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PPF or Public Provident Fund is a public growth scheme under which people can contribute a part of their income and claim a income tax rebate. PPF scheme was introduced by the Government of India in 1968 with the aim to include more and more individuals to the scheme and get profit. Public provident fund scheme is normally of 15 years but can be extended for 1 or more terms of 5 years while the individual holds the rights to terminate the PPF funds at any time. Here I have made a small list of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) to help you in understanding the PPF system better.
Q. How much can I invest?
Ans : Any Indian individual can invest a minimum of Rs. 500 per annum and up to a maximum of Rs.70000 per annum.
Q. What interest rate will be applied to my investment?
Ans : Indian Government awards a 8% interest rate to your investment, which gets added to your account on 31st March of every financial year. The invest amount is calculated based on the minimum amount that exists in your account between 5th March and 31st of March.
Q. What are the tax benefits?
And : The total interest that you accumulate from your investment on every 31st March will be completely tax free, under section 88 of IT Act. Additionally any amount that is to be credited is also fully exempted from wealth tax.
Q. Is there any loan facility?
And : Yes, you can take loans from your PPF account but a maximum of 25% of the total balance at the end of 1st financial year from 3rd to 6th year can be taken. You can take as many loans as you want but you need to close any active loans first.
Q. How can I withdraw money from my PPF account?
And : You may not withdraw any amount from your PPF amount within first 5 years. From the 6th year onwards, you can withdraw money from your account but this is limited to once per year. If your account is 15 or more years old, you can withdraw up to 60% of the balance.
Q. How to check my PPF (Public Provident Fund) account status?
And : You may contact your bank or post office branch to know the current status of your PPF account. If your bank provides online banking, you can request them to link your PPF account to your existing online banking account. Once they merge the accounts, you can view, check your account status and pay PPF loans online.