ELSS – Secret of Tax Saving with Mutual Fund Investments.

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Published: 16th January 2009
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As the name suggests ELSS (equity linked savings scheme), invests primarily in equity shares of companies. As per financial regulations, the scheme Fund manager has to invest 80% of the total amount in the equity shares and the remaining 20% per cent can be invested in other instruments like bonds, debentures, government securities and others. When you invest in ELSS your money is locked for a period of three years (minimum). Once you invest in tax saver funds you cannot withdraw the amount for three years, this acts as a blessing in disguise as tax saving funds generally yield high returns during a 3year period. The common man is basically afraid of investing his money in equity shares as he is afraid of loosing money. But a look at the recent past shows that investors who have invested in tax saver funds have never lost out on their money, rather tax saver funds have been the front runners in terms of returns to investors. A small illustration will clarify comprehensions.

If you make an investment of Rs 1,00,000/ ( 1 lac), then under section 80c this complete amount is deducted from your gross income for that particular year. If your annual income puts you in the highest tax paying zone, i.e -34%, then the investment of Rs 1,00,000/ will ensure that you get an annual tax deduction of Rs, 34,000/. So logically speaking you invest Rs 66,000/ considering the deduction. Assuming that the Mutual Fund declares an annual dividend of 10% then your total return on Rs 66,000 is [(10,000/66000)* 100] = 15.15%. This particular dividend earned is also tax-free, hence more profit. Another profitable venture out of this investment is that after a period of 3 years the capital gain that you obtain out of the investment is also tax-free. This is what makes ELSS the most attractive investment for those who have the appetite for moderate risk. However, prior to making an investment selecting a good fund house based on its reputation and track record is important. Elss are considered to be the best tax saving mutual funds in India.

ELSS is a good option to save tax and generate long term capital gains. These gains are obtained from the equity market only if you are investing in a long time horizon. Adding money in a disciplined manner creates a good corpus. The basic confusion that the average investor could have is that they consider Equity Mutual Funds and ELSS to be the same, which in true sense isn't correct. Normal equity funds could be purchased today and disposed off tomorrow. Incase of ELSS there is a compulsory 3 year lock in period. As per the rules related to long-term capital gains, profit from equity MFs after one year becomes tax-free. As per latest sources the top 5 ELSS schemes are 1) Principal Personal Tax-saver, 2) DSP ML Tax Saver Fund, 3) Taurus Libra Taxshield, 4) Lotus India Tax Plan, 5) Franklin India Tax Shield ( FIT). Going by the current volatile market trends and with the current fiscal year approaching an end, investing in a good ELSS fund is a clever option to save taxes.

Investment and Financial Planner for a leading Mutual Fund House in India. To read more about tax saving with ELSS click here.

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