Capital Gains Related Amendment in Finance Bill 2017

By | February 2, 2017
(Last Updated On: February 18, 2017)

Capital Gains Related Amendment in Finance Bill 2017

Shifting base year from 1981 to 2001 for computation of capital gains

The existing provisions of section 55 provide that for computation of capital gains, an assessee shall be allowed deduction for cost of acquisition of the asset and also cost of improvement, if any. However, for computing capital gains in respect of an asset acquired before 01.04.1981, the assessee has been allowed an option of either to take the fair market value of the asset as on 01.04.1981 or the actual cost of the asset as cost of acquisition. The assessee is also allowed to claim deduction for cost of improvement incurred after 01.04.1981, if any. As the base year for computation of capital gains has become more than three decades old, assessees are facing genuine difficulties in computing the capital gains in respect of a capital asset, especially immovable property acquired before 01.04.1981 due to non-availability of relevant information for computation of fair market value of such asset as on 01.04.1981.

In order to revise the base year for computation of capital gains, it is proposed to amend section 55 of the Act so as to provide that the cost of acquisition of an asset acquired before 01.04.2001 shall be allowed to be taken as fair market value as on 1st April, 2001 and the cost of improvement shall include only those capital expenses which are incurred after 01.04.2001. Consequential amendment is also proposed in section 48 so as to align the provisions relating to cost inflation index to the proposed base year.

These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2018 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2018-19 and subsequent years.

Definition of ‘short-term capital asset’ proposed to be amended

Definition of ‘short-term capital asset’ proposed to be amended to reduce holding period from 36 months to 24 months for immovable property

The existing provision of the Act provide for concessional rate of tax and also indexation benefit for taxation of capital gains arising from transfer of long-term capital asset. To qualify for long-term asset, an assessee is required to hold the asset for more than 36 months subject to certain exceptions, for example, the holding period of 24 months has been specified for unlisted shares.

With a view to promote the real-estate sector and to make it more attractive for investment, it is proposed to amend section 2 (42A) of the Act with effect from assessment year 2018-19 so as to reduce the period of holding from the existing 36 months to 24 months in case of immovable property, being land or building or both, to qualify as long term capital asset.

In Dy. CIT v Tejinder Singh [2012] 19 taxmann.com 4/50SOT391 (Kol), it was held that the phrase “land or buildings or both’ will not include rights in land or buildings or both. In ITO v Yasin Moosa Godil [2012] 20 taxmann.com 424 (Ahd. -Trib), it was held that transfer of ‘booking rights’ in a flat is not transfer of land or buildings or both

Special provisions for computation of capital gains in case of joint development agreement

Under the existing provisions of section 45, capital gain is chargeable to tax in the year in which transfer takes place except in certain cases. The definition of ‘transfer’, inter alia, includes any arrangement or transaction where any rights are handed over in execution of part performance of contract, even though the legal title has not been transferred. In such a scenario, execution of Joint Development Agreement between the owner of immovable property and the developer triggers the capital gains tax liability in the hands of the owner in the year in which the possession of immovable property is handed over to the developer for development of a project.

With a view to minimise the genuine hardship which the owner of land may face in paying capital gains tax in the year of transfer, it is proposed to insert a new sub-section (5A) in section 45 so as to provide that:

In case of an assessee being individual or Hindu undivided family, who enters into a specified agreement for development of a project, the capital gains shall be chargeable to income-tax as income of the previous year in which the certificate of completion for the whole or part of the project is issued by the competent authority.

 ♦  the stamp duty value of his share, being land or building or both, in the project on the date of issuing of said certificate of completion as increased by any monetary consideration received, if any, shall be deemed to be the full value of the consideration received or accruing as a result of the transfer of the capital asset.

 ♦  benefit of this proposed regime shall not apply to an assessee who transfers his share in the project to any other person on or before the date of issue of said certificate of completion. In such a situation, the capital gains as determined under general provisions of the Act shall be deemed to be the income of the previous year in which such transfer took place and shall be computed as per provisions of the Act without taking into account this proposed provisions.

