EXEMPTION FOR CAPITAL GAINS ARISING ON TRANSFER OF RESIDENTIAL HOUSE PROPERTY (SECTION 54)
A person wanted to shift his residence due to certain reason, hence, he sold his old house and from the sale proceeds he purchased another house. In this case the objective of the seller was not to earn income by sale of old house but to acquire another suitable house. If in this case the seller was liable to pay income-tax on capital gains arising on sale of old house, then it would be a hardship on him. Section 54 gives relief from such a hardship. Section 54 gives relief to a taxpayer who sells his residential house and from the sale proceeds he acquires another residential house.
Following conditions should be satisfied to claim the benefit of section 54:-
The benefit of section 54 is available only to an individual or HUF.
The asset transferred should be a long-term capital asset, being a residential house property.
Within a period of one year before or two years after the date of transfer of old house, the taxpayer should acquire another residential house or should construct a residential house within a period of three years from the date of transfer of the old house.
In case of compulsory acquisition the period of acquisition or construction will be determined from the date of receipt of compensation (whether original or additional).
Exemption can be claimed only in respect of one residential house property purchased/constructed in India. If more than one house is purchased or constructed, then exemption under section 54 will be available in respect of one house only.
No exemption can be claimed in respect of house purchased outside India.
With effect from Assessment Year 2021-22, the Finance Act, 2020 has amended Section 54 to extend the benefit of exemption in respect of investment made in two residential house properties. The exemption for investment made, by way of purchase or construction, in two residential house properties shall be available if the amount of long-term capital gains does not exceed Rs. 2 crores. If assessee exercises this option, he shall not be entitled to exercise this option again for the same or any other assessment year.
Mr. Joy purchased a residential house in April, 2015 and sold the same in April 2022 for Rs. 8,40,000. Capital gain arising on sale of the house amounted to Rs. 1,00,000. Can he claim benefit of section 54 by purchasing/constructing another residential house from the capital gain of Rs. 1,00,000?
Exemption under section 54 can be claimed in respect of capital gains arising on transfer of capital asset, ‘being long-term residential house property. This benefit is available only to an individual or HUF. In this case, all the conditions as provided in section 54 are satisfied and hence, Mr. Joy can claim the benefit of section 54 by purchasing/constructing a residential house within the time-limit as provided under section 54.
Mr. Joy purchased a residential house in April, 2021 and sold the same in April, 2022 for Rs. 8,40,000. Capital gain arising on sale of house amounted to Rs. 1,00,000. Can he claim benefit of section 54 by purchasing/constructing another residential house from the capital gain of Rs. 1,00,000?
Exemption under section 54 can be claimed in respect of capital gains arising on transfer of capital asset, being long-term residential house property. The period of holding in case of immovable property, being land or building or both, is reduced 24 months, to qualify as long-term capital asset. In this case the house property is sold after holding it for a period of less than 24 months and, hence, it is a short-term capital asset. The benefit of section 54 is not available in respect of a short-term capital asset and, hence, in this case Mr. Joy cannot claim the benefit of section 54.