Last year, mutual fund investors paid approximately $31.3 billion to the Internal Revenue Service, according to a recent study by Lipper. "Taxes in the Mutual Fund Industry" looks at the tax implication to investors of nearly $2.91 trillion in mutual funds held in taxable accounts.

"People are giving up at least 40% to 50% of their gross returns [to taxes, expenses and loads]," said Tom Roseen, research analyst and author of the study.

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