Note:

 (i)  “competent authority” means the authority empowered to approve the building plan by or under any law for the time being in force;

(ii)  “specified agreement” means a registered agreement in which a person owning land or building or both, agrees to allow another person to develop a real estate project on such land or building or both, in consideration of a share, being land or building or both in such project, whether with or without payment of part of the consideration in cash;

(iii) “stamp duty value” means the value adopted or assessed or assessable by any authority of Government for the purpose of payment of stamp duty in respect of an immovable property being land or building or both.’

It is also proposed to make consequential amendment in section 49 so as to provide that the cost of acquisition of the share in the project being land or building or both, in the hands of the land owner shall be the amount which is deemed as full value of consideration under the said proposed provision.

These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2018 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2018-19 and subsequent years.

It is also proposed to insert a new section 194-IC in the Act so as to provide that in case any monetary consideration is payable under the specified agreement, tax at the rate of ten per cent (TDS ) shall be deductible from such payment. This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2017.

Expanding the scope of long term bonds under 54EC

The existing provision of section 54EC provides that capital gain to the extent of Rs. 50 lakhs arising from the transfer of a long-term capital asset shall be exempt if the assessee invests the whole or any part of capital gains in certain specified bonds, within the specified time. Currently, investment in bond issued by the National Highways Authority of India or by the Rural Electrification Corporation Limited is eligible for exemption under this section.

In order to widen the scope of the section for sectors which may raise fund by issue of bonds eligible for exemption under section 54EC, it is proposed to amend section 54EC so as to provide that investment in any bond redeemable after three years which has been notified by the Central Government in this behalf shall also be eligible for exemption. This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2018 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2018-19 and subsequent years.

Exemption of long term capital gains tax u/s 10(38)

Under the existing provisions of the Section 10(38) of the Income-tax Act, 1961, the income arising from a transfer of long term capital asset, being equity share of a company or a unit of an equity oriented fund, is exempt from tax if the transaction of sale is undertaken on or after 1st October, 2014 and is chargeable to Securities Transaction Tax under Chapter VII of the Finance (No.2)Act, 2004.

It has been noticed that exemption provided under section 10(38) is being misused by certain persons for declaring their unaccounted income as exempt long-term capital gains by entering into sham transactions. With a view to prevent this abuse, it is proposed to amend section 10(38) to provide that exemption under this section for income arising on transfer of equity share acquired or on after 1st day of October, 2004 shall be available only if the acquisition of share is chargeable to Securities Transactions Tax under Chapter VII of the Finance (No 2) Act, 2004. However, to protect the exemption for genuine cases where the Securities Transactions Tax could not have been paid like acquisition of share in IPO, FPO, bonus or right issue by a listed company acquisition by non-resident in accordance with FDI policy of the Government etc., it is also proposed to notify transfers for which the condition of chargeability to Securities Transactions Tax on acquisition shall not be applicable.

This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2018 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2018-19 and subsequent assessment years.

Fair Market Value to be full value of consideration in certain cases

Under the existing provisions of the Act, income chargeable under the head “Capital gains” is computed by taking into account the amount of full value of consideration received or accrued on transfer of a capital asset. In order to ensure that the full value of consideration is not understated, the Act also contained provisions for deeming of full value of consideration in certain cases such as deeming of stamp duty value as full value of consideration for transfer of immovable property in certain cases.

In order to rationalise the provisions relating to deeming of full value of consideration for computation of income under the head “capital gains”, it is proposed to insert a new section 50CA to provide that where consideration for transfer of share of a company (other than quoted share) is less than the Fair Market Value (FMV) of such share determined in accordance with the prescribed manner, the FMV shall be deemed to be the full value of consideration for the purposes of computing income under the head

“Capital gains”. “Quoted share” means the share quoted on any recognised stock exchange with regularity from time to time, where the quotation of such share is based on current transaction made in the ordinary course of business.’.

