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Fixed Deposit

 

The term Fixed Deposit refers to a savings account or certificate of deposit that pays a fixed rate of interest until a given maturity date. Funds placed in a Fixed Deposit usually cannot be withdrawn prior to maturity or they can perhaps only be withdrawn with advanced notice and/or by having a penalty assessed.

Fixed Deposit Example:
For example, a Fixed Deposit will often be used by individuals, businesses and financial institutions around the world as a means of storing their liquid funds for a fixed period of time for future use. In the retail market, Fixed Deposits are relatively safe investments when provided by insured financial institutions such as banks, savings and loan corporations and credit unions that are duly regulated within the country in which they operate. Also, while the term Fixed Deposit is in common usage in India and some other countries, Fixed Deposits are also known as term deposits in countries like Australia, Canada and New Zealand, as time deposits in the United States and as bonds in Great Britain.

Usually in India the interest on FDs is paid every three months from the date of the deposit. (e.g. if FD a/c was opened on 15th Feb., first interest instalment would be paid on 15 May). The interest is credited to the customers Savings bank account or sent to them by cheque. This is a Simple FD.  The customer may choose to have the interest reinvested in the FD account. In this case, the deposit is called the Cumulative FD or compound interest FD. For such deposits, the interest is paid with the invested amount on maturity of the deposit at the end of the term.

Although banks can refuse to repay FDs before the expiry of the deposit, they generally dont. This is known as a premature withdrawal. In such cases, interest is paid at the rate applicable at the time of withdrawal. For example, a deposit is made for 5 years at 8%, but is withdrawn after 2 years. If the rate applicable on the date of deposit for 2 years is 5 per cent, the interest will be paid at 5 per cent. Banks can charge a penalty for premature withdrawal.

Banks issue a separate receipt for every FD because each deposit is treated as a distinct contract. This receipt is known as the Fixed Deposit Receipt (FDR), that has to be surrendered to the bank at the time of renewal or encashment.

Many banks offer the facility of automatic renewal of FDs where the customers do give new instructions for the matured deposit. On the date of maturity, such deposits are renewed for a similar term as that of the original deposit at the rate prevailing on the date of renewal.

Income tax regulations require that FD maturity proceeds exceeding Rs 20,000 not to be paid in cash. Repayment of such and larger deposits has to be either by " A/c payee " crossed cheque in the name of the customer or by credit to the saving bank a/c or current a/c of the customer.

                                                      

Some Benefits of FD

Customers can avail loans against FDs up to 80 to 90 per cent of the value of deposits. The rate of interest on the loan could be 1 to 2 per cent over the rate offered on the deposit.

Non resident Indians and Person of Indian Origin can also open these accounts.                                  

                                               

Taxability

Tax is deducted by the banks on FDs if interest paid to a customer at any branch exceeds Rs 10,000 in a financial year. This is applicable to both interest payable or reinvested per customer or per branch. This is called Tax deducted at Source and is presently fixed at 10% of the interest. Banks issue Form 16 A every quarter to the customer, as a receipt for Tax Deducted at Source.

If the total income for a year does not fall within the overall taxable limits, customers can submit a Form 15 G (below 65 years of age) or Form 15 H (above 65 years of age).                   

                          

How bank FD rates of interest vary with RBI policy?

In certain macroeconomic conditions (particularly during periods of high inflation) RBI adopts a tight monetary policy, that is, it hikes the interest rates at which it lends to banks ("repo rates"). Under such conditions, banks also hike both their lending (i.e. loan) as well as deposit (FD) rates. Under such conditions of high FD rates, FDs become an attractive investment avenue as they offer good returns and are almost completely secure with no risk.