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TAX BENEFITS AND IMPLICATIONS OF INVESTING IN MUTUAL FUNDS
What are the tax provisions for Mutual Fund Units?
The following is the Tax Status in respect of Units of Mutual Funds:
A : For Equity Schemes:
Categories Short term capital gains tax Long term capital gains tax Dividend income Dividend distribution tax TDS
Resident individual/ HUF 15% Nil Tax free Nil Nil
Partnership firms / AOP/BOI 15% Nil Tax free Nil Nil
Domestic companies 15% Nil Tax free Nil Nil
NRIs 15% Nil Tax free Nil STCG- 11.33%* LTCG - Nil
*10%  surcharge  plus 3 % Education Cess

B : For Other Schemes:

Categories Short term capital gains tax Long term capital gains tax Dividend income Dividend distribution tax TDS
Resident individual/ HUF As per slab 10% (20% with indexation) Tax free 14.16% (12.5% plus 10% surcharge plus 3% education cess) Nil
Partnership firms** / AOP/BOI As per slab 10% (20% with indexation) Tax free 22.66% (20% plus 10% surcharge plus 3% education cess) Nil
Domestic companies 30% 10% (20% with indexation) Tax free 22.66% (20% plus 10% surcharge plus 3% education cess) Nil
NRIs As per slab 10% (20% with indexation) Tax free 14.16% (12.5% plus 10% surcharge plus 3% education cess) STCG - 30%LTCG - 20%(After providing for indexation)
**Short Term Capital Gains Tax for Partnership Firms would be at 30 %.

Surcharge for Resident Indians, Domestic Companies and NRIs:
  • For Individuals, HUFand AOP,BOI, 10 % surcharge on tax payable if income exceeds Rs.10 Lakhs.
  • For others including resident corporate bodies, 10% surcharge on tax payable if the income exceeds Rs. 1 Crore
Education Cess:
  • Education Cess is levied at the rate of 3% calculated on Tax payable plus surcharge
Abbreviations used:
  • HUF: Hindu Undivided Family
  • AOP: Association of PersonsBOI:Board of Individuals
  • NRI: Non-Resident Indians
C : Wealth Tax & Gift Tax for Mutual Fund Units:

Income Tax Provision on clubbing for Gift of Units

Dividend income ST / LT Capital Gain / Loss
As dividend is tax free in hands of unit holders, hence no tax applicable on either Donee or Donor. If the transferee or donee is Spouse, son's wife or minor son: Gain / loss clubbed with that of the donor of units.Other independent donee: Gain / loss treated as donee's gain / loss and not clubbed with that of donor.

Gift Tax: Mutual Fund units are exempt.

Wealth Tax: Mutual Fund units are exempt.

D : Securities Transaction Tax:

Equity Fund Other than Equity Fund
0.25% of redemption value. Exempt from securities transaction tax on redemption value.
  1. Mutual fund would also pay transaction tax wherever applicable on the securities bought / sold.
  2. As per section 94(7) of Income Tax Act of India: The loss due to sale of units in the schemes (where dividend is tax free) will not be available for setoff to the extent of the tax free dividend declared; if units are: - (a) bought within three months prior to the record date fixed for dividend declaration; and (b) sold within nine months after the record date fixed for dividend declaration.

  3. As per section 94(8) of Income Tax Act of India: The loss due to sale of original units in the schemes, where bonus units are issued, will not be available for setoff; if original units are: - (a) bought within three months prior to the record date fixed for allotment of bonus units; and (b) sold within nine months after the record date fixed date for allotment of bonus units.
However, the amount of loss so ignored shall be deemed to be the cost of purchase or acquisition of such unsold bonus units.

Why should you invest in ELSS ?

Excellent returns: Historical Returns from ELSS have been very attractive. You will discover that these returns have been much higher than other traditional tax-saving instruments. ELSS Schemes also have the shortest lock-in period compared to any other tax-saving instruments in India.
Safety:Due to the 3-year lock-in period, the Investment Manager can take a long-term view to invest the funds in equity. The real potential of equities shows up only after a few years. The manager is not under pressure to take risky, aggressive investment decisions to deliver short-term returns.
Tax-free income: The dividends you earn will be tax-free. When you sell the units of ELSS, you can avail of long-term capital gain under the Income Tax Act, which is exempt from tax.
Systematic Investment Plan: You can invest as less as Rs. 500 at regular intervals. You take advantage of fluctuations in the stock markets by rupee-cost averaging.
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