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Why do you calculate buying price using FIFO logic

23 May 2023


  • For investors, the Indian stock market is a pretty complex landscape. Making informed and timely buying and selling decisions is crucial.
  • One essential aspect of stock trading involves calculating the buy price, which establishes the cost basis for investments.
  • In the Indian stock market, the First In, First Out (FIFO) logic is commonly employed to determine the buy price.
  • In this blog, let's explore in detail what makes FIFO so important.

Why is FIFO Logic Used to Ensure Compliance with Tax Regulations?

  • One of the primary reasons for utilising FIFO logic in India is to ensure compliance with tax regulations.
  • The Income Tax Act of 1961 mandates that investors compute capital gains or losses based on FIFO accounting.
  • The FIFO logic follows a chronological order, considering the cost of the first shares purchased when calculating the capital gains tax liability.
  • By adhering to FIFO, investors can accurately report their taxes and avoid any potential legal complications that may arise from non-compliance.

How Does FIFO Logic Reflect the Long-Term Investment Perspective?

  • The FIFO logic aligns with the long-term investment perspective prevalent in the Indian stock market.
  • It embodies the belief that investors typically hold stocks for an extended period, allowing for the potential appreciation of value over time.
  • By considering the first shares purchased to calculate the buy price, FIFO encourages investors to adopt a patient approach and rewards those who hold investments over the long term.
  • This long-term perspective is often favoured by investors seeking sustained growth and capital appreciation.

What Makes FIFO Logic Simple and Easy to Calculate?

  • Simplicity and ease of calculation make FIFO logic a popular choice among investors.
  • Using FIFO, the buy price is determined by multiplying the number of shares bought at a specific price by the respective purchase price.
  • This straightforward calculation method reduces complexity and enables investors to estimate their buy price.
  • With simplified calculations, FIFO helps investors make efficient and informed decisions about their investments.

How Does FIFO Logic Help Mitigate Tax Liability?

  • Another significant advantage of FIFO logic is its ability to help investors mitigate their tax liabilities.
  • By considering the earliest shares purchased, FIFO logic allows investors to potentially lower their tax obligations.
  • This strategy is particularly useful for investors with holdings that have significant capital gains.
  • Selling the earliest shares first may result in taking advantage of more favourable tax rates for long-term capital gains, thus reducing the overall tax burden.
  • By strategically employing FIFO logic, investors can optimise their tax planning and minimise their tax liabilities within the confines of the Indian tax system.

Why are Consistency and Standardisation Important in Buy Price Calculation?

  • The FIFO logic ensures consistency and standardisation in the calculation of the buy price. 
  • In India's vast and diverse market, where numerous investors and traders participate, maintaining a consistent method for determining the buy price is crucial.
  • The FIFO logic provides a standardised approach that simplifies the comparison and analysis of investment performance across different portfolios.
  • By employing a consistent methodology, investors can evaluate the profitability of their investments accurately.
  • This helps investors a lot in making timely and well-informed decisions.

What are Some Key Takeaways?

  • Calculating the buy price using FIFO logic has become prevalent in the Indian stock market for several compelling reasons.
  • Its adherence to tax regulations, alignment with long-term investment perspectives, simplicity in the calculation, ability to mitigate tax liability, and promotion of consistency all contribute to its popularity among investors. 
  • Understanding the significance of FIFO logic empowers investors. They can make informed decisions and ensure accurate tax reporting.
  • While alternative methods may exist for calculating the buy price, FIFO logic remains widely accepted and efficient within the context of the Indian stock market. 

By embracing FIFO logic, investors with a Motilal Oswal Demat Account can navigate the complexities of the Indian stock market with confidence and optimise their investment strategies for long-term success.

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