Should I invest in a tax-free or a taxable mutual fund?
Typically, a tax-free mutual fund is made up of municipal bonds and other government securities. Such securities are attractive to many investors because returns are tax free, often at both the state and federal levels. However, they also tend to provide lower pretax returns than comparable securities issued by nongovernmental entities. It is imperative that you consider total after-tax returns when you are comparing a tax-free fund with a taxable fund. Whether or not a taxable fund is a better choice for you will depend in large part on how much of your returns are likely to go directly to federal, state, and local taxes at the end of the year and whether you are subject to the alternative minimum tax.
To determine your approximate after-tax rate of return on a taxable investment, multiply your rate of return by 100 percent minus your tax rate: Pretax return x (100% - tax rate) = After-tax rate of return
For example, say you are in the 25 percent tax bracket and earn a pretax return of 10 percent on an investment. Your after-tax rate of return would be 7.5 percent, calculated as follows: 10% x (1 -.25) =.075 or 7.5% after-tax rate of return
In addition, consider whether the fund will be held in a qualified pension or retirement plan. If your returns will automatically accumulate tax deferred in an IRA or 401(k), there may be no reason to accept lower returns in exchange for a tax-free feature.
If you are risk averse, you may decide on a tax-free fund. The securities that it holds will be backed by the full faith and credit of the issuing bodies, typically state governments or municipalities. This feature coupled with the tax advantage gives some investors an added comfort level.
Note: Before investing in a mutual fund, carefully consider its investment objectives, risks, fees, and expenses, which can be found in the prospectus available from the fund. Read it carefully before investing. Tax-free bond funds are subject to the same inflation, interest-rate, and credit risks associated with their underlying bonds. As interest rates rise, bond prices typically fall, which can adversely affect a bond fund's performance.
Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. does not provide investment, tax, or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual's personal circumstances.
To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.
These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable--we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.
Copyright 2016 by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions Inc.
All Rights Reserved.
Information provided has been prepared from sources and data we believe to be accurate, but we make no representation as to its accuracy or completeness. Data and information is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended for solicitation or trading purposes. Please consult your tax and legal advisors regarding your individual situation. Neither AXA Equitable nor any of the data provided by AXA Equitable or its content providers, such as Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc., shall be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for the actions taken in reliance therein. By accessing the AXA Equitable website, a user agrees to abide by the terms and conditions of the site including not redistributing the information found therein.
This article is provided for your informational purposes only. We encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding all personal finance issues.
Please be advised that this material is not intended as legal or tax advice. Accordingly, any tax information provided in this material is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. The tax information was written to support the promotion or marketing of the transaction(s) or matter(s) addressed and you should seek advice based on your particular circumstances from an independent advisor.
AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (NY, NY). Securities are offered through AXA Advisors, LLC, NY, NY 212-314-4600 (member FINRA / SIPC). AXA Equitable and AXA Advisors are affiliated companies, do not provide legal or tax advice and are not affiliated with Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc.