India Post offers a range of maturity options under its time-deposit small savings scheme. India Post - which operates a network of more than 1.5 lakh post offices across the country - provides four different lock-in periods for time deposit - or fixed deposit - accounts, and pays interest to the tune of 7-7.8 per cent per annum on such accounts, according to its website, indiapost.gov.in. While the fixed deposits of one-year, two-year and three-year maturities have no upper investment limits in place, the five-year time deposit allows a maximum investment of Rs 1.5 lakh a year.
Here are the interest rates, investment limits and income tax benefits applicable to the post office fixed deposit accounts:
Post office fixed deposit investment limits
The post office allows a minimum investment of Rs 200 in any of its time-deposit products.
Post office fixed deposit interest rates (rate of return)
|Maturity period||Annual return (interest rate)||Investment limit||80C tax benefit|
|One year||7.00%||Minimum Rs 200, no upper limit||No|
|Two years||7.00%||Minimum Rs 200, no upper limit||No|
|Three years||7.00%||Minimum Rs 200, no upper limit||No|
|Five years||7.80%||Minimum Rs 200, maximum Rs 1.5 lakh a year||Yes|
Interest rates applicable to small savings schemes are revised by the government on a quarterly basis. For the quarter ending June 30, investment in fixed deposit accounts of one-three year terms fetches interest at the rate of 7 per cent per annum.
Post office five-year fixed deposit income tax benefits under Section 80C
Investment in the five-year time deposit account qualifies for income tax benefit under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, according to the India Post website.
Section 80C provides for a reduction of up to Rs. 1.5 lakh in taxable individual income in a year under certain conditions. In other words, eligible income tax assessees can claim a tax benefit worth up to Rs. 1.5 lakh - in the form of deduction from gross income to arrive at taxable income - in a financial year using Section 80C rules. (Also read: Have you fully utilised Section 80C tax benefit? Read this)