Mutual funds better than FD
Investing in ELSS funds recommended by Scripbox would get you returns of 12% p.a.
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Post Office Fixed Deposit
Post Office Fixed Deposit (POFD) or Post Office Time Deposit (POTD) is the oldest and preferred form of investment offered by the Indian Postal Services. They are considered as safe as the Government of India backs them. Hence it was a famous investment avenue for the previous generations.
Post Office Fixed Deposit (POFD) is similar to a bank deposit where the money is deposited for a fixed tenure and interest rate. The higher the investment tenure, the higher is the interest rate offered. The investor can earn a guaranteed return on the money deposited. Post office FD has four tenures available – 1, 2, 3, and 5 years. Each has its interest rate. The interest is payable annually but calculated quarterly. The interest paid by the post office is subject to TDS. A 5-year post office FD qualifies for tax saving under section 80C of the Income Tax Act.
The investor has to invest a minimum of INR 200 and after that in multiples of INR 200. Only one fixed deposit is allowed per account. However, multiple accounts can be opened in post offices. One can also open a post office FD in all public and private sector banks. A post office FD is transferable from one post office to the other. A post office FD cannot be withdrawn in the first six months of deposit. After that, premature withdrawal is available at a penalty of 1%. Upon maturity, the post office FD can be renewed for the same tenure or can be withdrawn. Post Office FD best suits highly conservative investors who want to invest a lumpsum amount. The interest rates offered by post office FDs are sometimes higher than Bank FDs. An investor can take a loan against FD by pleading the post office FD
Post Office FD Interest Rate
The government sets the rates of POFD at the start of each quarter. For January 2020-March 2020 quarter, the following rates have been decided.
Once invested, the interest remains constant for the entire duration of the deposit. The interest rate offered by POFD is sometimes higher than bank FDs. The interest is payable annually but calculated quarterly and is paid either through cash or cheque. The interest is subject to TDS. If no TDS is deducted, then the same has to be shown while filing income tax returns. For senior citizens, there is no additional interest; however, the interest received up to INR 50,000 is tax-exempt under Section 80TTB.
The interest earned annually on post office FD can be directed to post office savings account and earns a 4% interest per annum. The investor can also direct the monthly interest payments to a 5-year Post Office Recurring Deposit. In both cases, the savings account has to be in the same post office. Upon premature withdrawal after six months but below one year, the interest applicable to a savings account will be earned by the investor. But after that, the investor.
Features & Benefits of Post Office FD
Tenure and Requirement: Post office fixed deposits have tenures ranging from 1 year to 5 years. Any individual can open a fixed deposit at the post office. The account can be opened by either cash/ cheque. In the case of the cheque, the date of realization of the cheque will be considered as the date of opening of the account. NRIs are not permitted to open POFDs. POFD accounts can be opened in the name of a minor and can be operated by a parent or legal guardian. Minors aged ten years or more can open and manage the account. A minor after attaining adulthood has to apply for the conversion of the account in his name.
Nominee: Nominees can be added either while opening the account or later. Furthermore, the person you nominate can also nominate a person even with an existing POFD account.
Minimum Investment Amount: Post Office FD accepts only one deposit per one account. The minimum amount for a POFD is INR 200, and there is no upper limit on the maximum investment. The investment amount has to be in multiples of INR 200 only. An investor can make multiple accounts in any post office. Two individuals can open a joint account, and a single account can be converted to a joint account and vice-versa.
Interest Rate: The interest rate for a five-year deposit is notified before April 1 every year. It is usually aligned with G-sec rates of similar maturity with a spread of 0.25%. Interest is payable annually but calculated quarterly. The government of India offers this scheme; hence it does not require any commercial rating. POFDs have attractive interest rates that are sometimes higher than Bank FD rates.
Integration with the savings account: According to the investor's instructions, the interest earned from the account can be redirected to the post office savings account. This would earn the same rate of return.
However, this requires the savings account to be at the same post office. This integration facility is available at the Head of Departmental sub-offices only.
