National Savings Certificate (NSC) has long been a preferred savings avenue for individuals looking for a secure and government-backed investment option. In this guide, we will explore the key features, benefits, and tax implications of investing in NSC, making it easier for you to make informed financial decisions.
What is National Savings Certificate (NSC)?
National Savings Certificate is a savings instrument offered by the Government of India to promote small savings among citizens. It is a fixed-income investment with a defined tenure, providing a safe and reliable way for individuals to invest. NSC interest rate is decided by the Government of India and revised every quarter. For the third quarter of FY 2023-24, the NSC interest rate is 7.7%.
Who should invest in NSC?
- Risk-averse investors: NSC is an excellent choice for individuals who prioritise the safety of their investments. Being a government-backed instrument, it carries minimal risk, making it suitable for risk-averse investors.
- Diversification: National Savings Certificates (NSC) can be an option for portfolio diversification, as it offers a low-risk investment opportunity. It is essential to consider the individual's overall financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment horizon before making decisions.
- Tax-saving investors: Individuals looking to avail tax benefits can consider NSC. You can claim up to Rs. 1.5 lakh p.a. tax deduction under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, offering a tax-efficient way to grow savings.
Benefits of NSC
- Safe and secure investment: The National Savings Certificate (NSC) is a secure investment option backed by the government, providing assurance to investors for both the invested amount and earned interest.
- Accessible to all: With a minimal entry requirement of just Rs. 100, NSC is accessible to a diverse range of individuals. This low entry barrier ensures that even small investors can actively participate in this savings scheme.
- Tax benefits: NSC investments qualify for tax benefits under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. Investors can claim deductions for the principal amount invested, up to Rs. 1.5 lakh, helping in reducing their taxable income.
- Compounding growth: Interest on NSC compounds annually, fostering investment growth. The compounding effect allows investors to earn interest not only on the principal amount but also on previously earned interest.
- No limit on investment: NSC imposes no upper limit on investment amounts, making it suitable for those who are willing to invest large amounts.
How to invest in NSC?
You can get NSC certificates either electronic mode (e-mode) or through a passbook. While the passbook method is less popular and more complicated, you can easily buy NSC schemes with a savings account at any authorized bank or post office.
Documents required to apply for NSC
- Identification proof: You need to provide an original identification proof such as Passport, Permanent Account Number (PAN) Card, Voter ID, Driving licence, Senior Citizen ID, or Government ID for verification.
- Photograph: You will need to provide a passport-size photograph.
- Address proof: You will need to provide an address proof like electricity bill, Passport, telephone bill, bank statement along with a cheque.
Comparing NSC with other tax-saving Investments
National Savings Certificate (NSC)
Public Provident Fund (PPF)
7.7% p.a. as of December 2023
7.1% p.a. as of December 2023
Maximum investment limit
Rs. 1.5 lakh per year
Tax benefit under “Section 80C”
How to request for a duplicate National Savings Certificate
Step 1: Fill Form NC-29, the application for duplicate certificates, available at any post office in India.
Step 2: Submit the filled-out form at the nearest post office branch. If the nearest branch is not the branch where the original certificate was issued, the application will be forwarded to the original branch by the new branch itself.
Step 3: The application should contain details of the NSC such as the amount, account number, date of issuance, and the reason for the duplicate NSC.
Step 4: If certificates are defaced or damaged, there is no need for an indemnity bond.
Step 5: However, there is a fee for reissuing the NSC in passbook form.
National Savings Certificate (NSC) is a secure investment option, offering guaranteed returns and tax benefits. It suits individual who prioritize safety and tax savings, and its simple process makes it accessible to various investors. NSC provides a reliable and government-backed choice for growing your savings.