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India Post Office has served as a reliable and secure investment avenue for millions of Indian citizens for several decades. The deposits and saving schemes by the Post Office have government backing and hence are generally considered safe. They also offer one of the highest interest rates for your money. In recent years, India Post has upgraded to modern technology for management and operations of their savings bank functions. This has enabled millions of account holders across India to access their account from anywhere.
Tax saving deposits are one of the primary services offered by the Post Office. The Public Provident Fund (PPF) has been the flagship program offering lakhs of rupees in tax savings for the hard-working, middle income group employees. There are more such tax saving programs from the India Post Office that have been offering attractive savings schemes for its customers.
About Post Office Tax Saving Schemes
PPF is a regular savings scheme that comes with a fixed tenure of 15 years. This is one of the most sought out tax saving schemes owing to its ease of depositing money, higher interest rate and tax rebate on the interest accrued and the withdrawal amount.
Here are some of the salient features of the Public Provident Fund scheme:
Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana Account is a Government of India backed savings scheme designed for parents of girl children. The scheme allows parents to set up a trust for their child's eventual schooling and marriage expenses. It encourages parents to systematically save for their daughter’s higher education and marriage so that the perception of a girl child being a burden on her parents is abolished.
All parents and guardians of girl children under the age of 10 can open this account. Only one account per child is allowed. Parents can open up to two accounts for two of their children (exceptions allowed for twins and triplets). The account is portable anywhere in India and can be accessed at any branch of the post office or the bank.
National Savings Certificate is like an FD. You deposit a lump sum amount into the account which is held for a minimum period of 5 years. The amount, along with the accrued interest is paid back at the time of maturity.
The Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS) is a savings scheme that is backed by government assured returns for senior citizens’ savings. It is a fixed deposit scheme with a tenure of 5 years that gives a higher rate of interest compared to normal FDs. This FD scheme can be availed in all leading public and private sector banks. It is available at India Post Offices too. The scheme can be availed by senior citizens over the age of 60. The investment can also be considered for tax rebate under Section 80C of the Income Tax.
Features of the Senior Citizen Savings Scheme
It is one of the most popular programmes of the postal service for tax exemption. This scheme is a lot like a bank's fixed deposit. Investors may make investments with varying terms, such as 1, 2, 3 and 5 years. Other benefits of this scheme are -
Post Office Tax Saving Schemes
Public Provident Fund (PPF)
Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY)
National Savings Certificate (NSC)
Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS)
Post Office Time Deposit
The savings schemes under the Post Office are often lucrative given the high interest rate and the government backing they get.
1. What are the documents required to open any one of the tax saving schemes at the post office?
The documentation requirements are very simple. You will need to submit the duly filled application form along with your KYC documents.
2. How do I keep track of the investment and the interest accrual?
Upon opening the account, you will be given a Passbook. It will contain the initial deposit amount, account opening date and the maturity date. You can get this passbook regularly updated with the accrued interest and the total balance on the account.
3. Do the post office savings schemes have any risks?
Post Office savings schemes are not market linked. Also, they are backed by the government’s financial support. Therefore, they carry nil risk.
4. What are the tax benefits available for post office tax saving schemes?
Post Office Tax Saving Schemes are considered under section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961. They have a maximum limit of Rs.1.5 lakhs per annum.
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