Monday, 10 November 2014

Income from Capital Gains

Transfer of capital assets results in capital gains. A Capital asset is defined under section 2(14) of the I.T. Act, 1961 as property of any kind held by an assessee such as real estate, equity shares, bonds, jewellery, paintings, art etc. but does not include some items like any stock-in-trade for businesses and personal effects. Transfer has been defined under section 2(47) to include sale, exchange, relinquishment of asset, extinguishing of rights in an asset, etc. Certain transactions are not regarded as 'Transfer' under section 47. For tax purposes, there are two types of capital assets: Long term and short term. Long term asset is that which is held by a person for three years except in case of shares or mutual funds which becomes long term just after one year of holding. Sale of such long term assets gives rise to long term capital gains. There are different scheme of taxation of long term capital gains. As per Section 10(38) of Income Tax Act, 1961 long term capital gains on shares or securities or mutual funds on which Securities Transaction Tax (STT) has been deducted and paid, no tax is payable. STT has been applied on all stock market transactions since October 2004 but does not apply to off-market transactions and company buybacks; therefore, the higher capital gains taxes will apply to such transactions where STT is not paid.In case of other shares and securities, person has an option to either index costs to inflation and pay 20% of indexed gains, or pay 10% of non indexed gains. The indexation rates are released by the I-T department each year. In case of all other long term capital gains, indexation benefit is available and tax rate is 20%.All capital gains that are not long term are short term capital gains, which are taxed as such. .Under section 111A, for shares or mutual funds where STT is paid, tax rate is 10% From Asst Yr 2005-06 as per Finance Act 2004. For Asst Yr 2009-10 the tax rate is 15%. In all other cases, it is part of gross total income and normal tax rate is applicable. For companies abroad, the tax liability is 20% of such gains suitably indexed (since STT is not paid). Refer income tax notifications for latest amendments.

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