Depositors in the ‘Sukanaya Samridhi’ scheme, notified by the government in November 2014, can now avail tax benefits under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act.
The maximum deposit under the scheme for planning the future of the girl child will be ₹1.50 lakh in a financial year. Apart from this scheme, an individual also has the option of getting tax benefits through investments in National Savings Certificates, five-year Post Office Time Deposits, Public Provident Fund, Life Insurance, Equity-Linked Tax Saving Scheme, Five-year Tax Saving Bank Fixed Deposits or even principal repayment of home loan under Section 80C.
As per a Finance Ministry notification, tax benefits for the Sukanya Samridhi scheme have come into effect from January 21, which means anyone investing on after the said date will get tax benefits.
The scheme prescribes opening of a deposit account with post offices in the name of girl child by her biological parents or legal guardian. One girl will have one account, while the parent can open such an account for a maximum of two girl children till the age of 10.
However, if there are twin girls, then the facility will also be available for the third girl child.
Though the account will mature in 21 years from the date of opening of account, one can withdraw half the balance (at the end of preceding financial year) for higher education and marriage.
There is one condition — this withdrawal will be possible only after the girl attains the age of 18 years. The account will be closed if a girl marries before the scheme’s maturity period.