Keep Check On PPF, SSY Minimum Deposit; 7 Essential Personal Finance Tasks To Complete In March

March brings crucial financial tasks. Investors in PPF and SSY must meet minimum deposit deadlines by March 31, 2024, or you will lose interest on these deposits.
7 Essential Personal Finance Tasks To Complete In March
7 Essential Personal Finance Tasks To Complete In March

As March unfolds, from ensuring minimum deposits in schemes like the Public Provident Fund (PPF) and Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY) to updating Aadhaar details, several critical financial tasks demand your attention.

The most important is the minimum investment criteria in the Provident Fund (PPF) and Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY) as it can have repercussions beyond the month.

Minimum Investment In PPF and SSY Deposits Is A Must

Investors in the Public Provident Fund (PPF) and Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY) are required to annually deposit a minimum amount, with the deadline for this financial year set for March 31, 2024.

If you are planning to switch or have already switched to the new tax regime for FY2023-24, aiming for higher income tax exemptions, then you know that investments in tax-saving schemes like PPF and SSY won't qualify for tax exemptions.

Thus, you might think that you can skip investing in these investments for the ongoing FY2023-24. But note that if you fail to deposit the minimum amount your accounts are frozen leading to the following consequences.

PPF mandates a minimum Rs 500 deposit each financial year, with fees of Rs 50 charged as fine for non-compliance.

Failure to deposit the minimum amount renders the account inactive, making you lose loan and withdrawal privileges until revival.

A default fee of Rs 50 is levied for each year of default plus the minimum deposit of Rs 500 for each year of non-deposit should be paid for reviving the account.

Till your account is frozen you also lose out on tax-exempt interest created on these deposits.

Similarly, SSY requires a minimum Rs 250 deposit annually, with similar fees of Rs 50 for renewal. Similarly, inactive accounts accrue no tax-exempt interest until the revival of the account.

Paytm Payments Bank Deposit Deadline

March 15, 2024, is the last date for deposit and top-up services for Paytm Payments Bank customers, with a complete halt in banking operations from then on. Prepaid instruments, wallets, FASTags, or National Common Mobility Cards (NCMC) will not work after March 15, 2024.

Except for withdrawals and balance utilisation, the bank can't provide any service such as fund transfers, including the Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS), Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), etc, Bharat Bill Payment Operating Unit (BBPOU), and even Unified Payments Interface (UPI) facility. Customers must plan, and shift their account to another bank.

Free Aadhaar Update Deadline

The opportunity for free Aadhaar updates will end on on March 14, shifting to a paid service thereafter. Now this service is free only on the myAadhaar portal and attracts a fee of Rs 50 at physical Aadhaar centres, as in the case earlier. Individuals must act promptly to avoid additional charges, either through the myAadhaar portal or physical Aadhaar centres.

If not done before this deadline, the same will be available for a charge on the myAadhaar portal starting March 15, 2023.

Filing Updated ITRs

The deadline to file an updated income tax return (ITR) for AY 2021-22 is March 31, 2024. So, taxpayers who missed filing it for the said financial year or may have missed reporting any income or given incorrect income can file an updated ITR or ITR-U.

An updated return can be filed within 2 years from the end of a particular assessment year (subject to certain conditions). Hence, if taxpayers missed filing it for FY2019-20, they can do the same now till March 31, 2024.

Fourth Advance Tax Installment

Taxpayers must submit the fourth instalment of advance tax by March 15, 2024, to avoid financial penalties imposed under section 234C.

Noncompliance with this deadline will attract penal interest on the outstanding taxes, as per section 234C, at a rate of 1 per cent per month or part thereof.

Special Fixed Deposit Schemes

Banks like SBI and DBI Bank have special fixed deposit schemes with attractive interest rates, that are only valid till March 31, 2024

SBI runs a specific tenor scheme of 400 days (Amrit Kalash) at a rate of interest of 7.10 per cent with effect from April 12, 2023. Senior citizens are eligible for an interest rate at 50 bps premium.

Similarly, IDBI Bank is offering Utsav Callable FD with an interest rate in the range of 7.05 to 7.25 per cent to general depositors with a 50 bps premium to senior citizens. These special FDs will be offered only till March 31, 2024.

FASTag KYC Update Extension

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) extends the FASTag KYC compliance deadline to March 31, 2024, granting users additional time to finish their KYC updates.

This extension is especially meant for those facing challenges concerning Paytm FASTags. Non-compliance will lead to deactivation of FASTags and when you cross a toll plaza with such a card, you will be charged double the regular amount.

The NHAI announced that only the latest issued FASTag account would remain active with previous tags being deactivated or blacklisted.

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