Investing in unit-linked insurance plans (ULIPs) might be an excellent alternative for investors because they provide several tax advantages. This product category from life insurance firms offers investors alternatives for savings and investment and insurance.
While there are other financial products available for tax savings, such as bank fixed deposits (FDs) and equity-linked saving schemes (ELSS) marketed by mutual funds (MFs), ULIP may be a superior alternative for long-term returns and tax efficiency.
What is a ULIP Plan?
A Unit-linked Insurance Plan is unusual because it provides the policyholder with two benefits. The premiums paid for a ULIP are split between insurance and investing reasons. The policyholder can choose what kind of investment he wants to make.
A predetermined amount of the premium is used to secure life insurance for the covered individual. The premium remains to be invested in different equity and debt funds, depending on the customer’s preference. ULIP tax benefits, like all other life insurance plans, are provided to policyholders to help them decrease their financial burden.
Most people believe that ULIPs are an excellent investment choice since they may provide better returns to policyholders. It can assist in achieving key life objectives such as a child’s higher education or retirement preparation. Tax management is easier with the increased ULIP tax benefits.
It is critical to emphasize that ULIPs are not without danger. Because a ULIP is a market-linked investment product, the fund’s performance is affected by market performance. It is up to the investor to decide their risk tolerance before proceeding with the transaction. The risk factor may vary depending on the sorts of funds accessible for investment through the ULIP.
ULIP Tax Benefits
Each investment in your life is important because it involves your hard-earned cash. Most people organize their money to better manage their ordinary living costs and fulfill future demands. When buying a ULIP, it’s a good idea to figure out how much life insurance you’ll need to meet your specific goals.
Although ULIP investments can be very beneficial, they can also have an impact on your income. The Government of India provides some ULIP tax benefits to policyholders. When you invest in a qualifying plan, you are entitled to a ULIP tax deduction.
This stems from the stipulation that “any money paid to retain in force” a life insurance policy can be deducted. The ULIP tax benefits may also include any additional components paid to the insurer, such as service tax, etc.
To better understand ULIP taxes, let’s go over several vital elements.
1. Tax Benefit on Premium
The single most significant advantage of investing in ULIP insurance is that the entire premium paid can be deducted from your taxable income, up to a ceiling of Rs 1.5 lakh, under section 80C of the Income Tax Act of 1961, subject to the limitations indicated therein. Life insurance should be at least ten times the annual premium paid.
2. Tax Benefits on Maturity
You bought the ULIP and saved some money on taxes simultaneously. But what happens when you sell your investment after it has reached maturity? Do you pay taxes on the entire maturity payment or only the profit?
The good news is that if all due premiums are paid, you do not have to pay any tax at the time of maturity for policies issued before 1 February 2021 because ULIPs give tax-free maturity amounts under Section 10 (10D) of the Income Tax Act 1961, subject to the limitations indicated therein.
If the overall premium in a fiscal year exceeds Rs.2.5 lakhs for policies issued after 1 February 2021, the maturity profits from such insurance would be taxed as a capital asset under the recent Finance Bill.
However, the tax exemption under Section 10(10D) will remain for plans with annual premiums of less than Rs.2.5 lakhs in aggregate, subject to the limitations indicated therein.
3. Tax-Free Partial Withdrawals
If you want to withdraw money from your ULIP plan after the five-year lock-in period, you won’t have to pay taxes on it as long as the amount is less than or equal to 20% of the fund value.
4. Tax-Free Payout in the Event of Death
In the sad case of the policyholder’s death, the policyholder’s nominees get the whole sum promised, or the total value of the fund in which the policyholder had invested, whichever is greater, according to the policy terms and conditions.
While the family grieves the loss of a loved one, they do not have to worry about jeopardizing their life objectives because the lump-sum payment or payment in installments is available.
5. Deductions on Top-ups
Another advantage of the ULIP plan is its flexibility. For example, ULIPs enable investors to expand their investment by purchasing monthly top-ups. In this manner, anytime you have extra money or need to make last-minute investments to reduce your tax bill, you may use it to acquire more units as part of your ULIP investment.
These top-ups are also eligible for income tax deductions under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act of 1961, subject to limitations.
6. Protection from Long Term Capital Gains (LTCG) tax
The LTCG tax was introduced in the Union Budget 2018 and is levied on gains gained from stock markets, whether through shares, equity mutual funds, or Equity Linked Saving Schemes (ELSS) if they surpass Rs 1 million.
A ULIP plan, on the other hand, is still exempt from the LTCG tax. Furthermore, because ULIP plans provide the option of investing in stock markets, they are free from paying LTCG tax.
Wrapping It Up
ULIPs can help you create wealth-building goals for yourself and your family while assuring their security and reaching those goals.
The plans are adaptable, with a wide range of fund alternatives and the opportunity to shift funds based on your investment objectives or market conditions. Get tax savings and tax-free withdrawals at the time of maturity or partial withdrawals.
Because of the many benefits that ULIPs provide, you may choose to include them in your investment portfolio to strike a balance between your insurance and investing demands. The additional tax savings on investment and maturity are just the icing on the cake.
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