Introduction to Capital Gains

capital gains

Any profits or gains arising from the transfer of a capital asset effect in the financial year will be chargeable to income-tax under the head Capital Gains.

Capital Assets

Capital assets include the following:

  • Any kind of property held by an assessee, whether or not connected with business or profession.
  • Any securities held by a Foreign Institutional Investor which has invested in such securities in accordance with the SEBI regulations.

However, capital assets exclude the following:

  • Stock-in-trade, consumable stores, raw materials held for the purpose of business or profession.
  • Movable property held for the personal use of taxpayer or for any dependent member of his family. However, jewellery, costly stones, and ornaments made of silver, gold, platinum or any other precious metal, archaeological collections, drawings, paintings, sculptures or any work of art shall be considered as a capital asset even if used for personal purpose.
  • Specified Gold Bonds and Special Bearer Bonds.
  • Rural agricultural land in India i.e., agricultural land in India which is not situated in any specified area.

Short Term Capital Asset

Capital asset held for not more than 36 months immediately prior to the date of transfer shall be deemed as a short-term capital asset. However, following assets held for not more than 12 months shall be treated as short-term capital assets:

  • Equity or preference share of a company which is listed on any ¬†recognised stock exchange in India.
  • Other listed securities.
  • Units of UTI.
  • Units of equity oriented funds.
  • Zero Coupon Bonds.

Long Term Capital Asset

A capital asset that held for more than 36 months or 12 months, as the case may be, immediately preceding the date of transfer is treated as the long-term capital asset.

Meaning of Transfer

‘Transfer’, in relation to a capital asset, includes:

  • Sale, exchange or relinquishment of the asset.
  • Extinguishment of any rights in relation to a capital asset.
  • Compulsory acquisition of an asset.
  • Conversion of capital asset into stock in trade.
  • The maturity of redemption of a zero coupon bond.
  • Allowing possession of immovable properties to the buyer in part performance of the contract.
  • Any ¬†transaction which has the effect of transferring an immovable property.
  • Disposing of or parting with an asset or any interest therein or creating any interest in any asset in any manner whatsoever.

Tax Rate on Capital Gains

Short Term Capital Gains

  • Short-term capital gains shall be included in the gross total income of the taxpayer and will be taxed at the normal rates.
  • Short-term capital gains arising from the transfer of Equity Shares, Units of an Equity Oriented Funds or a unit of a business trust which is chargeable to securities transaction tax will be taxed at 15% under Section 111A.

Now the benefit of reduced rate of tax (i.e., 15%) shall be available w.e.f. 1-4-2016 even in respect of income arising from of units of a business trust which were acquired by an assessee in lieu of shares of special purpose vehicle as referred  of special purpose vehicle as referred to in section 47(xvii).

Long Term Capital Gains

  • Long-term capital gains are subject to tax at 20%.
  • Long-term capital gains arising from the transfer of listed securities, units or a zero coupon bonds shall be taxable at lower of following:
    1. 20% after taking benefit of indexation.
    2. 10% without taking benefit of taxation.
  • Long-term capital gains arising from the transfer of listed securities, units of equity oriented or a unit of the business trust which is chargeable to STT shall be exempt from tax Section 10(38).

Now exemption from capital gains under Section 10(38) shall be available w.e.f 1-4-2016 even in respect of long-term capital gains arising from transfer of units of a business trust which were acquired in lieu of shares of special purpose vehicle as referred to in section 47(xvii) and on which securities transaction tax has been paid.

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