How to Reactivate Dormant or Inactive Bank Accounts [2018]

How many bank accounts do you hold? 2? 3? 4?

How about that one account that you opened while in college and haven't bothered to check again? Has it been two years since you withdrew from or deposited money in that account?

You may be surprised to find that you are not able to transact in that account anymore. This is because that account of yours is now designated as a dormant.

Fortunately, it's quite straightforward to get these accounts back in active state. This post covers dormant accounts in detail as well as lists steps to reactivate them...

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SBI Gold Deposit & Monetization Scheme [2018-19]

Gold is considered to be a safe investment. And since centuries, Indians have kept a significant portion of their wealth in this form.

It is extremely popular but inherently an unproductive asset. Generally, it sits at home or in a bank locker and doesn't earn any return as such.

Now, is there a way to make it more productive? Is there a way to grow your precious yellow metal? Something similar to a fixed deposit?

The good news is that there is indeed an option. And you can grow your asset by making use of Gold Deposit Scheme by SBI.

In this post, we will look at details of this scheme...

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55 Income Tax Exemptions & Deductions for Salaried [For FY 2018-19]

Are you paying too much tax?

Do you know that you can get a significant reduction in your tax liabilities if you take advantage of all the deductions and exemptions that are available?

The key question is, have you taken advantage of them all and maximized your tax savings? Yes, no, maybe?

If your answer is no or maybe, this guide should help you. It is a comprehensive list of all the tax exemptions and deductions that you can legally make use of in FY 2017-18 (AY 2018-19).

Let's look at each of them one by one...

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SBI PPF Account – How to Open & Invest Online

Outside FDs, PPF is probably the most popular investment vehicle for saving taxes.

But, till recently, it wasn't that convenient to make use of this vehicle. You could only open an account up in a post office and had to visit physically to deposit money in it.

Fortunately, things have changed and now many top banks now offer easy and convenient PPF investments.

And amongst these banks, State Bank of India is probably the most popular choice. It's the one with the highest reach and was the first bank to be approved to open up PPFs on the Government's behalf, back in 2011.

In this guide, I will walk you through the exact process of opening and operating your PPF in any SBI branch. I will also cover what to do if you already have an PPF in a post office...

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How much Pension will you get with EPS (with EPS Calculator)

You see a regular contribution from your employer towards EPS every month.

And you have been told that this is a mandatory contribution towards your retirement pension.

But, have you ever wondered...

...what's the exact EPS amount you will actually get when you finally retire?

Not many know their potential EPS payouts. And to be honest, EPS is not that straightforward to calculate as it's driven by a number of rules that have changed quite a bit over the years.

In this post, I will try and demystify these rules and resultant calculations.

I have also created what I believe is a comprehensive EPS calculator to help you estimate your pension amount quite easily.

So, let's get going...

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How to pay Income Tax Online in <15 minutes [2018]

Have you ever wondered...

...if you can pay your income tax through your debit card or netbanking?

Now if your only income is salary, you probably don't need to worry about it. Your company will deduct and deposit TDS automatically on your behalf.

But, if you are a freelancer or otherwise have a substantive income from sources other than your salary, you may have additional tax liabilities. In fact, you may be liable to pay advance taxes even before the year ends.

There are a ton of questions on this subject and in this guide, I will try and cover all of those in detail....

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How to eFile Income Tax Return through NetBanking [<15 minutes]

Filing income tax returns is an annual chore...

But, fortunately, it gets easier every year.

Unlike years past where filing through your CA was probably the easiest option, you can now go to the tax department's website or a tax aggregator and complete your filing without stepping out of your home.

If you are submitting your returns yourself, nothing beats the convenience of being able to efile through your net banking account.

Yes, your netbanking account can be used to efile your taxes. And the whole process takes less than a few minutes.​

In this post, I will do a quick walkthrough of this process...​

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Cost Inflation Index (CII) Chart for long term Capital Gains [FY 2018-19]

Money loses its value over time because of inflation...

...And when it comes to sales of your long term capital gains, your real profit may actually be much lower because of the rise in prices over time.

The Income Tax department recognizes this and issues an annual Cost Inflation Index (CII) that allows you to index your cost of acquisition to take inflation into account.

This indexed cost is then used to calculate your long term capital gains and the resultant tax on same.

In this post, I will share the complete cost inflation index chart that's updated till AY 2018-19 plus a Capital Gains Tax calculator for you to easily compute your tax liabilities...

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Check your CIBIL Score & Credit Report Online in <5 mins for FREE [2018]

Your credit score can have a significant impact on your financial life...

This score is an indicator of your financial health and it will be verified every single time you apply for a loan or a credit card.

As you may expect, a high score will make your application move much faster while a low score will result in denial of same. 

It's for this reason that it's recommended to keep a close tab on what goes into your credit history and check your CIBIL score from time to time, but definitely before you apply for a loan or a credit card.

Fortunately, checking your own score is very easy and you can do so from the comfort of your home. And you can do it for FREE once a year.

How?

Follow along...

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SBI Savings Plus Auto Sweep (MOD) Account Review 2018

Like most other banks, SBI too has been offering savings accounts with an Auto Sweep facility for many years now.

They have named it as 'Savings Plus' account.

Savings Plus for SBI is essentially a savings account linked to their MODS facility.

With MODS, any surplus funds above a threshold limit can automatically be transferred to the fixed deposits while withdrawals are made in multiples of INR 1k.

In this post, I will do a detailed review of Savings Plus account and provide my recommendation on whether you should opt for it or not...

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5 Smart Ways to avoid TDS & Taxes on Fixed Deposits [2018]

Fixed deposits are inherently tax inefficient...

