempt-Exempt. This means that the principal amount can be deducted under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
Furthermore, there is no PPF maturity tax i.e. the account holder does not have to pay tax on the interest accumulated on maturity of the PPF or the total amount post maturity.
A simple enough tax saving instrument with good rate of interest, you can start a PPF for yourself or your child with Bank of Baroda.
How to open a fixed deposit account
Fixed deposits and the importance of having one
Time deposits or Term deposits are most commonly known as fixed deposits. Apart from mobilising funds from demand deposits like savings and current accounts, banks also resort to fixed deposits to raise funds. Fixed deposit, like the word suggests, have a fixed duration.
How to open a fixed deposit account
Now that we know what a fixed deposit (FD) is, let us see how we can open a fixed deposit account.
Fixed deposit accounts can be opened in the same way a savings account is opened.
One can either go to a branch of the bank and open a fixed deposit account after choosing the tenure or the person can use internet banking to open an account.
Banks these days offer the flexibility of automatically transferring money from the savings account to the fixed deposit account above a threshold limit as prescribed by the customer. It is called auto-sweep facility.
The key variable to choose in a fixed deposit account is the tenure. The interest rate is fixed by the bank.
Fixed deposits can be opened in banks where one does not have an account. However, here the documentation process is long, and one will need to provide all the details needed in a Know-Your-Customer (KYC) documentation.
There is no restriction in the number of fixed deposit accounts one can open.
Fixed deposits offer better interest rates as compared to a savings account but do not offer the customer the flexibility of withdrawing money as and when they want.
Duration of fixed deposits can vary from a few days to longer-term deposits which can go on for years. Interest changes with time. Higher the time period for which the money will be locked in higher will be the interest rates.
For example, a deposit for 7 days is generally given an interest of 3.5 per cent annualised while that for a year maybe around 6.5 per cent. The shorter period deposits will be more aligned to the savings deposits while the longer term deposits will be aligned to the bond market rates. The maximum period for which fixed deposits are offered is 10 years.
Banks offer higher interest rates for Fixed deposits to compensate for liquidity. Also, they seek longer-term deposits in order to lend the money to projects which have a long gestation period.
The longer-term deposits are more aligned to the bond markets where they compete with corporate and Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs) for money.
Fixed deposits in the form of bonds or debentures are offered by corporate and NBFCs. Bond markets are increasingly getting a popular source of funds for corporate also as they do not have to go through the lengthy process of raising money through the banking system.
Mutual funds, especially the debt funds invest the money raised through the public in bonds. Thus fixed deposit rates of the banks have to be attractive enough to prevent depositors from running to mutual funds or the bonds offered by NBFCs.
In order to make the deal more attractive banks have over the years started offering frills with a Fixed Deposits account such as overdraft facility, zero cost credit cards, nomination facility, safe deposit lockers, internet banking among others.
Fixed Deposits earn higher interest than a Savings Account because the former gives them leg room to lend to people who need the money for roughly the same time limit. A one-year fixed deposit in a bank can allow the bank to lend money to a person who requires a personal loan for one-year period.
Reasons Why You Need To Have a Fixed Deposit
Since the generation of our fathers and grandfathers, fixed deposits remained a preferred instrument to put our hard earned savings in. We would put away a lump sum in a fixed deposit offering an attractive and steady interest rate. Why we preferred and continue to prefer fixed deposits is because of the fixed interest rate which does not go up and down with changes in lending rates. FDs were considered safe and they gave us stable returns. Now you can even open an FD online without even having to go to the bank.
FDs are good for people who have extra lumpsum, which they don't need to use at the time.
FDs ensure capital protection and uniform flow of income. If you are risk-averse and do not want equity exposure, FD is for you
A Fixed Deposits is a saving instrument where you put a lump sum amount for a fixed period of time and earn a fixed rate of interest. On maturity you earn the principal invested along with the interest, which you can always reinvest! They are also called term deposits because you park money in them for a given tenure. Here are the key features of a Fixed Deposit:
Fixed rate of interest
Fixed deposits come with a fixed rate of interest when you open one. The rates of interest themselves keep getting revised from time to time, based on key lending rates. But you only get the rate of interest you locked into while booking the fixed deposit. Bank of Baroda, one among the oldest and largest banks of India, offers one of the highest deposit rates in the country, and has been a preferred bank to open FDs with, for many years now, given its security, pedigree and attractive rate of interest.
It is secure
Unlike financial instruments that depend on market movements, which are volatile, for you to profit from, fixed deposits are secure instruments since they give steady returns. For example, if the interest rates were to fall, you will still earn the rate of interest you were promised while booking the FD.
A bank’s market value, legacy and history also give it immense credibility and a sense of security to the depositors like the millions of depositors of Bank of Baroda who have parked their hard earned income and salaries in the Bank of Baroda deposit schemes for over a century now.
Return on investment
How much your returns on investment are on an FD will really depend on the interest rate and tenure of the FD you choose. You are likely to get more from investing in a long term FD but short term FD will give you more liquidity, depending on whether if your financial requirement is more immediate. You can also pick various options in FDs where you can either reinvest the proceeds you get from an FD or you can request for pay outs on a quarterly or monthly basis. In both the cases, the returns will vary
Bank of Baroda offers flexible tenures. It offers both short term and long term FDs for the benefit of the depositors.
Lending facility against FDs
Some banks also offer loans against FDs, so you do not have to break or liquidate your FD before maturity to get cash. Also, you can continue to earn the interest on the FDs. These loans are in the form of an overdraft (OD).