Many of us invest in PPF or Public Provident Fund with an objective to save tax in the short term and fetch good long-term risk-free returns. However, when we talk about PPF, we often assume that it is an investment option for adults. But, did you know, that you can also have a PPF account for your children?
Yes! You can open a PPF account for your minor children to provide for their future financial requirements. Here’s everything you need to know about PPF account for minors.
What is PPF?
Before delving into PPF account for minors, let us understand what is PPF.
PPF or Public Provident Fund is a long-term savings scheme launched and managed by the central government to aid Indian citizens in investing and building a corpus. The biggest benefit of a PPF investment is that the interest earnings and the corpus generated at maturity are entirely tax-free.
The Income Tax benefits from PPF investment can be claimed as per provisions of Section 80C of the Income Tax Act.
PPF account for minors
PPF account for minors allows investors to set aside savings for their children such that the investment earns fair returns apart from income tax benefits. This investment benefits the account holder through good, safe, and reliable returns in the long run.
As per government rules, any eligible Indian citizen can only have one PPF account at a time. However, a parent of a minor child is allowed to open a PPF account for the child to ensure that there is sufficient financial backing to cover the child’s future education expenses, marriage, or other needs.
Eligibility for PPF account for minors
A child’s parent or legal guardian, who is also a residing citizen of India, can open a PPF account on behalf of their minor child. Only one parent is allowed to open a PPF account in their minor child’s name.
How to open PPF for a minor?
To open a PPF account for a minor, the parent or legal guardian can request the form at any designated bank or PPF-authorised post office.
Below-mentioned documents must be furnished by the parent or legal guardian to open a PPF account for minor. Details of the parent or guardian and the minor must be furnished.
- Duly filled PPF form
- Parent or guardian’s photograph
- Minor’s age-proof document
- Parent/Guardian’s KYC documents such as ID proof, address proof, etc
- A minimum initial investment of Rs. 100 has to be submitted with these documents
Points to note while opening a PPF account for minor
Here are some of the points to keep in mind while opening a PPF account for a minor:
Minimum and maximum amount
Those who have a PPF account under a minor’s name must deposit a minimum amount of Rs. 500 per year. The maximum amount that can be deposited in PPF per year is Rs. 1.5 lakhs per family. Therefore, parents/guardians who have a PPF account in their name and their minor child’s name must ensure that the maximum contribution in both PPF accounts should be within Rs. 1.5 lakhs.
As per provisions of Section 80C of the IT act, one can claim a maximum tax exemption of Rs. 1.5 lakhs per annum for PPF investment. This maximum limit is the total limit applicable for all PPF accounts of the family, including of minor children.
After the child attains 18 years of age, the parent/guardian can transfer the ownership of the PPF account to the child’s name. This will allow the child to take any further actions regarding the PPF account and corpus. For transfer of ownership, the individual who turned major must furnish certain documents to the bank or post office in which the PPF account is held.
Parents who have made an investment in their minor child’s PPF account can partially withdraw the corpus from the PPF account after 7 years. For such withdrawals, parents/guardians must submit proof that the withdrawn funds will only be used for the minor’s benefit.
If a parent/guardian wants to close their minor child’s PPF account, they can request closure after five years of account opening. PPF account for minors can be closed prematurely by parents/guardians only if:
- the minor needs medical treatment for a serious ailment or
- The child’s higher education needs to be funded.
Those who want to set aside some funds by investing in a low-risk and government-backed avenue can consider investing in Public Provident Fund. Parents looking to invest toward their children’s higher education, marriage, or financial backup can open a PPF account on behalf of their children. This helps in gathering funds to provide for their future expenses while being assured of the safety of capital.
Individuals looking to open a PPF account for themselves must ensure that their minimum age is 18 years. Parents/guardians looking to open a PPF account for minor children can open it at any point as there is no minimum age limit for children.
According to the Public Provident Fund (PPF) scheme rules, one cannot have more than 1 PPF account.
You can invest a maximum of Rs. 1.5 lakhs in a PPF account. You can either make a single lump sum investment or opt for monthly contributions.
Yes, a father and his minor son both can have different PPF accounts.