India Post PPF account (Public Provident Fund) is a savings scheme. Like other post office schemes, the government of India backs PPF. Besides financial security, PPF offers attractive returns and tax benefits.
Making PPF accessible to everyone, including people living in far-flung areas of the country government permit investors to open a PPF account at any post office. Any Indian citizen can open an account under the PPF scheme, including salaried, self-employed, pensioner, businessman, etc.
The public provident fund account in the post office is similar to the account we open in a public or private sector bank regarding key features. The process of opening an India post PPF account is also the same regarding documents and other formalities.
Postal PP Account Details
The Public Provident Fund (PPF) plan was started by the National Savings Institute, Ministry of Finance Government of India, in 1968. The program’s primary purpose is to help people make savings and give them returns on savings. The interest rate on PPF savings is attractive, and you do not need to pay taxes on the returns that the interest rate generates.
To keep your account active, you must deposit funds into your account at least once every year. In addition, when your account matures, you can extend it to five-year time intervals. You can request an extension several times by filling up an extension form, and you can do so without investing additional funds, depending on your preferences.
The interest rate set by the government for the PPF account is paid every three months. PPF investment returns are much better than most of its counterparts. Your Public Provident Fund account investments are tax-free under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. Maturity amount and interest earned on PPF investment are also tax-free.
Post Office Public Provident Fund Account Key Features
Some of the main features of a PPF account are as follows:
- PPF lock-in Period: Lock-in period of the PPF scheme is 15 years. It is a long-term investment scheme, and investment matures in 15 years under this plan.
- Interest Rate: Government set and paid interest on PPF investments every quarter
- Maximum Amount: One lakh fifty thousand (1.5 lakh) is the maximum permitted deposit to the PPF account during a financial year.
- Minimum Amount: Account holders of PPF need to deposit at least Rs. 500 every year.
- Tax Exemption: Public Provident Fund is an EEE scheme, which means the amount of investment, interest earned on investments, and amount at maturity are free of tax.
- Loan Against PPF: You can take a loan against your PPF account balance. However, it is only possible to borrow from the beginning of the third financial year until the end of the sixth financial year from when the account is opened.
Eligibility to open a PPF Account at the Post Office
Here are some essential prerequisites for opening a PPF account in a post office.
- All residents of India, including salaried persons, self-employed individuals, pensioners, people in business, can open a PPF account in any post office.
- The number of PPF accounts that a person can open, including post office PPF is limited to one, and joint accounts are not allowed under this scheme.
- PPF accounts for minors or persons of unsound mind can be opened at any post office by parents/guardians. This type of account is also limited to one.
- Non-Indian residents (INR) cannot open a new PPF account. However, if an Indian resident becomes an NRI after opening a PPF account, they may continue to use it until maturity.
Documents for PPF Account in Post Office
You will need the following document to open an account under the Public Provident Fund scheme.
- Aadhaar card, Passport, Voter Card, Driving license for identification
- PAN Card (Permanent Account Number)
- Voter ID, Aadhaar Card, Passport, Deriving License for address proof.
- Passport size photographs
- Nominee form.
Post Office PPF Interest Rate
The interest rate on PPF investment from 01.04.2020 is 7.1 percent per year and is compounded yearly.
How to Open a PPF Account Through Post Office?
The post office PPF account opening process is paper-based. An interested person needs to appear physically in the post office and fill out the required form. Here are the main steps in the account opening process:
To open an account under the PPF scheme, you can get the application form from the nearest Post office or can download it online and fill it out.
Completed forms need to submit to the nearest post office with self-certified copies of KYC required documents such as Aadhaar, PAN, Voter ID, etc., and photographs. Make sure you have original KYC documents for verification purposes.
You also need to deposit a minimum of Rs. 100 as starting amount by cheque or demand draft. However, the annual minimum amount required to carry on the account is Rs. 500.
When your PPF account opening process is completed, an account passbook in your name will be issued to you. The passbook contains main details about the account such as residence, date of opening, balance, etc.
Post Office PPF Account Benefits
- Interest rates on post office PPF investment are proportionally higher than many other savings plans and bank deposits.
- Since the government backs the scheme so the investors can enjoy secure investments in the long run
- Rs. 500 is the minimum investment during a financial year, which is excellent for those who can’t deposit large amounts.
- PPF scheme provides EEE tax benefits to investors. Under EEE, invested amount, interest earned, and maturity amount are not taxable.
- The maturity of PPF is 15 years, but after maturity, you can extend your account in five-year periods without depositing fresh deposits.
- PPF scheme provides premature withdrawal, but after five years of continuous investment.
- You can take a loan against PPF investments after the third (3rd) financial year.
- You can close your PPF account before maturity under particular circumstances.
India Post PPF account is one of many schemes run by the post office. The primary goal of the scheme is to help individuals in savings, besides giving them tax-saving benefits. PPF account can be opened at any post office within the country.
Being a government-backed scheme, investments under this plan are safe and guarantee a handsome return. Premature withdrawal partial withdrawals are also available in PPF. You can open an account by visiting any nearby post office.