The government has created a type of mutual fund known as Equity-Linked Saving Scheme orELSS to encourage long-term investments. The average citizen is thus encouraged to invest amajor part of their savings in equities through Equity Linked Saving Schemes by offering a taxdeduction. There are many benefits of investing in an ELSS. To improve participation in equity,the government has allowed the investment in mutual funds to be tax deductible through ELSSschemes.Five things you must know before investing in an ELSS:? An investor can invest their money in Equity Linked Saving Schemes either as a lumpsum or by systematic investment plan (SIP). The systematic investment plan approachallows you to invest in a planned and disciplined manner so its better for you. There area couple of advantages of SIP. One, investing in SIP means your tax savings is broken upin twelve months which reduces the effect of the investment on your liquidity. You missout on buying at best possible price if you buy ELSS in a lump sum. Two, SIP gives youthe rupee cost averaging benefit.? Under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, ELSSs have the shortest mandatory lock-inperiod among all tax saving instruments which is three years. You cannot redeem any ofyour units during this period but you can get dividend payments. You must invest withan investment horizon of five to seven years to get best returns and stay longer in themarket.? You can invest up to 1.5 lakh in ELSS in a financial year and investments in ELSS arededucted from your gross income under Section 80C of Income Tax Act. But, ELSSreceive the benefit of being Exempt, Exempt, Exempt (EEE), meaning on investing inELSS, you get tax benefits and the dividends you receive are tax exempted as well.? ELSS does not offer a guaranteed return on your investment, but it offers a market-linked return. Your wealth gets compounded by staying in the market for a longerperiod of time. You get to stay in the market for longer due to mandatory lock-in phaseand are able to benefit from it.? ELSS funds are equity-based mutual funds that aim to invest in equity or equity-relatedassets. The broader aim of ELSS funds is to focus on long term generation of investorwealth.Here’s an example of how an ELSS works:Let's say the Net Asset Value of your ELSS is Rs. 50 and you have Rs. 1,50,000 that you caninvest. So you can buy 3000 units of the ELSS. Being in the highest tax bracket, you will get anexemption of 30% on this investment which means you get a rebate of Rs. 45000. We areexcluding surcharge and cess for ease of calculation. The effective investment in the ELSS is Rs.1,05,000.Assuming an annual return of around 13% over three years (market average of last 3 years) theNAV of the fund is Rs. 72, thus giving you a return of Rs. 2,16,000 which is more than double theeffective investment.