Integration with Post Office Recurring Deposits: As per the investor's instructions, the interest earned can also be redirected to a %-year post office recurring deposit. For this too, both the accounts are required to be at the same post office. This is available at the Head of Departmental sub-offices only.
Taxation: For fixed deposits with tenure less than five years, there is no tax benefit. However, a 5-year POFD is eligible for tax exemption under Section 80C. The interest earned is added to the annual income and is taxed as per the applicable tax rate. The interest paid by the post office is subject to TDS. If no TDS is deducted, the same needs to be offered in the return of income.
Maturity: Upon maturity, an investor can renew their investments. This can be done by filling out a form or can opt for auto-renewal if the post office is equipped with a CBS system.
Premature Withdrawal: Early withdrawals before six months are not allowed. For withdrawals between six months to one year, the investor will only earn the interest as applicable to the savings account. For all withdrawals beyond one year, an exit penalty of 1% is charged.
Post Office FD Investment Rules
Post Office FD is available for 1,2,3, and 5 years’ tenure only. POFD dates are declared every quarter.
The current post office FD interest rates for January to March 2020 are:
1 Year FD – 6.9%
2 Year FD – 6.9%
3 Year FD – 6.9%
5 Year FD – 7.7%
Post Office Fixed Deposit can be opened offline by cash or cheque.
For deposits made through cheques, the date of realization of the cheque will be the opening date of the FD. The interest will be calculated from this date only.
Transfer from one post office to the other can be done easily.
Interest is compounded quarterly, but payouts are annual.
Post Office Fixed Deposits are guaranteed by the Government of India and hence are a safe investment option.
Post office interest rates for senior citizens are the same. There are no special interest rates for them. For Senior citizens, POFD does not offer any additional or special interest rates as they have Senior Citizen Saving Scheme.
Minors can open accounts under valid guardianship. Minors, attaining 18 years of age, should get the account converted in their name.
The minimum investment is INR 200 and no maximum investment limit.
No restriction on the number of FD accounts an investor can open. Each FD is treated as a different account.
Nominee to post office FD savings account can be added even after opening the account.
Upon maturity, the post office FD can be renewed with the same tenure. The applicable interest rate would be the rate available on the day of maturity.
Premature withdrawals are allowed only after completion of 6 months of the FD tenure. These attract a penalty of 1%.After the post office FD matures, and the depositor doesn't withdraw the amount, they are not entitled to extra interest post the tenure of the fixed deposit.
Tax on Post Office FD Scheme
Saving through post office 5 year FD's have tax benefits. Investors can claim tax deductions up to INR 1,50,000 under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act by investing in 5- year POFD's. With the current inflation rate averaging around 4.09%, POFD's is one of the better options for parking savings. POFD's fall under the ETE (Exempted-Tax-Exempted) category. The investment and lump sum withdrawal fall under the exempt category, but the interest earned is taxable at the income tax slab rate.
A TDS at 10% is deducted (if PAN details are provided and if not 20% will be deducted) on interest earned above INR 40,000. For senior citizens, the TDS threshold is INR 50,000. In case the investor is eligible to avoid TDS, they can fill Form 15G/H. If no TDS is deducted, the same needs to be offered in the return of income.
There is no tax benefit for post office fixed deposits below five years' tenure.The interest for a post office fixed deposit is paid annually but is compounded quarterly. The interest earned is fully taxable. It is added to the annual income of the investor and is taxed at the applicable tax rate.
How is Post Office FD Maturity Amount Calculated?
Post Office Fixed Deposit (POFD) maturity value can be calculated using the following formula.
Maturity value = Principal * (1+Interest rate/4) (n*4)
N is the number of years
The interest rate should be the annual rate.
The above formula is for interest compounded quarterly.
Example: Akhil invested INR 2,50,000 in a POFD at 7% for three years.Using the above formula, the maturity value for Akhil on his investment is calculated below.
Maturity Value = 250000*(1+0.07/4) (3*4)
Maturity Value = INR 3,07,860
The interest in post office FD is calculated quarterly but paid annually. At the time of redemption, this amount will be given to Akhil through a cheque.