This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2018 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2018-19 and subsequent assessment years.

Clarity relating to Indirect transfer provisions

Section 9 of the Act deals with cases of income which are deemed to accrue or arise in India. Sub-section (1) of the said section creates a legal fiction that certain incomes shall be deemed to accrue or arise in India. Clause (i) of said sub-section (1) provides a set of circumstances in which income accruing or arising, directly or indirectly, is taxable in India. The said clause provides that all income accruing or arising, whether directly or indirectly, through or from any business connection in India, or through or from any property in India, or through or from any asset or source of income in India, or through the transfer of a capital asset situate in India shall be deemed to accrue or arise in India.

The Finance Act, 2012 inserted certain clarificatory amendments in the provisions of section 9. The amendments, inter-alia, included insertion of Explanation 5 in section 9(1)(i) w.e.f. 1st April, 1962. The Explanation 5 clarified that an asset or capital asset, being any share or interest in a company or entity registered or incorporated outside India shall be deemed to be situated in India, if the share or interest derives, directly or indirectly, its value substantially from the assets located in India.

In response to various queries raised by stakeholders seeking clarification on the scope of indirect transfer provisions, the CBDT issued Circular No 41 of 2016. However, concerns have been raised by stakeholders that the provisions result in multiple taxation.

In order to address these concerns, it is proposed to amend the said section so as to clarify that the Explanation 5 shall not apply to any asset or capital asset mentioned therein being investment held by non-resident, directly or indirectly, in a Foreign Institutional Investor, as referred to in clause (a) of the Explanation to section 115AD, and registered as Category-I or Category II Foreign Portfolio Investor under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Foreign Portfolio Investors) Regulations, 2014 made under the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992, as these entities are regulated and broad based. The proposed amendment is clarificatory in nature.

This amendment will take effect retrospectively from 1st April, 2012 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to assessment year 2012-13 and subsequent years.

Tax neutral conversion of preference shares to equity shares

Under the existing provisions of the Act, conversion of security from one form to another is regarded as transfer for the purpose of levy of capital gains tax. However, tax neutrality to the conversion of bond or debenture of a company to share or debenture of that company is provided under the section 47. No similar tax neutrality to the conversion of preference share of a company into its equity share is provided.

In order to provide tax neutrality to the conversion of preference share of a company into equity share of that company, it is proposed to amend section 47 by inserting new clause (xb) so as to provide that the conversion of preference share of a company into its equity share shall not be regarded as transfer. Consequential amendments are also proposed in section 49 and section 2(42A) in respect of cost of acquisition and period of holding. The period for which the preference shares were held shall be included for computing period of holding of resulting equity shares on conversion for the purpose of determining whether equity shares are short-term capital asset or long-term capital asset. Where the capital asset, being equity share of a company, became the property of the assessee in consideration of a transfer referred to in clause (xb) of section 47, the cost of acquisition of the asset shall be deemed to be that part of the cost of the preference share in relation to which such asset is acquired by the assessee.”;

These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2018 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2018-19 and subsequent years.

Cost of acquisition in Tax neutral demerger of a foreign company

Under the existing provision of section 47(vic), the transfer of shares of an Indian company by a demerged foreign company to a resulting foreign company is not regarded as transfer.

It is proposed to amend section 49 so as to provide that cost of acquisition of the shares of Indian company referred to in section 47(vic) in the hands of the resulting foreign company shall be the same as it was in the hands of demerged foreign company.

This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2018 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2018-19 and subsequent years.

Extension of capital gain exemption to Rupee Denominated Bonds

With a view to provide relief to non-resident investor, in the wake of permission to the Indian corporates by the Reserve Bank of India (the RBI) to issue rupee denominated bonds outside India as a measure to enable the Indian corporates to raise funds from a source outside India, the Finance Act, 2016, inter-alia, amended section 48 of the Act with effect from the 1st April, 2017 so as to provide that the gains arising on account of appreciation of rupee against a foreign currency at the time of redemption of rupee denominated bond of an Indian company subscribed by him, shall be ignored for the purpose of computation of full value of consideration.

