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Capital Gains Exemption

Updated on: May 16th, 2024

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32 min read

The sale of capital assets may lead to capital gain, which may attract tax under the Income Tax Act. To save tax on these capital gains, a few capital gains exemptions/deductions are available. Thus, one needs to plan benefits, considering all the relief available under the law.

The calculation of capital gains is done in the following manner:

Capital Gain

The idea behind allowing deductions is that the number of capital gains, as calculated above, is invested in a new capital asset within a prescribed time period. The deduction is available in respect of such investment made into a new capital asset subject to certain conditions.

What Are Short-Term Capital Gains?

Short term capital gain determination is dependent upon the period of holding of that assets. And Determination of Short term or long term is important because of the tax rates. You can refer to the below table which shows the nature of assets and tax rates for the same.

Particular

Period of Holdings

Tax Rates

1. Listed Equity shares or Equity MF

Less than 1 year 

15%

2. Land or building, Unlisted Equity shares

Less than 2 years

Slab rates

3. Other capital assets

Less than 3 years

Slab rates

4. Specified Mutual Funds (Debt mutual funds)*

NA

Slab rates

What Are Long-Term Capital Gains?

Long term capital gain determination is dependent upon the period of holding of that assets. And the determination of short-term or long-term is important because of the tax rates. You can refer to the below table which shows the nature of assets and tax rates for the same.

Particular

Period of Holdings

Tax Rates

1. Listed Equity shares or Equity MF

More than 1 year 

10% (On exceeding Rs 100,000 gains)

2. Land or building, Unlisted Equity shares

More than 2 years

20% tax rate with Indexation benefits

3.Other capital assets

more than 3 years

20% tax rate with Indexation benefits

4. Mutual funds - Other than equity funds*

NA

NA

*Any specified mutual funds with less than 35% exposure in Indian listed equity will fall into this category. These specified mutual funds will be taxable as short-term capital gain irrespective of the holding period

In this regard, we will look at the section-wise deductions available under the Act and the various conditions that need to be fulfilled to claim or be eligible for the same.

Questions like who can get such deductions, what amount of deductions, what assets need to be sold, what assets need to be purchased, and in how much time are answered below:

Section

Asset sold

Applicability

54

Profit on sale of property used for residence

Assessee

Individual / HUF

Type of asset transferred

Residential House Property

Type of transfer

LTCG

New asset purchased

One Residential House 

From AY 2021-22, If CG is less than or equal to 2 crores - Two residential houses can be purchased.

Time Limit for investment in new asset

Purchase - Within 1 year before or 2 years after transfer Construction - Within 3 years from transfer

Exemption Amount

Long-Term Capital Gain OR Cost of a new asset, whichever lesser

(Maximum exemption is limited to Rs. 10 Crores)

CGAS* available

Yes - deposit by return filing due date

Additional Conditions

1. If a new asset is sold within 3 years, the amount earlier exempted under this section will be reduced from its COA to calculate capital gains thereon 

2. If the amount in CGAS is not utilised within the prescribed time limit, such unutilized amount will be taxable as capital gains

54B

Capital gain on transfer of land used for agricultural purposes

Assessee

Individual / HUF

Type of asset transferred

Land used for agricultural purposes by the individual / his parent / HUF, as the case may be for 2 years prior to transfer

Type of transfer

LTCG / STCG

New asset purchased

Agricultural land

Time Limit for investment in new asset

Within 2 years from the date of transfer

Exemption Amount

Long-Term Capital Gain OR Cost of the new asset (land), whichever lesser

CGAS* available

Yes - deposit by return filing due date

Additional Conditions

1. If a new asset is sold within 3 years, the amount earlier exempted under this section will be reduced from its COA to calculate capital gains thereon 

2. If the amount in CGAS is not utilized within the prescribed time limit, such unutilized amount will be taxable as capital gains

54D

Compulsory acquisition of land and buildings used in an industrial undertaking

Assessee

Any assessee

Type of asset transferred

Land or building forming part of an industrial undertaking used for the same in the past 2 years prior to the transfer

Type of transfer

LTCG

New asset purchased

Land or building for shifting or re-establishing the industrial undertaking

Time Limit for investment in new asset

Within 3 years from the date of transfer

Exemption Amount

Long Term Capital Gain OR Cost of the new asset (land/building) whichever lesser

CGAS* available

Yes - deposit by return filing due date

Additional Conditions

1. If a new asset is sold within 3 years, the amount earlier exempted under this section will be reduced from its COA to calculate capital gains thereon 

2. If the amount in CGAS is not utilized within the prescribed time limit, such unutilized amount will be taxable as capital gains

54EC

Investment in certain bonds

Assessee

Any assessee

Type of asset transferred

Land or building or both

Type of transfer

LTCG

New asset purchased

NHAI bonds or RECL bonds, redeemable after 5 years, which are issued on or after 1.4.2018

Time Limit for investment in new asset

Within 6 months from the date of the transfer

Exemption Amount

Cost of new asset x Capital Gain / Net consideration (maximum up to capital gain)

