Monday, February 15, 2016

How to open a PPF acount

With the financial year 2015-16 coming to a close, it may be time to think of tax-saving investments. The Public Provident Fund that can be opened at post offices across the country and with select banks, is among the safest instruments to park your money.

Investing with the post office

PPF investment in the post office involves filling up a simple two-page application form called ‘Form A’ and affixing your recent passport size photograph. The form can either be downloaded from the India Post website at http://www.indiapost.gov.in/pdfForms/PPFActOpening.pdf or picked up across the counter from any post office. The form requires your name, PAN, address and the details as to how much you are investing (minimum ₹500).

You can either invest in cash or by tendering a cheque. If you are investing in the name of your minor child, his/her date of birth must be mentioned. You may also need to submit a copy of the birth certificate for verification purposes; ditto with your address proof and PAN card copy.

These apart, you need to sign a declaration related to other PPF accounts that you may be holding as the total investment for all accounts put together is capped at ₹1.5 lakh. ‘Form E’ for nomination details with the signature of one/two witnesses can also be submitted with the account opening form.

Once submitted, an account will be opened and you will be allotted an account number and a passbook.

Every time you put in money after that, a deposit form called ‘Form B’ needs to be filled, giving the subscriber account number, name, address and payment mode. You will get a counterfoil for this deposit, which can be submitted in your offices as proof of investment in this tax-saving scheme.

Investing online with banks

The paperwork and procedures are largely the same for banks, if you want to invest the traditional way. But banks such as ICICI Bank and SBI allow you to open and maintain your PPF account online.

You can transfer funds online into this PPF account from a linked savings account with the same bank or from any other savings account. Besides, as PPF allows investment in instalments (maximum 12 in a year), you can also issue auto-debit instructions instead of filling up a deposit form every time you want to invest.

Also, you can view the credits to the PPF account online anytime just like how you see your bank statements. Print-outs can be submitted to your office for tax calculation purposes.

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