According to current income tax laws, under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, you can claim a deduction for investments up to Rs 1.5 lakh in a financial year in tax-saving fixed deposits (FDs). The amount so invested is to be deducted from gross total income to arrive at the net taxable income.
The following are a few important points you should be aware of before investing in Fixed Deposits.
1. Only Individuals and Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs) can invest in tax saving FD scheme.
2. The FD can be placed with a minimum amount which varies from bank to bank.
3. These deposits have a lock-in period of 5 years. Premature withdrawals and loan against these FDs are not allowed.
4. A person can invest in these FD’s through any public or private sector bank except for co-operative and rural banks.
5. Investment in Post Office Time Deposit of 5 years also qualifies for deduction under section 80 (C) of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
6. Post Office Fixed deposit can be transferred from one post office to another.
7. One can hold these FD’s either in ‘Single’ or ‘Joint’ mode of holding. In the case the mode of holding is joint, the tax benefit is available only to the first holder.
8. The interest earned is taxable as per the investor’s tax bracket and therefore, TDS is applicable. The interest on deposits is payable on either monthly/quarterly basis or can be reinvested. A person can avoid TDS deduction on the interest earned by submitting Form 15G (or Form 15H for senior citizens) to the bank. Senior citizens can claim a deduction of Rs 50,000 on the interest earned from deposits as per the section 80TTB. Click to know how senior citizens can claim a deduction of Rs 50,000.
9. Nomination facility is available for these FDs.
10. Most banks offer slightly higher interest rates on FDs to senior citizens (as compared to the interest rate offered on the same FD to a non-senior citizen). This interest rate differential exists for tax saving FDs also. 5-year post office time deposit does not offer any differential interest rate to senior citizens and non-senior citizens.