Rajiv Gandhi Equity Saving scheme was introduced in the budget (2012-13) this year by the Finance Minister.
This scheme allows the retail investor to invest upto Rs.50, 000 directly into equity shares and avail tax benefit on 50% percent of investment made directly into equity shares.
Some of the conditions put under the scheme to avail tax benefits are:-
1) The benefit under the scheme will be given to the first time retail investors . This includes those who have opened the Demat Account but have not made any transaction in equity and /or in derivatives till the date of notification of this Scheme and all those account holders other than the first account holder who wish to open a fresh account.
2) The investor should have income of less than Rs. 10 lakhs in a year.
3) Investments will be subject to lock-in period of three years.
4) The maximum Investment permissible under the Scheme is Rs. 50,000 and the investor would get a 50% deduction of the amount invested from the taxable income for that year.
5) If the assessee has claimed and has been allowed a deduction under this section for any assessment year in respect of any amount, he shall not be allowed any deduction under this section for any subsequent assessment year.
6) Under the Scheme, following investment are eligible for income tax benefit
a) Stocks listed under the BSE 100 or CNX 100,
b) Stocks of public sector undertakings which are Navratnas, Maharatnas and Miniratnas would be eligible.
c) Follow-on Public Offers (FPOs) of the above companies would also be eligible under the Scheme.
d) IPOs of PSUs, which are getting listed in the relevant financial year and whose annual turnover is not less than Rs. 4000 Crore for each of the immediate past three years, would also be eligible.
e) Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and
f) Mutual Funds (MFs) that have RGESS eligible securities as their underlying and are listed and traded in the stock exchanges and settled through a depository mechanism have also been brought under RGESS.
7) The total lock-in period for investments under the Scheme is three years including an initial blanket lock-in period of one year, commencing from the date of last purchase of securities under RGESS.
8 ) After the first year, investors would be allowed to trade in the securities in furtherance of the goal of promoting an equity culture and as a provision to protect them from adverse market movements or stock specific risks as well as to give them avenues to realize profits.
9) Investors would, however, be required to maintain their level of investment during these two years at the amount for which they have claimed income tax benefit or at the value of the portfolio before initiating a sale transaction, whichever is less, for at least 270 days in a year. The calculation of 270 days includes those days pursuant to the day on which the market value of the residual shares /units has automatically touched the stipulated value after the date of debit.
10) The general principle under which trading is allowed is that whatever is the value of stocks / units sold by the investor from the RGESS portfolio, RGESS compliant securities of at least the same value are credited back into the account subsequently. However, the investor is allowed to take benefits of the appreciation of his RGESS portfolio, provided its value, as on the previous day of trading, remains above the investment for which they have claimed income tax benefit.
11) For the purpose of valuation of shares, the closing price as on the previous day of the date of trading will be considered so that new investors are certain about their debits and credits into the account.
12) In case the investor fails to meet the conditions stipulated, the tax benefit under section 80 CCG will be withdrawn.