Eligibility –  Individuals who are residents of India are eligible to open an account under the Public Provident Fund scheme. A PPF account may be opened under the name of a minor by his/her legal guardian. However, each person is eligible for only one account under his/her name.

Non-resident Indians (NRIs) are not eligible to open an account under the Public Provident Fund Scheme. However a resident who becomes an NRI during the 15 years’ tenure prescribed under Public Provident Fund Scheme, may continue to subscribe to the fund until its maturity on a non-repatriation basis.

Investment and Returns –  A minimum yearly deposit of Rs. 500 is required to open and maintain a PPF account, and a maximum deposit of Rs.100000/ can be made in a PPF account in any given financial year. The investments can be made in multiples of Rs. 500, either as a whole sum, or in installments (not exceeding 12 in a year, though more than one deposit can be made in a month). The credit to the PPF account is made on the date of clearance of the cheque, not on the date of its presentation

Every subscription should be made in cash or through a crossed cheque or draft or postal order, in favour of the accounts office, at the place at which that office is situated. In case of any cheque, draft or postal order should be drawn at a bank or post office at that place. It is also possible to transfer funds online using net banking in a PPF account opened with SBI also NEFT Transfer from any bank is possible with sbi ppf accounts.

The government of India decides the rate of interest for PPF account. The current interest rate effective from 1 April 2013 is 8.70% Per Annum(compounded annually). Interest is calculated on the lowest balance between the close of the fifth day and the last day of every month. Till March 2010, cheques deposited for clearing, up to 5th of the month were eligible for that month’s interest. Since 29 March 2010, only the amounts which are actually cleared on or before the 5th of the month are eligible for that month’s interest.

The minimum tenure of the PPF account is 15 years, which can be further extended in blocks of 5 years each for any number of blocks. The extension can be with or without contribution. An account holder, continuing with fresh subscription, can withdraw up to 60% of the balance to his credit at the commencement of each extended period in one or more installments but only once in a year.

Nomination facility is available. In the case of joint nominees, it is possible to allocate the percentage of benefits to each nominee.

Loans

Loan facility available from 3rd financial year up to 5th financial year. The rate of interest charged on loan taken by the subscriber of a PPF account on or after 01.12.2011 shall be 2% p.a. However, the rate of interest of 1% p.a. shall continue to be charged on the loans already taken or taken up to 30.11.2011.

Features

The public provident fund is established by the central government. One can voluntarily open an account with any nationalized bank or post office. The account can be opened in the name of individuals including minor.

The minimum amount is Rs.500 which can The rate of interest at present is 8.7% per annum, which is also tax-free. The entire balance can be withdrawn on maturity. Interest received is tax free. The maximum amount which can be deposited every year is Rs. 1,00,000 in an account. The interest earned on the PPF subscription is compounded. All the balance that accumulates over time is exempt from wealth tax. Moreover, it has low risk – risk attached is Government risk. PPF is available at post offices and banks.

Withdrawals from PPF account

There is a lock-in period of 5 years and the money can be withdrawn in whole after its maturity period. However, pre-mature withdrawals can be made from the end of the sixth financial year from when the PPF commenced. The maximum amount that can be withdrawn pre-maturely is equal to 50% of the amount that stood in the account at the end of 4th year preceding the year in which the amount is withdrawn or the end of the preceding year whichever is lower.

PPF defaults and revival

If the PPF account holder fails to deposit the minimum of Rs .500 in a given financial year, the account is considered to be discontinued and also loans and withdrawals are not allowed. However, the interest will continue to accrue, to be paid at the end of the term. This account can be revived on payment of a fee of Rs 50 for each year of default, along with the arrears of subscription of Rs.500 each such year.

PPF tax concessions

Interest earned is fully exempt from tax without any limit. Annual contributions qualify for tax rebate under Section 80C of income tax. Contributions to PPF accounts of the spouse and children are also eligible for tax deduction. Balance in PPF account is not subject to attachment under any order or decree of court. But, Income Tax authorities can attach the account for recovering tax dues. The highest amount that can be deposited is 1,00,000. Tax bracket for PPF is EEE (i.e. Exempt,Exempt,Exempt). So contribution is exempted under 80C, Interest earned is tax exempted and withdrawal is also tax exempted

Disadvantages of PPF

The problem with PPF is its lack of liquidity. One can withdraw the investment made in 1st year only in 7th year. However, loan against investment is available from 3rd financial year. If liquidity is not an issue, you should invest as much as you can in this scheme before looking for other fixed income investment options.

Second problem is debasement of currency and governments inflation policy as PPF unlike physical assets will not cover a person for inflation, especially in the current economic scenario in 2013. Inflation has been substantially above the PPF interest rate for well over 5 years; as PPF Interest rate of 8.8 or 8.7% as at April 2013 is far below the double digit cpi inflation rate of 11% and way below the real inflation rate.

Interest rates over time

  • 01.04.1986 to 14.01.2000………………………… 12%
  • 15.01.2000 to 28.02.2001……………………….. 11%
  • 01.03.2001 to 28.02.2002 ………………………. 9.5%
  • 01.03.2002 to 28.02.2003 ……………………….. 9%
  • 01.03.2003 to 30.11.2011………………………… 8%
  • 01.12.2011 to 31.03.2012………………………… 8.6%
  • 01.04.2012 to 31.03.2013………………………… 8.8%
  • 01.04.2013 onward………………………………… 8.7%

Source- Wikipedia

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0 responses to “Public Provident Fund (PPF) – Tax benefit and Returns”

  1. Edwin Francis D'Silva says:

    Dear Sir,
    I have been investing regularly in PPF under my children’s accounts. Now one of my children is working and will be liable to pay IT. Can she claim the deduction under section 80C for the amount that I have invested into her PPF account?
    Many thanks in advance.