Any interest on them is 100% taxable. And to add to that this interest is also subject to TDS in case it's more than 10k INR/year.

Now, even if you are otherwise under the overall exemption limit, by default, TDS will still get deducted from your account.

And once its deducted, it becomes a game of waiting. ​​You first wait to file your returns and then you wait for the tax refund to actually happen.

Won't it be simple if you could avoid this TDS altogether? But can you even do that?

Well, yes, you can...

And in this post I will cover 5 ways to minimize your TDS...

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3 Ways to view Form 26AS & Tax Credit Statement (with TDS) Online [2018]

Before you file your taxes...

...make sure that all the tax credits deducted against your name have actually been credited to your account.

Be it TDS on your Salary or TDS deducted by banks on your fixed deposits, or some thing else, you should always cross check that these amounts have actually been deposited to the Income Tax department on your behalf.

Fortunately, with e-governance initiatives undertaken by IT department, it's now extremely easy to do these verifications by simply downloading your Form 26 AS.

In this post, I will do a step by step walk-through of three different methods to download your Form 26AS.

Plus I will also cover basics on how to best interpret and use this form effectively...

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How to easily transfer funds to your PPF Account Online [2018]

Do you already have a public provident fund account?

If yes, you made an excellent investment choice. PPF is an investment option that everyone should avail of as soon as possible.

It's amongst the best fixed income investments, it boasts of high returns, it's risk free and most importantly it's also 100% tax free.

However, as great as this investment is, you may be facing one issue...

... i.e. of having to visit the bank branch or post office physically to make a deposit

In a world, where everything is online and at your fingertips, visiting physically to deposit money seems so much from the past.

It's a hassle. In fact, so much so, that some friends have actually discontinued their PPF investments just because of this reason.

Fortunately, things have changed.

And now, in most cases, it's actually possible to skip these physical visits completely.

Read on...

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How to pay LIC Premium Online in less than 15 mins – 3 Options

LIC is amongst the most trusted names in the Indian life insurance sector. And millions have purchased their policies from this household name.

However, when it comes to paying their regular premiums, most of these policy holders spend hours of their time standing in the queues at LIC offices.

This is probably because they are not aware of the multitude of online payment options that  are easily available and are much more convenient.

In this post, I will cover all these online payment options for LIC premium in complete detail.

Let's start...

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How to Change & Correct PAN Card Name, Address & Signatures Online

You got married recently and now you want to change your last name on your PAN card?

Or maybe you just shifted to a new home and want to modify your address?

Or possibly it's about changing your signatures or your father's name or your photograph or your date of birth or some other information.

Whatever it is, you are doing absolutely the right thing by keeping your pan account up to date.

But, how to go about it? And how much effort will it take? Will it take long?

Answer to all of above is that there exists a well defined process and you can do it all online and you won't even have to go to the IT office.

In this post, I will cover this entire process in detail and step by step...

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Best High Interest Savings Accounts: Plus 2 tricks to get >7% in any bank

4%...

Yes, 4% per annum... That's the paltry interest rate offered by most bank accounts in India.

When RBI deregulated savings bank interest rates back in 2011, it was expected that banks will start competing for retail accounts and hence the interest rate on offer will slowly rise.

This hasn't happened though, as most entrenched banks have continued to stick to their standard 3.5%-4% offering.

But, fortunately, there are some exceptions...

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Best NRE Fixed Deposit (FD) Interest Rates for NRIs [2018 Comparison]

Do you agree that NRE (Non Resident External) Fixed Deposits are amongst the best fixed investment options for NRIs?

And if you do, are you interested in the best interest rates on offer for these deposits right now?

If yes, this post should help.

I will compare the interest rates being offered by all top banks as well as list down the banks offering the highest rates right now...

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How to Check your PF Balance Online – Via UAN, SMS, Missed Call & App

EPF is a social security scheme managed by EPFO (Employee Provident Fund Organization) targeted at your retirement.

Essentially, you and your employer both contribute up to 12% of your basic salary each month and you get the entire corpus back at the time of your retirement.

It is often the very first saving that one makes as it's a mandatory investment for all salaried people in India.

And like any other investment, it's a good practice to keep a close tab on your provident fund balance.

In this post, I will cover five easy ways to do just that...

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[How to] Check LIC Policy Details & Status Online, via SMS & Phone

A neighbor of mine bought an LIC policy last year to provide financial security for her family.  But, she hadn't paid even the three instalments, when she had to go abroad for an urgent assignment for her company.

In all this hustle bustle of her professional life, she totally forgot her premium due dates and missed her grace periods. She came back to India after three months, remembered about her policy and went to her local office to deposit the due payments.

Her policy had lapsed and she had to pay extra charges to revive it back. Charges that could have been easily avoided.

Sounds familiar?

In fact, It's far too common for subscribers to forget their premium due dates. Many of them miss the grace periods too, and their policies end up lapsing. This can be easily avoided if you regularly check your account status and keep a close tab on your due dates.

Earlier, getting these details meant you going to LIC branch office or getting in touch with your agent. You may have had to stand in a long queue as well.

But thankfully, LIC has changed all that...

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Tax Saving Fixed Deposits (FD) Guide – Plus the Best Interest Rates

A Fixed Deposit allows you to invest your money for a pre-determined period in return for a guaranteed interest rate on it.

Tax Saving FDs (also known as Tax Saver FDs) are no different but additionally they also allow you to save some taxes.

In this guide, I will cover all the key features and the most common questions about this popular investment option. I will also list the banks offering the best interest rates on these FDs.

So, let's get started...

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