The same can be calculated using Scripbox's Post Office FD calculator. Using this calculator, the investor can save time he/she uses for calculating the return. The calculator has an option to enter the amount of the FD. The investor can select the compounding period, which is monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, and annually. There are two sliders available for interest rate and tenure, which the investor can use to set the interest and time period of his/her choice. Once all these are entered, the post office interest calculator returns the initial investment, wealth gained, and maturity value in both numeric and graphical formats. The post office fixed deposit calculator can do the calculations within seconds, saving time for the investor to do things that are more important. Below is an image of Scripbox's post office FD interest rates calculator.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, post office FD pays interest annually, but it is compounded quarterly. The annual interest is credited to the investor's savings account at his/her option.
At the interest rate of 7%, a post office fixed deposit investment will double in 10 years and four months.
Post Office FD is considered a safe investment option as it is backed by the sovereign guarantee of the Government of India.
The post office has multiple savings schemes, namely Post office savings account,five-year post office Recurring Deposit, Post office time deposit (fixed deposit), Senior Citizens savings schemes, 15-year PPF, National Savings Certificate, Kisan Vikas Patra, Sukanya Samriddhi Accounts (SSA). Each has its own set of rules, interest rates, and lock-in period. What is best depends on the investor's needs and requirements. Investors can choose the one that best suits their requirements.
The individual banks govern bank FDs, and hence their interest rates change according to the bank. Post offices operate POFD, and the interest rates are revised at the start of every quarter. Bank FDs start from a mere four days and go up to 10 years. POFDs are either 1, 2, 3, or 5 years. Bank FDs can be opened online, whereas post office FDs have to be opened manually at a post office or a bank. Post Office FDs are more secure as the government backs them.
Post Office Time Deposit, also known as Post Office Fixed Deposit, is a fixed deposit scheme similar to bank FD. Investors can invest a certain amount for a fixed period for a fixed rate of interest. The return from POFD is guaranteed and backed by the government of India.
There is no limit on how much can be deposited in a POFD. However, the minimum amount is INR 200, and the investments have to be in multiples of INR 200.
Yes, a 10% TDS is deducted on the interest earned above INR 40,000 if the investor has submitted their PAN details. In case PAN details are not available, 20% TDS is deducted.
Post Office Fixed Deposit (POFD) is similar to a bank deposit where the money is deposited for a fixed tenure and interest rate. The higher the investment tenure, the higher is the interest rate offered. The investor can earn a guaranteed return on the money deposited. POFD has four tenures available – 1, 2, 3, and 5 years. Each has its interest rate. The interest is payable annually but calculated quarterly. The interest paid by the post office is subject to TDS. A 5-year POFD qualifies for tax saving under section 80C of the Income Tax Act.
POFD offers 1,2,3 and 5-year time deposits. No restriction on the number of FD accounts an investor can open. Each FD is treated as a different account.Interest is compounded quarterly by paid annually. Interest income is taxable as per the depositor's income tax slab rate.The minimum investment is INR 200 and in multiples of it thereafter.POFD's are guaranteed by the Government of India and hence are a safe investment option.Premature withdrawals are allowed only after completion of 6 months of the FD tenure. These attract a penalty of 1%.Minors can open accounts under valid guardianship.POFDs have attractive interest rates that are sometimes higher than Bank FD rates.
Post Office Fixed Deposits are considered the safest investment option available in the market. When compared to bank FDs or other company FDs, the interest rates are comparable or sometimes higher. The tenure is fixed in POFDs, whereas in bank FDs or company FDs, there is flexibility in tenure due to multiple available options. The interest is subject to TDS, but the investment in 5-year post office FD is exempt from tax as per section 80C. Company FDs do not have tax exemption and are subject to TDS of 10%. The minimum deposit amount in POFDs is INR 200, whereas, in the bank FDs, the amount varies. Premature withdrawals of POFDs are allowed with penalties lesser than company FDs. POFD's do not offer monthly, half-yearly or quarterly interest payout options, and hence are not suitable for investors who need regular income. Bank FDs can opt for monthly or quarterly interest payouts.
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