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8 financial tasks you should do in the next 30 days
March, 12th 2018

Are you among the people who leave tax planning to the last moment and end up investing in the wrong instruments because of the year-end rush? Do you regularly review your portfolio? The start of the financial year can be the best time to take stock of your holdings. Do you have a clear idea about your capital gains tax liability? Would you like to ensure that your bank does not deduct TDS incorrectly on your interest income from fixed and recurring deposits? What do you do with your annual bonus? There are better ways to use it than squandering it away.

To help you start the financial year on a secure footing, we have compiled a list of eight must-do financial tasks. From signing up with a portfolio tracker to booking profits for the current financial year, and reviewing your portfolio to making tax-related investments, the list covers the important financial tasks you need to get done quickly. As the adage goes, well begun is half done.

Sign up with a portfolio tracker that calculates your LTCG
WHEN TO DO: AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE
While the grandfathering clause in the Budget reduced the pain of the proposed longterm capital gains (LTCG) tax on equities, it has complicated the LTCG calculations. Investors will now have to remember the price of their stocks—NAVs in case of mutual funds—as on 31 January 2018 to compute LTCG. You can choose to maintain this data in an Excel sheet, but signing up with free portfolio trackers, such as the one provided by Value Research, is a better option. Other investment service providers are also looking to offer similar tools. “Most mutual fund NAVs are now below their 31 January level and, therefore, it is not a big concern right now. So, we will be introducing this facility a little later in our portfolio tracker,” says Amol Joshi, Founder, PlanRupee Investment Services. Signing up with a portfolio tracker will make it much easier to calculate your capital gains than keeping track of the relevant information and doing the math yourself.

Since LTCG tax at 10% will be applicable only from 1 April 2018, tax experts say that it makes sense to book profits before 31 March. However, you must do so only if the gains are substantial. “Since LTCG tax will be applicable only on gains that exceed the `1 lakh per annum threshold, the investors whose gain is less don’t need to take any action,” says Asrujit Mandal, Partner, BDO India. If you want to keep some of the well-performing stocks in your portfolio, you can book profit by selling them now and then buying back after a gap of a few days. You should not sell stocks that have done well, but are currently trading below their 31 January prices. Tax authorities won’t treat the fall since 31 January as a shortterm capital loss. But, if the stocks that you have held for long are trading below their purchase price, you should sell them only after 1 April. “You can’t set off these losses against other long-term capital gains. So it is better to wait till 1 April,” says Vishvajit Sonagara, Founder, Quicko.com.

You must review your portfolio on an yearly or a half-yearly basis and the start of the financial year is a good time to take stock, say experts. “Portfolio needs to be reviewed at least once a year and the new financial year is a good time to do this,” says Suresh Sadagopan, Founder, Ladder7 Financial Advisories. The reintroduction of LTCG tax on equities makes it particularly important that you review your portfolio now. A review, however, does not necessarily entail a change in portfolio. “‘Review’ is the key word and you make changes only if they are required,” says Joshi of PlanRupee Investment Services.

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