The interest rate on Public Provident Fund (PPF) account has been revised to 8 per cent for the October-December quarter, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement on Thursday. PPF accounts are an investment avenue with decent returns coupled with income tax benefits. After a gap of several years, the government today raised interest on small savings, including NSC (National Savings Certificates), PPF, senior citizens savings scheme and others for third quarter of the current financial year, in line with rising deposit rates in the banks.
Here are 5 things to know about Public Provident Fund (PPF) accounts:
1. The interest rate on PPF has been increased to 8 per cent for the third quarter from 7.6 per cent. The interest rate on PPF deposits was as high as 8.8 per cent on April 1, 2012. Since then it declined gradually, reported news agency Press Trust of India (PTI).
2. Interests on deposits in PPF are compounded on an annual basis, which means that it is added to the principal amount every year.
3. A minimum of Rs. 500 subject to a maximum of Rs.1,50,000 per annum can be deposited in a PPF account. The subscriber should not deposit more than Rs.1,50,000 per annum as the excess amount neither earns any interest nor is eligible for rebate under Income Tax Act. The amount can be deposited in lump sum or in a maximum of 12 installments per year.
4. A PPF account matures in 15 years. Thereafter, on application by the subscriber, it can be extended for 1 or more blocks of 5 years each.
5. Income Tax benefits are available under Section 88 of Income Tax Act. Interest income is totally exempt from Income Tax. Amount outstanding to the credit is fully exempted from Wealth Tax also.