Capital Gain is the difference between sale price and acquisition cost of the investment. Since mutual funds are exempt from tax, the schemes do not pay a tax on the capital gains they earn.
Investors in mutual fund schemes however need to pay a tax on their capital gains as follows:
– Nil – on Long Term Capital Gains (i.e. if investment was held for more than a year) arising out of transactions, where STT has been paid
– 15% plus surcharge plus education cess – on Short Term Capital Gains (i.e. if investment was held for 1 year or less) arising out of transactions, where STT has been paid
– Where STT is not paid, the taxation is similar to debt-oriented schemes
– Short Term Capital Gains (i.e. if investment was held for 1 year or less) are added to the income of the investor. Thus, they get taxed as per the tax slabs applicable. An investor whose income is above that prescribed for 20% taxation would end up bearing tax at 30%. Investors in lower tax slabs would bear tax at lower rates. Thus, what is applicable is the marginal rate of tax of the investor.
– In the case of Long Term Capital Gain (i.e. if investment was held for more than 1 year), investor pays tax at the lower of the following:
— 10% plus surcharge plus education cess, without indexation
— 20% plus surcharge plus education cess, with indexation
Indexation means that the cost of acquisition is adjusted upwards to reflect the impact of inflation. The government comes out with an index number for every financial year to facilitate this calculation.
For example, if the investor bought units of a debt-oriented mutual fund scheme at Rs 10 and sold them at Rs 15, after a period of over a year. Assume the government’s inflation index number was 400 for the year in which the units were bought; and 440 for the year in which the units were sold. The investor would need to pay tax on the lower of the following:
— 10%, without indexation viz. 10% X (Rs 15 minus Rs 10) i.e. Rs 0.50 per unit
— 20%, with indexation.
Indexed cost of acquisition is Rs 10 X 440 ÷ 400 i.e. Rs11. The capital gains post indexation is Rs 15 minus Rs 11 i.e. Rs 4 per unit. 20% tax on this would mean a tax of Rs 0.80 per unit.The investor would pay the lower of the two taxes i.e. Rs0.50 per unit.
Here’s how different funds are taxed and who should invest in them:
Debt schemes held for short term: If you fall under 10% tax bracket, growth option would be better—as there is no DDT (13.519%). Dividend option is better if an individual falls under higher income brackets (20% or 30% & above) as the DDT is lower. Debt schemes if held for short term ( less than one year), then capital gains tax will added to income and taxed according to the slab.
Debt funds held for long term: If you want to invest in debt schemes for more than a year, growth option is a better choice. In case of debt schemes, long term capital gains are taxed at 10% without indexation and 20% with indexation.
Source : NISM