ELSS Mutual Funds: Definition, Benefits, and Best ELSS for 2023

ELSS mutual funds, or Equity-Linked Savings Schemes, are a type of tax-saving mutual fund in India. They allow investors to invest in the stock market while still saving on their taxes. ELSS mutual funds invest mostly in equity and have an investment horizon of three years.

While ELSS mutual funds are a great way to save on taxes, they do come with certain risks. The returns on these investments can be volatile and dependent on the stock market, so investors should be aware of the risks associated with them. However, ELSS mutual funds can also provide good long-term returns and are a good option for those looking to build their wealth over time.

When investing in ELSS mutual funds, it is important to remember that there is no guaranteed return or safety of the principal. Additionally, investors should also consider their risk appetite and assess the fees associated with the fund before investing.

Overall, ELSS mutual funds are a good option for those looking to save on taxes while still investing in the markets. They provide the potential for long-term capital appreciation and are tax-efficient, making them a smart choice for those looking to grow their money.

Benefits of ELSS Mutual Funds

ELSS mutual funds are a tax-efficient investment option that offers various benefits for investors. Some of the benefits of investing in ELSS mutual funds include:

1. Lower Taxes: Investing in ELSS mutual funds helps investors avail of tax deductions up to Rs 1.5 lakhs under Section 80C of the Indian Income Tax Act, 1961.

2. Equity Exposure: ELSS mutual funds invest predominantly in equity and equity-related instruments. Hence, they offer potential capital appreciation over the long term.

3. High Liquidity: ELSS mutual funds have a lock-in period of 3 years and are highly liquid after that, making it easier to switch to another fund or withdraw the proceeds once the lock-in period is over.

4. Diversification: ELSS mutual funds are diversified investments and help spread risk among different sectors. This can help reduce volatility and potentially generate higher returns over time.

5. Low Cost: ELSS mutual funds have relatively low expense ratios when compared with other equity investments, making them more cost-effective.

Factors to consider before investing in ELSS Funds

1. Fees: Investing in ELSS funds typically involves paying a fee to the fund manager or advisor. Therefore, it is important to compare the fees charged by different fund managers before investing.

2. Risk Profile: Before investing in ELSS funds, you should assess how much risk you are willing to take and then choose an ELSS fund that matches your risk tolerance.

3. Fund Performance: Evaluating the historical performance of the fund is another important factor to consider before investing in ELSS funds. A fund’s past performance can provide information about its ability to generate returns for investors.

4. Investment Horizon: ELSS funds are long-term investments and are subject to market volatility. Therefore, investors should choose an ELSS fund with an appropriate investment horizon, depending on their financial goals.

What are the tax benefits offered by ELSS Mutual Funds?

The primary benefit of investing in ELSS mutual funds is that investments up to Rs. 1.5 lakhs are eligible for deduction under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. Additionally, long-term capital gains from ELSS funds are exempt from tax, and dividends received from ELSS funds are tax-free in the hands of the investor.

How to Invest in Tax-Saving Mutual Funds?

1. Determine your investment time frame: Before investing in tax saving mutual funds, you should determine your investment time frame and decide if you are comfortable with a long-term or short-term approach.

2. Research and select a mutual fund: After determining your investment time frame, you should research and select a mutual fund that meets your specific needs and investable criteria. Make sure to look at the past performance and fees of the fund before you make your decision.

3. Review the fund’s tax benefits: Tax saving mutual funds offer several tax benefits, such as tax deductions or exemptions from certain taxes. Make sure that the fund you select offers the desired tax benefits and that you understand how they work.

4. Check the lock-in period: Most tax saving mutual funds have a lock-in period, which can range from one to three years. You should review the lock-in period for the fund you are considering and make sure it fits into your investment time frame.

5. Invest the minimum amount: Finally, most tax saving mutual funds require an initial investment of a certain amount. Make sure to invest the minimum amount necessary to start your account.

10 Best ELSS Funds to Invest in 2023

  1. DSP Tax Saver Fund
  2. ICICI Prudential Long Term Equity Fund
  3. SBI Magnum Tax Gain Scheme
  4. Axis Long Term Equity Fund
  5. Kotak Tax Saver Fund
  6. Reliance Tax Saver Fund
  7. Aditya Birla Sun Life Tax Relief 96
  8. Franklin India Taxshield Fund
  9. Canara Robeco Equity Tax Saver Fund
  10. HDFC Long Term Advantage Fund