Any profit or gain arising from the sale of transfer of capital asset is computed under the head. Capital Asset refer to property of any kind held by an assessee, whether or not connected with his business or professional, excluding the following:
Short-term and long-term capital assets
For the purposes or taxation, capital assets are classified as long-term or short-term, depending upon the period of holding of such assets.
A long-term capital asset means a capital asset held by an individual for more than 36 months immediately preceding its date of transfer. However, the following are treated as a long-term capital asset, if held for more than 12 months:
(Sec 2(29A) and 2(42A) of the Income Tax Act, 1961)
Short-term and long-term capital assets
The distinction between short-term and long-term capital assets is important, since this distinction determines whether the capital gain should be taxed as short-term capital gain or as on long-term capital gain and consequently the tax rate the applies to such type of capital gains.
Short-term capital gains are included with normal income, and taxed in accordance, with the progressive slab rate of tax for individuals. Long-term capital gain generally taxable at the rate of 20%, though this rate cloud be reduced to 15% in case of capital gain arising from transfer to certain long-term assets (sec 2(29B), 2(42B) and 112 of the Income-tax Act,1961)
However, short term capital gains arising on transfer of equity shares in the company or a unit of equity-oriented fund (on satisfaction of prescribed conditions) taxable at the rate of 15%.
Futher, and income arising from the transfer of a long-term capital assets, being as equity shares in the company or unit of a unit of equity oriented fund(subject to conditions being satisfied) is exempt.
Competition of capital gains
In order to compute capital gains, expenditure incurred in relation to the sale or transfer as well as the cost of acquisition and improvement of the Capital Asset are reduced from the full value of the consideration arising on the transfer of Capital Asset.
No deduction is allowed in computing the capital gain in respect of any sum paid on account securities Transaction tax.
In case an employee transfers of shares, warrants or debentures under a gift, or an irrevocable trust, which were allotted on him under an Employee Stock Option plan (“ESOP”), that meets certain guidelines laid down by the government, the fair market value on the date of transfer is regarded as the full value of consideration.
Where the sale consideration for transfer of land & buildings (or both) is less than the value adopted or assessed for levy of stamp duty in respect of such transfer, then the value so adopted as assessed for stamp duty purposes shall be deemed to be the sale consideration for computing the capital gains. However, if the taxpayer disputes the value so adopted, the Revenue Officer may refer the matter to the valuation officer under the Act. If the valuation officer receives the same duty value, the capital gains shall be computed with reference to the revised value provided such revised value is lower than the stamp duty value.
The cost of acquisition for certain modes of acquisition (gift, inheritance, etc) is generally the cost acquisition to the previous owner(s).
Cost of acquisition of Bonus share is considered as nil.
In the case of long-term capital assets, if the capital assets were acquired prior to 1April 1981, cost of acquisition would be substituted by the fair market value as on 1 April 1981 and the indexation would available to the value as on 1 April 1981.
Special provision for non-resident
Capital gain arising to a non-resident on transfer of share and debenture of an Indian company acquiring for foreign currencies is computed in the following manner.
When the above conversion option is applicable to a non-resident in the case of transfer of share and debentures of an Indian company qualifying as Long-term capital assets, indexation provisions do not apply (section 48 of the Income -tax Act, 1961)
Long-term capital gains are exempt, if such gains or the sale proceeds of long-term capital assets are invested in the certain specified assets, subject to satisfaction of certain conditions. The relevant exemptions are discussed in detail below.
Sale proceeds of residential property reinvested in residential property.
Capital gains arising from transfer of residential property, being buildings or land appurtenant there to, the income of which is chargeable under the head income from house property, are eligible for an exemption subject to fulfilment of the following conditions:
If the new residential property is sold/ transferred within a period of three years from the date of purchase or construction, the amount of capital gains arising therefrom, together with the amount of capital gain in the year of subsequent sale/ transfer is taxed in the year of which property is sold.
If the net consideration is not appropriated towards purchase or construction or the new residential house, it should be deposited in any branch of the public sector bank or institution in accordance with the capital gains account scheme, before the due date of filing the personal income tax return.
The amount so invested should be utilized within two years from date of transfer of the original capital assets for purchasing, or within three years of such date of transfer, for construction of a new residential house. The amount invested if not utilized for the purchase of construction, within 3 years from the date of transfer of the original Capital Asset, is taxed as long-term capital gain (section 54 of the Income Tax Act, 1961)
Sale proceeds of long- term capital assets Reinvested in specified bonds.
Capital gains arising from the transfer of any long-term Capital Asset, are eligible for an exemption subject to fulfilment of the following Conditions:
There is a restriction on transferring or converting the specified asset into money (including in the form of any loan/ advance against the security of the specified asset) within a period of three years from the date of its acquisition. If so transferred or converted, capital gains arising from transfer of original asset that had not been charged to tax shall be taxed as long-term capital gains in the year in which such a specified asset is transferred or converted (section 54EC of the Income Tax Act, 1961).
Sale proceeds of long- term capital assets reinvested in residential property.
Capital gains arising from transfer of long-term capital asset, not being a residential house, are eligible for an exemption, subject to fulfilment of the following conditions:
The exemption available from capital gains is:
However, the above exemption may be withdrawn in the following circumstances and tax accordingly:
In the aforesaid two cases, the amount of capital gains arising from transfer of original asset, which was not taxed, will be deemed to be long-term capital gains and taxed in the year in which such new residential house is transferred, or another residential house (other than the new house) is purchased or constructed.
If the net consideration is not appropriated towards purchase or construction of the new residential house, it should be invested in the deposit amount in any branch of a public sector bank or institution in accordance with the Capital Gains Account Scheme before the due date of filing the personal income tax return.
The amount so invested should be utilised within two years from date of transfer of the original Capital Asset for purchasing, or within three years of such date of transfer, for construction of a residential house. The amount invested, if not utilised within three years from the date of transfer of the original Capital Asset, is taxed as long-term capital gain (section 45 to 55 of the Income-tax Act, 1961).