Hi there

Until last year many people invested in ULIPs (Unit Linked Insurance Plans) to make the most of the tax benefit that one would get from it. They gave you insurance and investment benefits along with no taxation. However, this loophole is now covered in Budget 2021, which has made ULIPs taxable.

However, to bring equality between ULIPs and Mutual Funds, during the Budget 2021, the Finance Minister proposed the changes in the taxation of ULIPs. Let us take a look at the new taxation rules of ULIPs.

Taxation of ULIPs
There are three aspects of taxation that we have to consider while investing in ULIPs.

1. At the time of Investing
2. When you surrender or ULIPs mature
3. At the time of death

1. Tax deduction at the time of Investing

This is still applicable up to INR 1,50,000 per annum towards your premium for ULIPs under section 80C of the Income-tax Act,1961.  You can claim a deduction for the investment made for himself, spouse, or children (dependent or independent) and HUF can claim a deduction for the investment made for any member of HUF.

 

The deduction under section 80C is restricted to 10% of the sum assured. It means suppose the sum assured is Rs.10 Lakh, then the premium that you pay under the ULIP should be up to the maximum of Rs.1,00,000. If the premium is beyond 10%, then it is not eligible for deduction under Sec.80C. Only INR 1,00,000 will be eligible for deduction.

One more important point to understand here is that, If you stop the premium payment before the expiry of five years or you terminate your participation by notice to that effect, the aggregate of deductions allowed to you in the earlier years shall be considered as your income and will be chargeable to tax in the year in which such termination or cessation occurs as per your income tax slab.

Do remember that you can pay the premium as much as possible. However, the benefit in Sec.80C is limited to Rs.1,50,000 a year and the premium must be 10% of the sum assured.


2. Taxation at the time of Maturity 

This is where the budget has made a change

Before the Budget 2021
Any sum received under ULIP including the bonus on such policy was not taxable (exempt) under section Section 10(10D) of the Act. However, if the premium payable for any of the years during the term of the policy exceeds 10% of the actual sum assured, then no exemption is allowed.

After the Budget 2021
Effective from 1st February 2021, no exemption is allowed under Sec.10(10D), if the amount of premium payable for any of the previous year during the term of the policy exceeds Rs. 2,50,000.

However, if the total premium payable during any financial year is less than Rs.2,50,000 (including all the multiple policies), then you still enjoy the tax-free maturity benefits under Sec.10(10D).

The budget 2021 states that any amount allocated by way of bonus on such policy, then, any profits or gains arising from receipt of such amount by such person shall be chargeable to tax under the head “Capital gains” in the previous year in which such amount was received. 

The manner in which the income will be taxed is not yet notified.

Under ULIPs you have the option to select if you are investing under the debt funds or the equity funds, now given the taxation of debt and equity is different there was a question on how your gains from ULIPS be taxed. In the Finance Budget 2021, it is proposed to cover ULIPs to which exemption under Section 10(10D) does not apply on account of the applicability of the fourth and fifth proviso thereof. Thus, the high premium ULIPs shall be considered as Equity Oriented Fund even if a portion of the fund is invested in the debt-based scheme.

Thus, the long-term capital gains, in excess of Rs. 1,00,000, shall be taxable at the rate of 10% without indexation under Section 112A. Whereas the entire amount of short-term capital gains shall be taxable at the rate of 15% under Section 111A. The ULIPs shall be considered as a long-term capital asset if they are held for more than 12 months and short-term capital assets if held for 12 months or less.

One more important aspect to consider here is the taxation about the switching. As of now, switching from one fund to the other provided the maturity/redemption of units of ULIPs are exempt under Section 10(10D). However, as per the new proposal, if the premium is more than Rs.2,50,000, then they are not eligible to claim the exemption under Sec.10(10D). In such a situation, we have to wait for clarity about the taxation on switching of the policies whose premium is more than Rs.2,50,000.


3. Taxation of ULIPs at death
In the event of the death of the policy-holder, the exemption shall not be denied under Section 10(10D) from either of the policy, that is, excess premium policy (more than 10% of sum assured) or higher premium policy (more than Rs. 2,50,000).

Hence, irrespective of the premium amount, the death benefit is always tax-free in the hands of the nominee.

If you are considering investing in ULIPs now, ensure that you account for taxation of the same going forward.

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Disclaimer: - The articles are for information purposes only. Information presented is general information that does not take into account your individual circumstances, financial situation, or needs, nor does it present a personalized recommendation to you. You must consult a financial advisor who understands your specific circumstances and situation before taking an investment decision.