Tax on Mutual Funds in India
Investing in mutual funds is a popular way for individuals in India to grow their wealth. However, it is important for investors to understand the tax implications of investing in mutual funds. In this article, we will discuss the various taxes on mutual funds in India.
Short-term capital gains tax
If an investor sells mutual fund units before holding them for one year, any profit made on the sale will be considered short-term capital gains and will be taxed at a rate of 15%. This tax is applicable to all types of mutual funds, including equity funds, debt funds, and hybrid funds.
Long-term capital gains tax
If an investor holds mutual fund units for more than one year before selling them, any profit made on the sale will be considered long-term capital gains. For equity funds, long-term capital gains tax is levied at a rate of 10% for gains above Rs. 1 lakh. For debt funds, long-term capital gains tax is levied at a rate of 20% with indexation benefits.
Dividend distribution tax:
If a mutual fund declares dividends, it is required to pay dividend distribution tax (DDT) before distributing the dividends to investors. For equity funds, DDT is levied at a rate of 10% plus surcharge and cess. For debt funds, DDT is levied at a rate of 25% plus surcharge and cess.
Securities transaction tax
When an investor buys or sells mutual fund units on the stock exchange, securities transaction tax (STT) is levied on the transaction value. The rate of STT for equity mutual funds is 0.1% of the transaction value, while for debt mutual funds, it is 0.001% of the transaction value.
Capital gains tax on switch
If an investor switches from one mutual fund scheme to another, any gains made on the switch will be subject to capital gains tax. However, there is an exception for switch transactions between schemes of the same mutual fund house, which are exempt from capital gains tax.
Tax-saving mutual funds
Investments in tax-saving mutual funds, also known as Equity Linked Saving Schemes (ELSS), are eligible for tax deductions under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. Investments in ELSS funds up to Rs. 1.5 lakh in a financial year are eligible for deductions under Section 80C.
Investing in mutual funds can have tax implications that investors in India should be aware of. Understanding the various taxes on mutual funds can help investors to make informed investment decisions and maximize their returns while minimizing their tax liabilities. It is always advisable to consult a tax professional or a financial advisor for personalized advice on mutual fund investments and tax planning.