ELSS plans are diversified funds that invest predominantly in equity and related instruments.
They come with a lock-in period of three years and also provide investors dual perks of the tax exemption under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act and capital appreciation.
Benefits of investing in Equity Linked Savings Scheme
- Under Section 80C, elss enable investments that are eligible for tax benefit up to 1.5 lakh. Also, apart from tax exemption and capital gain, this scheme has an added advantage of having the shortest lock-in period of three years in comparison to other tax saving instruments.
- From April 1st, 2018, investors have to pay a 10% long-term capital gains tax on gains excess of Rs. 1 lakh in a financial year.
- You can also opt for Systematic Investment Plan – SIP, and make disciplined investments in these funds starting with Rs. 500 per month.
- There are other options for investing in these funds. These are growth options, dividend options, dividend reinvestments options.
ELSS in comparison to other tax saving instruments like NSC and PPF
The below table is a comparative representation of the three investment strategies – ELSS, NSC and PPF:
|Minimum lock-in period||3 years||5 years||15 years|
|Taxation of interest or dividend||Presently, dividend is not taxed but starting April 1st, 2018, dividend from ELSS will be subject to dividend distribution tax at 10%||Interest earned on NSC is taxable under “Income from other sources” but since the interest is gain reinvested in NSC, it becomes eligible for deduction u/s 80C||Tax free|
|Taxation at the time of redemption||Presently, LTCG on redemption of Equity Linked Savings Scheme Funds is not taxable in the hands of investors but starting 1st Apr’18, it will be taxed at 10% on the gains in excess of Rs. 1 lakhs in a financial year.||Tax free||Tax free|
|Returns||They have delivered average returns in excess of 15% over the past few years||7.6% compounded annually||7.8%|
|Minimum investment||Rs. 500||Rs. 100||Rs. 500|
|Maximum investment||No limit||No limit||Rs. 1,50,000|
The bottom line:
Equity Linked Savings Scheme funds are equity-based investment option are subjected to market fluctuations but are more profitable than the other two options in the long term. They can help you earn an inflation beating returns of 14% to 16% if invested for a longer period. Hence, Equity Linked Savings Scheme funds are an lucrative investment option.
Budget 2018 – the effect on ELSS
The recent budget announcement has posed a major mayhem on individuals who opt the ELSS strategy of investment.
The Finance Minister has announced a 10% Long Term Capital Gain (LTCG) tax on the equity and other related tax saver funds post January 31st, 2018. But this LTCG tax is only for gains above 1 lakh in a financial year, therefore, the new investors need not be perplexed.
These funds can be evaluated by four major factors. Those are Fund-Returns, Fund-History, Expense Ratio and Financial Parameters.
On the whole, ELSS plans is still the best vehicle to hop on to fulfill your long-term financial vision. Above all “Start early-invest less and earn more” is the mantra to be followed.
Finally to know more or invest, contact our financial consultant now!