CGAS* available

No

Additional Conditions

1. If a new asset is sold within 5 years (3 years before F.Y. 2018-19), the amount earlier exempted under this section will be reduced from its COA to calculate capital gains thereon 

2. If a loan is taken on the security of the new specified asset within 5 years, the same will be treated as capital gains 

3. Investment in specified bonds should not exceed Rs.50 lakh during the current and succeeding fiscal year

54EE

Investment in units of a specified fund

Assessee

Any assessee

Type of asset transferred

Long-term capital asset

Type of transfer

LTCG

New asset purchased

Units notified by the Central Government

Time Limit for investment in new asset

Within 6 months from the transfer

Exemption Amount

Cost of new asset x Capital Gain / Net consideration (maximum up to capital gain)

CGAS* available

No

Additional Conditions

1. If a new asset is sold within 3 years, the amount earlier exempted under this section will be reduced from its COA to calculate capital gains thereon 

2. If a loan is taken on the security of the new specified asset within 3 years, the same will be treated as capital gains 

3. Investment in specified units should not exceed Rs.50 lakh during the current and succeeding fiscal year

54F

Investment in residential house

Assessee

Individual / HUF

Type of asset transferred

Any long-term capital asset other than a residential house

Type of transfer

LTCG

New asset purchased

Residential house property

Time Limit for investment in new asset

Purchase - Within 1 year before or 2 years after transfer Construction - Within 3 years from transfer

Exemption Amount

Cost of new asset x Capital Gain / Net consideration (maximum up to capital gain)

(Maximum exemption is limited to Rs. 10 Crores)

CGAS* available

Yes - deposit by return filing due date

Additional Conditions

1. If a new asset is sold within 3 years, the amount earlier exempted under this section will be reduced from its COA to calculate capital gains thereon 

2. If the amount in CGAS is not utilised within the prescribed time limit, such unutilised amount will be taxable as capital gains 

3. The Individual/HUF cannot own more than 2 house properties (i.e., existing House property and new house property). If another house property is purchased, the amount of exemption allowed earlier will be chargeable as capital gains

54G, & 54GA

54G: Shifting of industrial undertaking from an urban area to a rural area.

Assessee

Any assessee

54GA: Shifting of industrial undertaking from an urban area to SEZ

Type of asset transferred

Capital assets are plant, machinery, land, buildings or rights in land or buildings that are used in an industrial undertaking situated in an urban area

Type of transfer

STCG / LTCG

New asset purchased

Shifting of industrial undertaking to an area other than an urban area to rural or SEZ area involving: 

1. Purchase of new plant/machinery 

2. Acquisition of land or construction of a building 

3. Shifted old asset and transferred undertaking to a new area 

4. Incurred specified expenses

 

Time Limit for investment in new asset

1 year before and 3 years after the date of transfer

Exemption Amount

Long-Term Capital Gain OR Cost of new asset, whichever lesser

CGAS* available

Yes - deposit by return filing due date

Additional Conditions

1. If a new asset is sold within 3 years, the amount earlier exempted under this section will be reduced from its COA to calculate capital gains thereon 

2. If the amount in CGAS is not utilised within the prescribed time limit, such unutilised amount will be taxable as capital gains

*CGAS stands for Capital Gains Accounts Scheme i.e., a type of account opened with a bank or specified institution that essentially acts as a means to park the capital gains until it can be used for its prescribed purpose.

Note: 

HUF – Hindu Undivided Family
LTCG – Long-term capital gain
COA – Cost of Acquisition
NHAI – National Highway Authority of India

REC – Rural Electrification Corporation
STCG – Short-term capital gain
SEZ – Special Economic Zone

Related Articles

Capital Gains Tax India – Definition ,Types, Exemptions & Tax saving

Section 54 - Capital Gain Exemptions 

LTCG Calculator

Frequently Asked Questions

I have sold my residential house property in May 202319 and realised long-term capital gains, what are the reinvestment options to get exemptions to form capital gain tax?

You, can reinvest in the purchase of new residential house property and claim an exemption under Section 54 at the time of filing a return provided all other conditions are satisfied Or you can also claim exemption under section 54EC where you can reinvest the proceeds in NHAI or REC bonds to claim the exemption.

In April 2023, I sold a long-term capital asset house property and the gain amount is less than 2 crores, can I reinvest in two house properties?

Yes, from AY 2021-22 you can invest in two house properties if your capital gain is less than 2 crores and claim exemption under section 54 provided all other conditions are satisfied. Please note that this option is available only once for the assessee, if you have taken this option once in an AY you will not be eligible for any of the AYs.

How do I avoid capital gains tax on my property?

If you have sold any capital assets thereby incurring capital gain tax. You can plan your capital gain tax by claiming exemption as explained above under section 54 , 54EC , 54F etc. Using these section you will be able to claim exemption from capital gain tax.

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Quick Summary

The content discusses capital gains exemptions and deductions under the Income Tax Act and the calculation of short-term and long-term capital gains. Specific deductions under various sections are detailed, including conditions and benefits. Different scenarios for asset types and tax rates are provided. Questions could include: Who can claim deductions? What assets need to be sold and purchased? What are the time limits for investments?

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