What is (PPF)Public Provident Fund?
A Public Provident Fund generally known as PPF is basically a savings scheme offered specially by the Government of India. The interest under the Public Provident Fund account is paid by the government of India. It is also tax-free. It is a scheme that offers long term investments backed up by the Government of India.
Here the Investors can invest minimum Rs. 500 to maximum Rs. 1,50,000 in one financial year and can get the facilities such as loan, withdrawal and extension of account.
List of banks with which you can open a PPF account-
|HDFC Bank||Allahabad Bank|
|ICICI Bank||Central Bank of India|
|Axis Bank||Canara Bank|
|State Bank of India||Union Bank of India|
|Bank of Baroda||Indian Bank|
|IDBI Bank||United Bank of India|
|Punjab National Bank||Dena Bank|
|Canara Bank||Vijaya Bank|
|Oriental Bank of Commerce||Bank of Maharashtra|
|Bank of India|
Like PPF, investment in Equity Linked Saving Scheme (ELSS) is eligible for tax deduction under Section 80C. PPF deposits have made a return at 8% in last 10 years, investments in ELSS have returned between 15% to 18%. Adding to this, the lock-in period of ELSS is 3 years while for PPF it is 15 years. If you wish to take a moderate risk to earn higher returns, you can invest in ELSS.
ELIGIBILITY FOR OPENING PPF ACCOUNT
(i)Only an Indian resident can open a PPF account.
(ii) An individual can open only one single PPF account.
(iii) NRIs who had opened a Public Provident Fund account while they were resident Indians some time back, can operate the account until 15 years with no option for extending it further.
(iv) Minors can also open a Public Provident Fund account based on a legal age proof identity.
(v) PPF accounts prior 2005, can be operated till the maturity period of 15 years with no extensions.
(vi) The applicable Public Provident Fund interest rate for 1st April to 30th June 2019 (Q1 FY 2019-20) has been fixed at 8.0%. The interest rate for January – March 2019 was also 8%.
STEPS TO OPEN A PPF ACCOUNT
A Public Provident Fund account can be opened in any above mentioned designated bank. Following are the documents required to open a Public Provident Fund account :
(i) Fill a Public Provident Fund Account opening form which is available at the bank or the Indian Post office or online portals.
(ii) ID proof that includes any of the following-PAN Card, Driving License, Voter ID Card, Passport, Aadhaar Card.
(iii)If you are applying online for Public Provident Fund account, there are separate procedures different for all the banks but the basic documentation and submission of application remains the same.
(iv) Address proof which includes Telephone bill, Electricity bill, Ration card or Aadhaar Card.
(v) Two recently updated passport size photographs.
(vi) Pay-in-slip at the bank branch to transfer the amount to your PPF account, or a signed cheque in favour of your Public Provident Fund account.
(vii) For a minor, a birth certificate may also be required as an age proof.
BENEFITS OF OPENING A PPF ACCOUNT
(i) Risk-free interest rate: Get an attractive interest rate lesser than any other account of just 8% backed by the Central Government.
(ii) Compounded interest rate: The interest rate on Public Provident Fund account is compounded annually. You will need to pay interest on the 31st of March, every year.
(iii) Tax deduction: Get deductions of up to Rs 1.5 lacs on investments in the PPF account, under Section 80C.
(iv) Good investment plan for a period of 15 years.
(v) Loans against PPF balance: Loans can be availed against your Public Provident Fund account between the 3rd to the 6th financial year.
(vi) Extension of a PPF account: A PPF account can be extended in a block period of 5 years after maturity(after 15 years).
(viii) Withdrawal Facility: Partial amount withdrawal facility can be availed from the 7th financial year onwards.
(ix) Contributions to the Public Provident Fund accounts of the spouse and children are also eligible for tax deduction under the PPF scheme controlled by the central Government.
LIST OF ALL FORMS IN A PPF ACCOUNT
Look for the below table where we represent all the required forms which are related to the PPF account-
|List of Forms||Nature of the Form|
|Form A||For opening a new Public Provident Fund account.|
|Form B||For adding money in the PPF account and repaying the loans against the Public Provident Fund account.|
|Form C||For partial withdrawals from the Public Provident Fund account after 7th financial year.|
|Form D||To apply for a loan against your PPF account.|
|Form E||Adding a nominee to your Public Provident Fund account.|
|Form F||Changing the nomination of your PPF account.|
|Form G||For claiming the funds in a Public Provident Fund account by a nominee.|
|Form H||For extending the maturity of the PPF account (after 15years)|
INACTIVATION AND REACTIVATION OF PPF ACCOUNT
(i) It is very important to keep in mind that the money has to be deposited or invested each year to keep a Public Provident Fund account active. The minimum amount depositing requirement is Rs.500 which should be met each financial year, if not, the Public Provident Fund account from that financial year is declared inactive.
(ii) Loan facility cannot be availed when the Public Provident Fund account is inactive.
(iii) To reactivate the Public Provident Fund account an account holder has to pay a penalty of Rs.50 per year for inactivation, and the minimum amount cumulative for each inactive year as well.
TAX IMPLICATIONS ON A PPF ACCOUNT
PPF falls under the EEE (Exempt, Exempt, Exempt) tax basket. Investments into the Public Provident Fund account are eligible for tax benefits under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. The total amount that would be received upon maturity and the interest earned is both exempted from income tax. This is the biggest achievement of this scheme.