Are ELSS Mutual Funds Returns Taxable?

Rishi Jain
Published on Feb 27, 2024


Equity Linked Savings Schemes (ELSS) are a popular investment avenue for individuals seeking tax benefits and capital appreciation. ELSS mutual funds not only provide potential returns but also offer tax advantages under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. However, investors often wonder whether the returns generated from ELSS mutualfunds are taxable.


ELSS and Tax Benefits

ELSS mutual funds come with a lock-in period of three years, during which investors cannot redeem their units. The primary reason behind this lock-in is to encourage long-term investment and wealth creation. Investments in ELSS are eligible for a tax deduction of up to Rs. 1.5 lakh under Section 80C, making them an attractive option for tax-conscious investors.


Taxation of ELSS Returns

The good news for investors is that the returns from ELSS mutual funds are tax-free. Once the three-year lock-in period is completed, any gains made upon redemption or maturity are exempt from taxation. This tax-free status applies to both the capital gains and dividends earned from ELSS investments.


It's important to note that ELSS returns are tax-free only if the gain is within the limit of Rs 1 lakh and the other important thing to note is that the dividends distributed by these funds are subject to a Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) before being paid to investors. However, this tax is deducted at the fund level, and investors receive tax-free dividends.



In summary, ELSS mutual funds offer a dual benefit of tax savings and the potential for wealth creation through equity investments. The returns generated from ELSS mutual funds, including both capital gains and dividends, are not taxable for investors after the completion of the three-year lock-in period. This makes ELSS an attractive option for those looking to save on taxes while participating in the potential growth of the equity markets.


As with any investment decision, it is advisable for investors to consult with financial advisors and thoroughly understand the terms and conditions of the ELSS scheme before making investment choices.