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What Is The Difference Between Term Deposit And Fixed Deposits?


Every time you enter the bank to open a deposit, you might be taken a back, when the bank talks about a term deposit, whereas you actually want to open a fixed deposit.

Is there a difference between term deposit and fixed deposit?

Actually, there is no difference between a term deposit and a fixed deposit. Both are one and the same. Most bankers tend to use the word term deposit.

What Is The Difference Between Term Deposit And Fixed Deposits?
On the other hand individuals like to call it a fixed deposit. So, they are interchangeable and freely used, one for the other.

Term deposit is often used when the deposit is extended for a certain term say 3 months, 6 months etc. while fixed deposit or FD is used when the deposit is for a period of six months or more. The deposit account offers a higher rate of return than savings bank account.

More so, in India and other Asian nations, fixed deposit is more commonly used while term deposit is popular in foreign nations. Canada, New Zealand, Australia use term deposit for such deposits with the banker.

In both the investment options which are rather same an investor deposits a certain sum for a period of time to earn interest on it. Bank deposits are highly safe with no downside risks with respect to returns. Both private sector and nationalized banks can be approached for opening the deposit account.

On maturity, principal amount and the interest is payable and if the investors doesn't specifies any mandate, the deposit is renewed for another fixed term at the prevailing rate of interest. In case of premature withdrawal, a penalty is levied as lower rate of return than the contracted rate.

Banks in some instances ask you to open another account with the deposit account.

For saving on tax, an individual can consider investment in 5-year tax saving fixed or term deposit with the bank.

Further, there are other fixed or term deposits that allow you to earn an interest income on a monthly basis with lump-sum payment towards it. These are generally for a 5 years time.


Is there a difference between taxation for term deposit and fixed deposit?

Even when it comes to taxation, there is no difference between the two. For example, both a time deposit and a term deposit will attract a TDS, if the interest crosses Rs 10,000 each year. Of course, if you submit form 15G or form 15H, there would be no TDS liabilit.

Read more on form 15g and 15h here

Income earned through both the term deposit and fixed deposit is one and the same in terms of taxation. So, you would have to take the interest income and added to other income that you have before filing tax returns.

Why two terms for the same deposit?

Actually term deposit has been used, because you are placing the sum for a fixed term. These deposits could be placed for tenures from as small as 15 days, to as much as 10 years.

One difference between a term deposit and fixed deposit is that latter is more prominently used in bank deposits, whereas the former is used for company deposits.

So, which should you actually buy?

Since there is no difference between a term deposit and a fixed deposit, you can buy either. We recommend that if you are looking at slightly superior returns, in the context of falling interest rates, you look at company deposits with a solid rating.

Please also ensure that you plan your tax liability accordingly, given the fact that interest on both the term deposit and the fixed deposit is taxable.


As mentioned before there is no difference between both. For example, a banker uses the word term deposit, while an individual is more familiar with fixed deposits.

Read more about: fixed deposit term deposit
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