A demat account is mandatory for investing in shares, ETFs, and listed bonds. Some parents may wish to invest in shares in their children’s names. To do this, they are required to open a demat account for their minor child.
However, it’s important to note that a minor’s demat account must be managed by their parent until the child turns 18. At that point, it can be converted into an individual account.
What are the tax implications on a minor’s demat?
Firstly, a minor cannot buy securities. Thus, the only way he can own stocks is in the following ways:
- Transfer of shares between family members
- Receive shares as gift/inheritance
- Shares alloted through investment in IPO
Minors can place equity sell orders and apply for IPOs and buybacks.
A minor can earn only two kinds of income — capital gains and dividend income. The tax implications on these earnings are as follows:
A) Capital gains: If a minor earns capital gains, those will be clubbed with the income of the higher-earning parent and they will have to bear the entire tax liability on the same.
If the holding period is more than 12 months, the gains will be classified as long-term and taxed at 10%, while a short-term capital gains (STCG) tax of 15% is applicable in case the holding period is less than 12 months.
In case shares were acquired through gifts or transfer of shares, holding period is calculated as per the date on which the shares were originally purchased by the previous owner.
If you want to learn more about how are gifted shares taxed, read here.
B) Dividends: Similar to capital gains, dividend income earned by a minor will be clubbed in the hands of the higher-earning parent and it will be taxed at their applicable slab rate under ‘income from other sources’ head.
Remember, if the dividend received in the entire financial year exceeds ₹5000, a 10% TDS will be deducted by the company paying dividends. However, the parent can claim the credit of the TDS while filing the ITR.
Here are some other key considerations:
- Once the income of a minor is clubbed in the hands of one parent, the income shall be clubbed in the hands of the same parent for the succeeding years.
- Income here includes both profits and losses. Hence, the losses will also be clubbed and the parent can use them to set off against other gains and even carry forward them.
- The parent can also claim a tax exemption of up to ₹1,500 per child on the clubbed income, only if they are filing under the old regime.
- Here, a child in relation to an individual includes a stepchild and an adopted child as well.
- In case of a divorce, the income will be clubbed in the hands of the parent who has custody of the child.
So, these are the primary considerations and tax implications on a minor’s demat account. If you have any questions, you can ask us below in reply to this thread.