• Tax exemption on Fixed Deposits

    Published on August 01 2018

    The difference between a normal fixed deposit and a tax saver deposit is the first thing an investor would need to know. Are they completely different? Yes they are. With a normal fixed deposit an investor can make a deposit for a period of his/her choice, and will be able to draw the money from the deposit within a week from the date of opening. They normal fixed deposits also do not get any deduction of taxes on this deposit. Whereas if an investor, takes up a tax saver deposit, he/she will not be able to withdrawn the amount invested for a minimum period of 5 years, but will be able to claim for tax deduction as well under section 80C of the Income Tax Act 1961. But the interest earned on the tax saver deposit will still be taxed.

    What exactly is Tax Exemption?

    Tax exemption is to be free from tax or not be subject to tax by the government or regulatory authorities. An individual or entity is excused from paying taxes, under single or even multiple tax laws. Many governments even encourage investments in tax exempt schemes. Income on which tax is not levied is considered as a tax exempt.

    Tax Exemption on FD

    Are Fixed Deposits valid for Tax Exemption?

    As per the government and the announcement made by the Finance Ministry in 2006, an investment made in a tax saving fixed deposit which has a minimum of 5 years lock-in period is valid and eligible for a tax deduction as per section 80C of the Income Tax Act of 1961. The fixed deposit will need to follow the below mentioned guidelines to be eligible:

    1. The deposit maturity will need to be a minimum of 5 years, but it can be extended, to a period of up to 10 years, depending on the bank.
    2. The minimum amount under this deposit should be Rs. 100 and multiples thereof
    3. The maximum amount under the deposit should be Rs. 1.5 lakhs per year.
    4. The deduction is available for only individuals and Hindu Undivided Families
    5. There will be no premature withdrawal for these fixed deposits.
    6. These fixed deposit will also not have any loan facility attached to them
    7. TDS will be charged under this deposit, on the interest earned by the deposit if it is over Rs. 10, 000 for a year. The TDS will be paid at the end of the financial year.

    The tax saving fixed deposits can be made in either a single or joint name, in case the wherein the tax saving fixed deposit are made in a joint account only 1 of the holders can claim the deduction as per section 80C of the Income Tax Act 1961.

    Benefits of Investing in a Tax Saving Fixed Deposit:

    A Fixed Deposit usually serve a dual purpose, they help secure your savings, as well as save on the taxes payable by you. So what is the difference between the two? There are 2 types of Fixed Deposit the regular Fixed Deposits and Tax Saving Fixed Deposits, and they are completely different from each other. If an individual take a normal fixed deposit then he/she will not be able to get a tax deduction under section 80C, but with the Tax saving deposit they can avail this benefit.

    Tax Exemption for NREs:

    All NRE’s who make an investment in a fixed deposit will not be taxed for any interest earned on them, the NRE account will be exempt from taxes under section 10 (4)(ii) as per the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999.

    Frequently asked questions on Tax Exemption on FD

    1. Is premature withdrawal allowed under a Tax Saving Deposit?

      No, premature withdrawal and partial withdrawal are not allowed as per Tax saving deposits.

    2. Can I apply for a loan against my tax saver fixed deposit?

      No, this deposit cannot be used as a pledge for loans and advances in any banks.

    3. If the tax saver fixed deposit is opened jointly, who is eligible for the tax exemption?

      Since the tax saver fixed deposit is eligible for tax exemption, only 1 of the joint account members are eligible, it will need to be claimed under the name of the first holder of the account.

    4. What is the minimum tenure for the tax saver fixed deposit?

      The minimum booking period for a tax saver fixed deposit, is a tenure of 5 years minimum and up to a period of 10 years depending on the bank.

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