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What are the tax benefits of Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana

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What are the tax benefits of Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana

Amidst the decline in the child sex ratio and rise in female foeticide, the Government of India has launched campaigns like ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’. To encourage the campaign, investment options like Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY) have been initiated for the parents of a girl child. Let’s look at what is SSY, the tax benefits and the features of the investment.

What Is the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY)?

SSY stands for Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana. It is a deposit scheme started by the Government of India to accumulate funds for the education and marriage of a girl child. This program was initiated due to the decline in the sex ratio in the country. With SSY, the parents of the girl child or the guardian can collect funds for ease in educating and bearing the expense of marriage.

When can one open an SSY Account?

An SSY account can be started at any time following a girl’s birth until she reaches the age of ten, with a minimum deposit of ₹250. A minimum of ₹250 and a maximum of ₹1.5 lakh can be placed in later years throughout the ongoing financial year. The account will be active for 21 years from the date of its opening, or until the girl turns 18 and marries. After the child turns 18, a partial withdrawal of 50% of the balance is permitted to meet the need of the child’s higher education expenses.

What are the tax benefits of Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY)

What are the rules to be followed?

For a girl child, you can only open and run one SSY account. You can’t have two accounts for the same girl. Parents or legal guardians of a female child (under the age of ten) can open an account in her name at a recognized bank or post office. The guardian should send the birth certificate of the girl in whose name the account is opened, along with additional documentation proving the depositor’s identity and domicile, to the post office or bank when the account is opened.

Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana Tax Benefits

There are several Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana benefits for parents and tax benefits that one can avail by investing in such a financial tool.

1.A maximum of ₹1,50,000 per year can be claimed as per SSY tax benefits under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act.

2.The interest earned on the deposited amount is tax-free.

3.The amount received on maturity is also tax-free

Tax Deduction Eligibility Criteria

The parent or guardian of the girl child is eligible for opening an SSY account only if the girl is below the age of 10 years. In case the girl child is above the age of 10, the parents cannot open an account and claim Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana income tax benefits.

Things to Remember:

Deposition limit in SSY

A minimum of ₹250 and a maximum of ₹1,50,000 per year can be deposited in the SSY account.

Operator of the SSY account

After completion of 18 years of age, only the girl shall operate the account.

Eligibility Criteria for SSY

The girl child should be below the age of 10 years to be eligible for opening an SSY account.

Number of SSY accounts

A maximum of two accounts can be opened for two girl children. A third account may be allowed in the case of twins during the first or second birth

In case of no deposition

If no funds have been deposited, the account can be regularized with a penalty of ₹50 per year.

Tenure of the SSY account

Deposits have to be made for 15 years only and the account matures after 21 years from the date of opening the account.

Premature withdrawal

Premature withdrawal is allowed after 5 years of maintaining the account in case the parent or guardian passes away or due to other reasons like marriage.

Premature closure of SSY account

Premature closure is allowed in case of marriage of the girl after attaining the legal age of 18 years. Other reasons like a medical emergency or financial burden on the girl child also allow premature closure of the SSY account.

What happens if the minimum amount is not deposited in SSY Account?

If the necessary deposit is not made in a financial year, a Sukanya Samriddhi account might become a default account. The account can be reactivated before the end of the 15-year period from the date of opening by paying the required contribution of ₹250 plus a penalty of ₹50 for each year of delay. If the penalty is not paid, the entire deposit, including those made before the default date, will earn interest at the rate of a post office savings bank account

Can the SSY account be transferred?

If the girl child in whose name the account was opened moves out of the city, the account can be transferred anywhere in India. For this, a transfer request must be completed, and the passbook must be brought to the bank or post office branch. This transfer is free of charge if proof of residency change is provided by either the parent/guardian or account owner. If no such proof is provided, the applicant will be required to pay a fee of ₹100 to the post office or bank where the transfer was completed.

- A Consumer Education Initiative series by Kotak Life

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