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Income Tax on ETF (Exchange Traded Funds) in India

author portrait

Sakshi Shah

Capital Gains
ETF
ITR-2
Trading Income
Last updated on February 6th, 2021

Exchange-Traded Funds were launched in India in the year 2002. There are advantages of investing in ETF over shares and mutual funds. An investor can spread the risk by investing in the equities of multiple companies instead of investing in equity shares of a single company having a higher risk. Investing in ETFs is beneficial over mutual funds due to reduced expenses and higher liquidity.

What is ETF?

ETF i.e. Exchange Traded Fund is a basket of stocks that reflects the composition of an index like BSE Sensex or CNX Nifty. Thus, it holds all the stocks in the same proportion as held by the underlying index. It is an Index Fund that is listed and traded on a stock exchange just like a stock. The trading value is based on the Net Asset Value (NAV) of the underlying asset. It is a mutual fund that the investor can buy and sell on the stock exchange, unlike the normal mutual funds that the investor can buy and sell from the AMC. Income Tax on ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) in India is similar to the tax treatment of mutual funds.

ITR for Capital Gains from Investment in ETFs
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ITR for Capital Gains from Investment in ETFs
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Types of Exchange Traded Funds (ETF)

The different types of ETFs can be classified on the basis of the securities in which they invest. Following are types of ETF:

Income Heads for Income from ETFs

Capital Gain on Sale of ETF (Exchange Traded Funds)

  1. Equity ETFs – Since these ETFs invest in equity-oriented instruments, the treatment is the same as equity shares.
    • Long Term Capital Gain (LTCG): Any gain arising on the sale of equity ETF held for more than 12 months is considered as Long Term Capital Gain.
    • Short Term Capital Gain (STCG): Any gain arising on the sale of equity ETF held for less than 12 months is considered as Short Term Capital Gain.
  2. Other ETFs – ETFs such as Gold ETF, International ETF, Debt ETF, etc has tax treatment similar to other capital assets.
    • Long Term Capital Gain (LTCG): Any gain arising on the sale of other ETF held for more than 36 months is considered as Long Term Capital Gain.
    • Short Term Capital Gain (STCG): Any gain arising on the sale of other ETF held for less than 36 months is considered as Short Term Capital Gain.
File Your ITR for
Capital Gains

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Capital Gains

India’s fastest growing Tax Filing Platform

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Other Income from ETF (Exchange Traded Funds)

Income Tax on ETF (Exchange Traded Funds)

Income Tax on Trading in ETFs is similar to the tax treatment of mutual funds. Following are the income tax rates:

Type of ETF Period of Holding Long Term Capital Gain Short Term Capital Gain
Equity ETF 12 months 10% in excess of INR 1,00,000 under Section 112A 15% under Sec 111A
Other ETF 36 months 20% with Indexation Slab Rates

ITR Form, Due Date and Tax Audit Applicability for ETF Investors

FY 2019-20: Due Date to file Income Tax Return for non-audit cases has been extended to 10th January 2021 and for audit cases to 15th February 2021
Tip
FY 2019-20: Due Date to file Income Tax Return for non-audit cases has been extended to 10th January 2021 and for audit cases to 15th February 2021

Carry Forward Loss for sale of ETFs

Gain or Loss on sale of ETFs is a Capital Gain or Capital Loss. Here are the rules for set-off and carry forward of loss on sale of ETFs.

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FAQs

How do I report income from sale of ETFs in the Income Tax Return i.e. ITR?

Traders should file ITR-2 and report income from sale of ETFs as Capital Gains.
– Equity ETF – Tax on LTCG is 10% in excess of INR 1 lac and tax on STCG is 15%.
– Other ETF – Tax on LTCG is 20% with indexation and tax on STCG is as per slab rates.
The investor can set off LTCL with LTCG and STCL with both STCG and LTCG, remaining loss can be carried forward for 8 years

Is ETF a better investment option than Mutual Funds?

Yes. ETFs are better than Mutual Funds for the following reasons:
1. The investor can buy and sell an ETF directly on the stock exchange, unlike the normal mutual funds.
2. Fees and investments in ETFs are lower than Mutual Funds since there is no fund manager to make investment decisions on behalf of the investor.
3. ETFs do not have a lock-in period and investors can sell it anytime. Mutual Funds like ELSS of 3 years reduces the liquidity of investors.

In the case of Mutual Funds, it is managed by an experienced Fund Manager who makes investment decisions for the investors. No such decision-maker is available in the case of ETFs.

How are Gold ETFs different from Gold Mutual Funds?

Gold ETFs are funds that invest in physical gold assets. Thus, asset base of the ETF is 90 to 100% gold. They are traded on exchanges and offer better liquidity.
Gold funds are mutual funds that invest in gold ETFs and other related assets. They do not invest in physical gold but Gold ETFs.

What is ETF Fund?

ETF is a basket of stocks that reflects the composition of an index like BSE Sensex or CNX Nifty. It is an Index Fund that is listed and traded on a stock exchange just like a stock. Therefore, it is a mutual fund that the investor can buy and sell on the stock exchange. IT on ETFs in India is similar to the tax treatment of mutual funds.

Got Questions? Ask Away!

  1. Hi @Jitendra_Kumar,

    You should calculate your advance tax liability for the financial year. If your income tax liability is above INR 10,000, you need to pay your advance tax. 15th March 2021 is the last date to pay your advance tax for the FY 2020-21.

    Since you have Capital Gains income, you need to file ITR 2. The sue date for the same is 31st July 2021.

    You can also use this tool to determine, which ITR form to file.

  2. Thank you for the reply
    I have 1 more doubt :
    When calculating capital gains can i subtract brokerage or Exchange Transaction Charges or anything else that will reduce capital gains tax?

  3. @Jitendra_Kumar,

    You cannot claim brokerage expenses or other such charges from your capital gains. But, you can still claim transfer expenses such as stamp duty from your capital gains.
    However, if you do intraday or F&O trading which is treated as business income for Income Tax purposes, you can claim the following expenses.

  4. Hi @Aditya_s ,

    CAMS will include only the folios with financial transactions. If in case any of your folios missing in the myCAMS login, please ensure that your email id is updated in all your Mutual Fund investments serviced by CAMS.

  5. Hey @Javed19, we are working on the same and will be released in the coming week. Stay tuned! :rocket:

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