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ELSS Funds - Equity Linked Savings Scheme

As we grow in life, saving for tax or planning for income tax deduction becomes an unavoidable exercise.

Government of India allows you to save tax under Section 80C, 80D, 80EE. You can claim tax deduction up to ₹ 1.5 lakh under Sec 80C, additionally you can save ₹ 25,000 (₹ 50,000 for senior citizens) under Section 80D and ₹ 50,000 under Section 80EE. As beginners we are introduced to tax saving options such as PPFs, Insurance, ULIPs and more.

Other than traditional investment options, you can consider investing in equity as an asset class with ELSS (Equity Linked Savings Scheme), which is an equity mutual fund with a 3-year lock-in.

What is ELSS Mutual Fund

ELSS is a type of Mutual Fund which allows you to claim for income tax deduction. You can save up to ₹ 1.5 lakhs a year in taxes by investing in ELSS, which is covered under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961. However, you can choose to invest more than ₹ 1.5 lakhs, but the excess will not qualify you to avail the tax benefits as per the provisions of Section 80C.

What is ELSS Mutual Fund?

Benefits of ELSS

  • Shortest

    ELSS has lock- in period of 3 years which is the shortest when compared with other tax saving instruments under Section 80C. Tax-saving FDs have a 5 year lock-in & PPF has a 15 year maturity. Hence, ELSS allows you greater flexibility in the medium term.

  • Potentially higher returns

    Since ELSS mutual funds invests in equity markets, returns generated through them are significantly higher than other tax saving instruments.

  • Better post-tax returns

    Long term capital gains of up to Rs. 1 lakh a year from ELSS mutual funds are exempt from income tax and long-term capital gains above Rs. 1 lakh are taxed at 10%.

  • Allows you to create wealth

    Corpus generated out of ELSS investment can also be used to fulfil your financial goals. You can sync your ELSS investments to attain goals across life stages such as building a retirement kitty, saving for their child’s education, buying a car or making a down payment for their house.

Benefits Of ELSS vis-A-vis The Regular Tax Saving Options.

Instrument Safety/Risk Lock-In(Years) Returns Tax Free Gains
SCSS (Senior Citizens Saving Scheme) Low Risk 5 8.6%^ No
NSC (National Savings Scheme) Highest Safety 5 7.9%^ No
PPF(Public Provident Fund) Highest Safety 15 7.9%^ Yes
Bank FD Low Risk 5 6.25* No
ELSS (Equity linked savings scheme) High Risk 3 Market Linked No
Life Insurance Premlums Moderate Risk Minimun 5 Variable Yes
NPS (National Pension System) Moderate Risk Till age 60 Variable Partially
EPF (Employee Provident Fund) Low Risk Till age 60 8.65% Yes
Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana Low Risk 15 8.4%^ Yes

^ Rates Applicable For Oct-Dec 2019; * For Non Senior Citizens Get 6.75% From SBI

Source : Finance Ministry For Government-Linked Investment Returns

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