Tax on Mutual Funds in India - Equity Mutual Funds & Debt Mutual Funds

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Sakshi Shah

income from trading
Income Tax
Mutual Funds
Last updated on February 8th, 2023

What are Mutual Funds in India?

If you have invested in Mutual Funds, you need to file your ITR and pay tax on this income. Trading in various types of mutual fund schemes has become very easy due to the availability of online trading platforms. Under Income Tax, trading in mutual funds is classified as a Capital Gains Income.

Income Tax on Mutual Funds

Capital Gains on Mutual Funds

Equity Mutual Funds – Since these mutual funds invest in equity-oriented instruments, the treatment is the same as equity shares.

Debt Mutual Funds – Since these mutual funds invest in debt instruments, the treatment is similar to other capital assets.

Tax on Equity Mutual Funds & Debt Fund Taxation

The taxability of Mutual Funds would depend upon the nature of income. Following is the tax treatment for Capital Gains on mutual funds.

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

Dividend on Mutual Funds & Interest on Mutual Funds

ITR Form, Due Date, and Tax Audit Applicability for Investors of Mutual Funds

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Carry Forward Loss for Mutual Fund Investors

Following are the rules for set off and carry forward of losses for capital gains on mutual funds trading by the mutual fund investors:

Example for Tax on Mutual Fund

Mr. Vijay is a salaried individual and has done mutual fund trading in FY 2021-22. His total salary income for a year is INR 8,70,000. Further, he has a Short Term Capital Loss of INR 30,000 from the sale of Debt Mutual Funds and Long Term Capital Gain of INR 2,50,000 from Equity Mutual Funds. Dividend Income of INR 50,000 in FY 2021-22.

Now in the above example, Vijay needs to file ITR-2 for FY 2021-22. Below is the calculation for total income and tax liability.

Particulars Amount (INR) Amount (INR)
Salary Income   8,70,000
Capital Gains    
Short Term Capital Loss (30,000)  
Long Term Capital Gain 2,50,000  
Less: Exemption u/s 112A (1,00,000)  
Taxable Long Term Capital Gain 1,50,000  
Total Capital Gains after set-off of losses (taxed @10%)   1,20,000
Income from Other Sources    
Dividend Income   50,000
Total Taxable Income   10,40,000
Tax at slab rate 96,500  
Tax at special rate 12,000  
Total Income Tax   1,08,500
Health & Education Cess @4%   4,340
Total Tax Liability   1,12,840
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How do I report income from mutual funds trading in the Income Tax Return i.e. ITR?

A trader should file ITR-2 and report income from mutual funds trading as Capital Gains.
1) Tax on Equity Mutual Funds – Tax on LTCG is 10% in excess of INR 1 lac and tax on STCG is 15%.
2) Tax on Debt Mutual Funds – Tax on LTCG is 20% with indexation and tax on STCG is as per slab rates.
Further, the trader can set off LTCL with LTCG and STCL with both STCG and LTCG. The remaining loss can be carried forward for 8 years.

Is Dividend on Mutual Funds taxable?

Yes. The dividend income earned on Equity Mutual Funds which was earlier exempt is now a taxable income.
1) Dividend on mutual funds up to FY 2019-20 was exempt from tax.
2) Dividend on mutual funds from FY 2020-21 is taxable at slab rates. The amount in excess of INR 5,000 is liable for deduction of TDS under Section 194K at 10%.

Can Mutual Fund Investor carry forward loss on the sale of mutual funds?

Yes. Income from mutual funds trading is a Capital Gains income. Any loss on such sale of equity mutual funds or debt mutual funds is a Capital Loss. The Short Term Capital Loss (STCL) can be adjusted against Short Term Capital Gains (STCG) and Long Term Capital Gains (LTCG). The LTCL can be adjusted against LTCG. Further, the mutual fund investor can carry forward the remaining loss for 8 years and set off against future incomes from Capital Gains.

Is there any deduction available to mutual funds investors?

Yes, an Equity-linked savings scheme or ELSS mutual funds are eligible for exemption u/s 80C. Deductions can be availed up to Rs. 1.5 Lakh per year. However, no deductions u/s 80C are available to taxpayers who have opted for the new tax regime.

Is TDS deducted on Mutual Funds?

Yes. FY 2020-21 onwards, the government abolished DDT (Dividend Distribution Tax). As a result, dividend income which was earlier exempt is now taxable. Further, the payer must deduct TDS under Section 194K at 10% on dividends paid on Mutual Funds in excess of Rs. 5000. However, there is no provision for deduction of TDS on the sale of mutual funds.

Got Questions? Ask Away!

  1. Hey @Jay_Tanna,

    The Finance Minister has introduced a new Section 194K in Budget 2020. Sec 194K was applicable on or after 1st April 2020.

    As per Income Tax Act, Sec 194K mentions TDS on ‘Income’ from Mutual Funds leading to a confusion if TDS was required to be deducted on Capital Gains on Sale of Mutual Funds also.

    CBDT issued an official clarification on 4th Feb 2020. It clarified that TDS should be deducted at 10% on Dividend Income only and not on Capital Gains from the sale of mutual funds. Thus, Sec 194K is applicable as follows:

    Sec 194K - AMC paying dividend on equity mutual funds should deduct TDS at 10% if the dividend exceeds INR 5,000.

    Read more here -

  2. Team - please can you help clarify if cash investments are allowed in mutual funds through banks or other intermediaries? If yes are there any limits per financial year?

  3. Hi @aniruddha_41, you can make cash investments of upto Rs. 50,000 by visiting a bank, AMC offices or other Mutual Fund Distributors. But please keep in mind that whatever returns you get with the mutual fund will only be paid in your bank account.

  4. Avatar for emmy emmy says:

    I bought mutual funds units in Sept 2019 which I sold in March 2020. What will be it’s tax treatment?

  5. Hey Laxmi,

    Capital Gain treatment on the sale of mutual funds depends upon the period of its holding.

    If the period of holding is for more than 12 months then Long term Capital Gain will arise otherwise gain will be short term Capital gain.

    And since your holding period is less than 12 months, it will be treated as short term capital gains and will be taxed at 15%.

  6. I am salaried person and have Zerodha equity delivery account and invest in short term only and now i am going to fill ITR of FY 2021-22 but I am confused about one thing that what will be my capital gain.

    When i checked the tax p&l statement of kite app of zerodha then there is 43,454 short term profit showing but my CA is calculating capital gain from AIS statement of income tax website actually there are two options given 1. Sale of securities and units of mutual fund 2. Purchase of securities and units of mutual fund. He is subtracting " Sale of securities and units of mutual fund - Purchase of securities and units of mutual fund = capital gain (79000).

    Q1. Which amount will be capital gain: 43454 or 79000 ?

    Q2. I do not invest in Mutual Fund then why mutual fund word is coming in AIS statement on IT portal.

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