There is a popular joke that one can teach their children about taxes by eating one-third of their ice cream. No one likes to pay more tax than they need to. As a result, everyone is on the lookout for ways to reduce or save tax outflows. If you mention the words “how to save tax" in a gathering, you are sure to get the attention of every person around you!
In this article, we will share some income tax-saving tips and tricks with the help of your Demat account.
What is a Demat account?
A Demat or dematerialized account is used to hold shares, securities, bonds and mutual funds in an electronic format. The objective behind this account is to move away from maintaining physical copies or documents for shares or stocks and store them safely in a digital platform. It simplifies and expedites the trading process. One can access all their share certificates at the click of a button.
A Demat account is principally similar to a bank passbook. Though it offers a wider range of benefits. When you make any deposits or withdrawals from your bank account, the credit and debit entries are made in your passbook. Similarly, when you buy or sell any shares, etc. it is credited to or debited from the Demat account.
According to the SEBI guidelines passed in 1996, to invest in the stock market, one needs to mandatorily have a Demat account.
How to save tax using a Demat account?
Now you must be wondering how to save tax by using your Demat account. We will solve the mystery for you.
There are three ways to save tax through a Demat account.
Listed companies distribute a part of their earned profits amongst their shareholders in the form of a dividend. The dividend percentage is at the discretion of the company’s management. When companies pay a dividend, it is directly transferred to the shareholder’s Demat account. This arrangement can help with tax savings. In the case of a Demat account, tax is levied only for trading transactions i.e. which involve purchasing or selling shares. Dividend income does not fall under the ambit of tax calculations. Hence, this dividend income can be used by investors as an additional source of income.
So, your share ownership has dual benefits – you enjoy dividend earnings from time to time and also save on tax outflows.
2. Capital Gains
• Short-term capital gains (STCG): Any capital gains earned by selling off the shares within the holding period are called short-term capital gains. On the other hand, if the sale transaction is done after the completion of the holding period, the gains get classified as long-term capital gains. Long-term capital gains are not taxable until the value of Rs. One Lakh. Many investors make use of this provision to save on their tax outflows and earn higher net income (total gains minus taxes). So, you can store your shares safely in the Demat account for a longer period and benefit from the tax exemption available on long-term capital gains.
• Short-term capital loss (STCL): Usually when you hear the word losses, you can only think of negative things. But there is a way that you can leverage your short-term capital losses to offset or adjust the tax payable on capital gains made in the short-term. So, if you have a Demat account, you can save the tax payable on short-term capital gains by balancing it against the losses incurred (short-term) across any asset class.
Additionally, one can also carry forward short-term capital loss (to set-off the short-term capital gains) for eight years. The only pre-requisite is that the loss and gain need to be from the same category of assets.
• Long-Term Capital Gains (LTCG) – Earlier, LTCG did not attract any tax obligations. However, with the recent changes, gains of this nature are taxed at 10%, if their value exceeds the limit of one lakh. Still, a Demat account holder can save taxes if their long-term capital gains are less than Rs. One Lakh.
• Long-Term Capital Loss (LTCL) –Sometimes, even the fruits of patience are not sweet. Despite remaining invested for a long period, some assets or investments do not yield a positive return and we end up with long-term capital losses. However, just like STCL, one can use their long-term capital losses to offset or adjust the taxes payable due to long-term capital gains.
This arrangement helps the Demat account holder to bring down some of their tax obligations.
3. Equity Linked Saving Scheme (ELSS):
ELSS is best explained with the saying – “killing two birds with one arrow”. ELSS is a type of mutual fund which offers a twin set of benefits to the investors. In addition to the potential of wealth creation and appreciation, in the long run, they also offer tax savings. Investments till Rs. 1.5 Lakh in ELSS qualifies for tax deductions as per Section 80C of the IT Act. So, a Demat account holder can choose to invest in ELSS Mutual Funds and save taxes easily.
Compared to other tax-saving tools available currently in the market, ELSS Mutual Funds offers more (or better) benefits. With a shorter lock-in period of three years and the potential of higher returns, they are becoming a preferred choice for many investors. Additionally, it enables novices or first-time investors to make an entry into the world of equity investing.
How to open a Demat account?
Opening a Demat account is an extremely simple and hassle-free process. One can select any Depository Participant (who is authorized by SEBI). The KYC paperwork requires only basic documents (PAN Card, Aadhar Card, details of residence, income proof) and a photograph of the applicant. While the investor opens the Demat account with the chosen DP, the actual shares are maintained in safe custody by either one of the national depositories i.e. NDSL or CSDL. These institutions are sponsored by government-owned bodies. Hence, one can be assured that their shares are safe in the Demat account.
Choosing the right brokerage firm can make the process even more simple and quick. IndiaNivesh, a trusted name in the Indian financial market can become your investment expert in this. Indianivesh has been offering a wide range of financial solutions in the areas of broking, mutual funds, equities, IPO, insurance and wealth management for the last eleven years. Their technological expertise combined with in-depth market knowledge has helped numerous clients to grow and create wealth.
A smart investor does not stop with merely earning. It is equally important to create wealth and maximize your return by finding out ways to save taxes or other outflows. If you have a Demat account, ensure that you make use of it optimally. It can be a great help not only in trading but also in saving tax outflows.
Now that you know these great income tax-saving tips, you can ensure you get the best out of your hard-earned money. Especially with a partner like Indianivesh.
And if you know someone who is wondering how to save tax, make sure to share this article with them. After all, sharing is caring!
Disclaimer: Investment in securities market / Mutual Funds are subject to market risks, read all the related documents carefully before investing.