SIP (Systematic Investment Plan) is the best way to invest your money in mutual funds (MFs) for creating wealth over a long period and achieving your long-term goals. However, to make the most of SIPs, it is also necessary for you to be aware of its various tax implications.
When you redeem mutual fund investments, you are liable to pay capital gains tax in that year. Capital gains on SIPs are applicable on a First-In-First-Out (FIFO) basis. What this means is, the gains are calculated against each instalment, starting from the first one.
Suppose you have a monthly SIP of Rs 10,000 in an equity fund, running from 1st March 2017. You decide to redeem Rs 50,000 on 10th June 2018. Investments from the earlier months will be redeemed until the amount specified is reached.
For equity funds, redemption made beyond 12 months of purchase attracts Long Term Capital Gains (LTCG) tax while redemption up to 12 months attract Short Term Capital Gains (STCG) tax. So, in this case, LTCG tax will be applicable on gains from the first three months and STCG tax on gains of the fourth month of your SIP, as illustrated below:
|Date||NAV||Units allotted (10,000/NAV)||Value of units sold @ NAV 27.5 on 10th June 2018||Gains/Profits||Tax|
|1st Apr 2017||21.25||470.59||12,941||2,941||LTCG|
|1st May 2017||21.68||461.25||12,685||2,685||LTCG|
|1st June 2017||22.41||446.23||12,271||2,271||LTCG|
|1st July 2017||22.72||440.14||12,104||2,104||STCG|
|1st Aug 2017||23.04||434.03||11,936||–||–|
|1st Sep 2017||23.45||426.44||11,727||–||–|
|1st Oct 2017||23.89||418.59||11,511||–||–|
However, you will have to pay the tax only if your aggregate gains from equity exceeds Rs 1 lakh in a year. This includes gains from both equity mutual funds and direct investment in shares.
The same principle of tax calculation applies to SIPs in the non-equity funds. The only difference is in the investment holding period; for non-equity funds LTCG is applicable beyond 36 months and STCG up to 36 months.
Some more pertinent things to note:
# Your equity fund SIP redemptions are taxable only if your gains from equities exceed Rs 1 lakh in a year.
# Tax rates are different for equity and non-equity funds. They are higher for non-equity funds by 10-15%.
# If you have invested in the dividend option, Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) will be applicable.
# TDS is applicable for NRI (Non-resident Indians) investors.
Tax rate ready reckoner:
|Non–equity funds||20% with indexation||30%||25%|
(By Amar Pandit, CFA and Founder & Chief Happyness Officer at HappynessFactory.in)