    • Anil says:

      No, your children will not be able to claim the 80c benefit for the amount deposited by you. You however can gift the money to your children, which they can deposit and claim exemption.

      • Edwin Francis D'Silva says:

        Dear Anil,
        Thanks very much for the clarification. If I am to gift my children the amount intended for them to invest in PPF, does this have to be specified anywhere that this is a gift from me to them? If I were to make a bank transfer for the amounts to each of the children’s accounts and indicate that this is a gift, would that alone be sufficient? please advise. Many thanks in advance.

        • Anil says:

          Normally it should be enough. By way of abundant caution, you may consider informing your children about the money transfer- that it is as gift by you to them by writing a letter addressed to them.

          • Edwin Francis D'Silva says:

            Dear Anil, Many thanks for your very prompt & precise advice. Warm regards,Have a great day ahead. – Edwin

          • Anil says:

            Dear Edwin,
            You are most welcome. It is a great feeling to be of some use- especially to unknown.

            Regards.
            Anil

  2. Kishan Singh says:

    A good and very useful article. Thanks to the author. I would like to know how the interest is credited in the following situation.

    1. PPF account operated in Post Office and transferred to SBI on 15/07/2013.
    2. Balance as on 31/03/2013 is 12,00,000 in Post Office.
    3. Interest is credited on 31/03/2013 by post office.
    4. A/c is transferred to SBI on 15/07/2013.
    5. Interest will be credited by SBI on 31/03/2014.

    My doubt is regarding the interest between 01/04/2013 and 14/07/2013. Who (Post Office or SBI)will give the interest for that period and how?

  3. rugram says:

    Regarding death claim form in PPF (comments of Mr Smehta on this page) I would request him to check the following webpages for the form:

    onlinesbi.com/sbi/downloads/PPF/FORM-G_(PPF%20DECEASED%20CLAIM).pdf

    indiapost.gov.in/pdfForms/PPFClaim.pdf

  4. Smehta says:

    Can you please provide a copy of the death claim form by nominees….from POst office/state bank PPF account…..can you please help…

  5. k.k.chandrabos says:

    Pls advice it is possible to transfer public provident fund account from one post office to another post office

  6. mayank thakker says:

    THIS IS SAFEST INVESTMENT WITH RESEANOABLE INTEREST RATE IF YOU LOOK FOR LONGTERM
    ONE OF BEST SCHEAM WITHOUT ANY RISK.

  7. Dr.C.S.Kalha says:

    sir,
    upto what age one can register with PPF

    after giving one or two instalments one dies what shall be mode of return of the amount deposited
    Thanks

  8. sekar says:

    Good article. It is unfortunate not many youngsters know this investment. A systematic,long term,guaranteed investment with compound interest and EEE benefit! To reap maximum benefits one should deposit every month before 5th. If possible deposit entire Rs.1 lakh before April 5th (if your salary is more. Or one can deposit monthly. KEEP THE PASS BOOK UPDATED WITH SIGNATURE OF THE RECEIVING POST OFFICE OR BANK. In case of change in address keep it updated.

  9. prakash says:

    Whether total deposit by father can be made in PPF account for self – Rs. 100000/- , For minor Rs. 50000/- means total of both account deposit exceeding Rs.100,000/- in a year?

  10. rugram says:

    A good article. Thanks. Maybe addition of rules on transfer of a PPF a/c from one office to another, would have made the article more complete.

  11. neel kamal says:

    dear sir,
    under which section,the interest earned under ppf account, is exempted from income tax
    regards – n.k.chaudhary

  12. M P Kotwal says:

    The maximumlimit of deposit is of Rs.100000/- in a year in one PPF account. Similarly, the maximum limit for deduction under section 80C of Income Tax Act is also Rs.100000/-. Please advise whether the guardian father or mother can deposit Rs.100000/- in one year in his / her PPF account and also can deposit separate amount of Rs.100000/- in the PPF opened for minor child.

    • Anil says:

      The total amount which can be deposited in PPF account, either owned or in the name of wife/children is restricted to one lac only.

  13. Ravi Chandiran.S. says:

    Superb and very useful. Expected the same in coming future also.

    Thanks & regards.

    S. rAvi Chandian

  14. D.Krishnasamy says:

    This article has covered all aspects of PPF accounts.Here only the minus points like lack liquidity,non-coverage of inflation in fixing interest rate are openly covered. Thanks for good and factual article.

  15. Anil says:

    I had opened a PPF account in the name of my minor son in March 1986. I have been regularly contributing to the account since then. In 2010, we completed the formality of allowing my son to operate the account on his own, since he had turned major by that time. Since then I have stopped contributing to the account and my son is now contributing regularly from his income. I request if somebody can confirm that this transition of account from me to my son and his contributions now onwards, is regular as per procedure. I understand that since account has already completed 15 years from the date of its opening, my son will need to extend the period every five years, for as many blocks as he wishes, to be able to contribute regularly.

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