Get Tax Filing Done

Strategically Plan and file your taxes with us!

Explore next-arrow

How you can Minimise Tax Impact When Selling Property in 2024

25 March 2024 4 min read
How you can Minimise Tax Impact When Selling Property in 2024

Selling property can be a rewarding experience, but the taxes involved can quickly dampen your enthusiasm. With the right preparation, however, you can minimise the tax burden and keep more of your hard-earned money. This article provides helpful tips to reduce taxes when selling your property.

Understanding Capital Gains:

The crux of the tax implications lies in understanding the concept of capital gains. When you sell an asset like property for a higher price than you bought it for, the difference is considered a capital gain. This gain is then subject to taxation at different rates depending on how long you held the property, also known as the holding period.

Distinguishing Capital Gains Types:

There are two main categories of capital gains relevant to property sales:

  • Long-Term Capital Gains (LTCG): These occur when you hold the property for more than 36 months. LTCGs are generally taxed at a more favourable rate of 20% compared to short-term gains. Additionally, they benefit from an indexation advantage, which adjusts the purchase cost for inflation, effectively reducing the taxable gain and lowering your tax liability.
  • Short-Term Capital Gains (STCG): These arise when you sell the property within 36 months of acquisition. STCGs are treated less favourably and are added to your regular income, potentially pushing you into a higher tax bracket and leading to a higher overall tax liability. The tax rate for STCGs can be as high as 30%, depending on your income slab.

Minimising Long-Term Capital Gains Tax:

While STCGs offer fewer avenues for tax optimization, fortunately, there are several strategies you can employ to minimise the tax impact of LTCGs:

  1. Increasing the Cost Basis:

The cost basis refers to the total amount you have invested in the property, including the initial purchase price, any renovation or improvement costs incurred over the years, and selling expenses like agent fees. By incorporating these additional costs into your cost basis, you effectively reduce the capital gain and consequently, the taxable amount.

  1. Leveraging the Indexation Benefit:

As mentioned earlier, indexation adjusts the purchase cost for inflation, reflecting the decrease in purchasing power over the holding period. This adjustment lowers the taxable gain, resulting in a smaller tax liability.

  1. Reinvesting Capital Gains:

The government offers an attractive tax exemption option for LTCGs under Section 54 of the Income Tax Act, 1961. This allows you to completely avoid paying tax on your LTCG if you reinvest the entire amount of capital gains in a new residential property within one years before or two years after selling the existing one. Alternatively, you can choose to construct a new residential property within three years of the sale to qualify for the exemption. However, it’s important to note that if you sell the newly acquired property within three years, the exemption will be reversed, and the capital gain will be taxed in the year of sale of the new property.

  1. Investing in Specific Bonds (Section 54EC):

Another tax-saving option available under Section 54EC allows you to invest your LTCGs in specific bonds issued by the Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (RECL) or the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) within six months of the sale. These bonds offer attractive interest rates and provide complete tax exemption on the invested capital gain.

  1. Utilising Startup Investments:

For individuals with an appetite for risk and a belief in the potential of emerging companies, Section 54GB offers a unique tax-saving opportunity. By investing your LTCGs in startups certified by the Inter-Ministerial Board of Certification, you can claim an exemption on the entire capital gain. This option, however, carries inherent risks associated with investing in startups. Also there are certain further conditions that should also be considered for claiming this exemption.

Additional Considerations:

While the strategies mentioned above offer valuable tools for minimising tax liability, there are a few additional points to consider:

  • Consult a Tax Professional: Every individual’s financial situation is unique, and the optimal tax-saving strategies may vary based on specific circumstances. Consulting a qualified tax professional can provide personalised guidance and ensure you make the most informed decisions.
  • Stay Updated on Tax Laws: Tax laws and regulations can change periodically. Staying informed about the latest updates ensures you’re utilising the most current and relevant tax-saving strategies.

By understanding the different types of capital gains, the applicable tax rates, and the available tax-saving strategies, you can navigate the property sale process with greater confidence and minimise the impact of taxes on your financial goals.


Please note,

The views in the article /blog are personal and that of the author. The idea is to create awareness and not intended to provide any product recommendations.


Get Tax Filing Done

Strategically Plan and file your taxes with us!

Explore next-arrow