Debt mutual funds are likely to be stripped of the long-term tax benefit if they invest less than 35 per cent of their assets in equities. Such mutual funds will attract short term capital gains tax. Additionally the debt funds held for over three years will no longer enjoy indexation benefits and will not be eligible for a 20 per cent tax rate.

The Finance Bill 2023, which contains tax proposals for the fiscal year starting April 1, is to be taken up for approval in the Lok Sabha as early as on Friday. The bill will not affect the investments made until March 31, 2023. This is based on a copy of the proposed amendments that have been circulating on social media.

Once the amendments to Finance Bill 2023 gets Parliament assent, holders of mutual fund schemes which invest up to 35 per cent of their assets in equity shares would be taxed as per their slab rates. This means that capital gains from debt funds, gold funds and international funds irrespective of their holding period will be taxed at an individual's relevant tax slab.

The proposal will bring parity in taxation between a market-linked debenture and a mutual fund which invests majority of its funds in debts. With the indexation benefit gone, the debt funds will be at par with fixed deposits on the taxation front.

Long term capital gains to be impacted

The finance ministry is likely to bring in amendments to the Finance Bill 2023, removing the long term capital gains tax (LTCG) benefits available to such specified MFs.

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Currently, such mutual fund schemes attract 20 per cent LTCG with indexation benefits.

Grandfathering will also not be extended to market-linked debentures.

Nangia Andersen LLP Partner Vishwas Panjiar said the Finance Bill 2023 introduced special provisions for computing capital gains in case of transfer of a market-linked debenture. This provision is now expanded to cover specified mutual funds as well i.e. mutual funds where not more than 35 per cent proceeds are invested in equity shares of domestic companies.

"Accordingly, in all cases, irrespective of the period for which the market-linked debenture and/or the specified mutual fund is held by the holder, gains arising from the transfer will be deemed to be short term capital gains," Panjiar said.

With inputs from PTI

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2023-03-24T07:04:10Z dg43tfdfdgfd