Representations have been received to allow exemption from capital gain arising to secondary holders as well. It has also been represented to allow exemption in respect of transfer of Rupee Denominated Bonds from non-resident to non-resident for the purpose of increasing acceptability and transferability of such instrument in the foreign market.

In order to further provide relief in respect of gains arising on account of appreciation of rupee against a foreign currency at the time of redemption of rupee denominated bond of an Indian company to secondary holders as well, it is proposed to amend section 48 providing that the said appreciation of rupee shall be ignored for the purposes of computation of full value of consideration. Further, with a view to facilitate transfer of Rupee Denominated Bonds from non-resident to non-resident, it is proposed to amend section 47 so as to provide that any transfer of capital asset, being rupee denominated bond of Indian company issued outside India, by a non- resident to another non- resident shall not be regarded as transfer.

These amendments will take effect from 1st April, 2018 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2018-19 and subsequent years.

Consolidation of plans within a scheme of mutual fund

Finance Act,2016 amended section 47 of the Act so as to provide tax neutrality to the transfer of units in a consolidating plan of mutual fund scheme made in consideration of the allotment of units in the consolidated plan of that mutual fund scheme. It is proposed to amend section 2(42A) and section 49 to provide that cost of acquisition of the units in the consolidated plan of mutual fund scheme referred to in section 47(xix) shall be the cost of units in consolidating plan of mutual fund scheme and period of holding of the units of consolidated plan of mutual fund scheme shall include the period for which the units in consolidating plan of mutual fund scheme were held by the assessee. These amendments will take effect accordingly, from 1st April, 2017 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2017-18 and subsequent assessment years.

Tax incentive for the development of capital of Andhra Pradesh-exemption to capital gains from transfer of land under land pooling scheme

As per section 96 of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2014, the specified compensation received by the landowner in lieu of acquisition of land is exempt from income tax. The Land Pooling Scheme is an alternative form of arrangement made by the Government of Andhra Pradesh for formation of new capital city of Amaravati to avoid land-acquisition disputes and lessen the financial burden associated with payment of compensation under that Act. In Land pooling scheme, the compensation in the form of reconstituted plot or land is provided to landowners. However, the existing provisions of the Act do not provide for exemption from tax on transfer of land under the land pooling scheme as well as on transfer of Land Pooling Ownership Certificates (LPOCs) or reconstituted plot or land. With a view to provide relief to an individual or Hindu undivided family who was the owner of such land as on 2nd June, 2014, and has transferred such land under the land pooling scheme notified under the provisions of Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority Act, 2014, it is proposed to insert a new clause (37A) in section 10 to provide that in respect of said persons, capital gains arising from following transfer shall not be chargeable to tax under the Act:

 (i)  Transfer of capital asset being land or building or both, under land pooling scheme.

(ii)  Sale of LPOCs by the said persons received in lieu of land transferred under the scheme.

(iii)  Sale of reconstituted plot or land by said persons within two years from the end of the financial year in which the possession of such plot or land was handed over to the said persons.

This amendment will take effect retrospectively, from 1st April, 2015 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2015-16 and subsequent years.

It is also proposed to make amendment in section 49 so as to provide that where reconstituted plot or land, received under land pooling scheme is transferred after the expiry of two years from the end of the financial year in which the possession of such plot or land was handed over to the said assessee, the cost of acquisition of such plot or land shall be deemed to be its stamp duty value on the last day of the second financial year after the end of financial year in which the possession of such asset was handed over to the assessee.

This amendment will take effect from 1st April, 2018 and will, accordingly, apply in relation to the assessment year 2018-19 and subsequent years.

Related Post on Budget 2017-18

Budget Speech 2017-18 -Download /Print

Finance Bill 2017 -Download /Print -Budget 2017-18

Memorandum Explaining Provisions in Finance Bill 2017

Updates  on Union Budget 2017-18

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *