How To Save Tax By Delaying In Registration Of Property

A professional, who deals in income tax, know many methods which can be used for tax saving. In this article, I will tell you one of the methods in which you can save the taxes by delaying the Property Registration. When you read it through the bare act, then you may get confused because of the complicated language used in the act. Although, I will try to explain it in very simple language. Yesterday, during the conversation with my client Mr. Nikhil Bhatia, he told me that he is selling a property in Delhi and today the buyer is going for registration. However, I informed him that if possible then he should wait till 15th April for property registration and he told me that it is feasible. I suggested him to Delay Property Registration till April’15 and he can save tax by doing so. If you are planning for any property registration then it should be done during the last quarter of Financial Year i.e. from Jan to Mar after due diligence. The reason behind this being we are towards the fag end of the financial year. If he postpones property registration to the next Financial Year then it may help him to save some tax. This saving might or might not be in the near future. You may be wondering either I am thinking aloud or what is the logic to Delay Property Registration for saving tax and how it is linked to saving tax? So, Let’s begin:

How to save tax by delaying in registration of property

Long Term Capital Gain Tax (LTCG)

As per the provision of income tax law, every year new cost inflation index has been introduced by the government for determining the Capital Gain Tax – Long Term Capital Gain for taxation purpose. The cost inflation index value for FY 2019-20 is 289. This value plays a great role while determining the capital gain on the sale of the property. The reason for this is, we have to calculate the cost of the long term capital assets by applying the following formula using the cost inflation index (CII), which is as follows:

Indexed Cost of Long term Capital asset = Purchase Price of a Capital Asset  X Cost Inflation Index Value of FY of Sale
Cost Inflation Index Value of financial Year of Purchase

Now if he buys the property during FY 2014-15 then his Cost Inflation Index Value of Acquisition / Purchase will be 240. 

Note: recently the table of the cost of the inflation index has been changed from retrospective years. Hence, it is suggested that if you are also planning to sell the property then you should take new cost inflation index rates (CII) for the purpose of calculation of the inflated cost of long term capital asset.

The difference between 2 years of cost inflation index is not always common that means it cannot be predictable.

It all depends on the inflation trend and figs. Cost inflation index (CII) may increase with inflation and when inflation gets decreased, Cost Inflation Index starts dropping down. As I specified above that the government has introduced a cost inflation index which is in a rising trend, hence always refer to the cost inflation index table.

In the previous table, the cost inflation index starts with the financial year 1981-82 as 100 and then increased or decreased by increasing or reducing in this rate. However, the new rate is starting with the financial year 2001-02 as 100 and due to this, you might see different rates for the same year. However now on, if you sold any property then you will follow the new rates and not the old rates. The new rates of CII are as follows:

nri tax

S.No. Financial Year Rate of CII S.No. Financial Year Rate of CII
1 2001-02 100 11 2011-12 184
2 2002-03 105 12 2012-13 200
3 2003-04 109 13 2013-14 220
4 2004-05 113 14 2014-15 240
5 2005-06 117 15 2015-16 254
6 2006-07 122 16 2016-17 264
7 2007-08 129 17 2017-18 272
8 2008-09 137 18 2018-19 280
9 2009-10 148 19 2019-20 289
10 2010-11 167

As a result of the increasing trend, the cost inflation index (CII) for Financial Year 2014-15 reaches 240. Although, now the rates are being increased with the lower rate to stabilization of inflation. That is the main reason why I am suggesting him to delay the property registration so that he can take advantage of high-cost inflation index of next FY. This will help him to increase the indexed cost of the property at the time of sale of the property, therefore, lower Long Term Capital Gain Tax.

Note: In case of immovable property, if the property has been acquired for a period of more than 2 financial years then it shall be considered as the long term capital assets and on sale of property such gain or loss shall be considered as long term capital gain (LTCG) or long term capital loss (LTCL).

I know that some of you are facing difficulty to understand, so let me explain it through the example

But first, let me introduced you with some of the terms under the income tax act for an understanding of the below examples:

As we discussed above that in the case of land and building, the asset is a long term capital asset when it was acquired for a period of more than 2 years and we will take the period of holding for the purpose of calculation of capital gain as short term or long term.

For the purpose of calculating the period of holding, we will exclude the date of the transfer of property. For example, Mr. A has purchased the property on 15.04.2019 and transfer such property on 15.04.2021. In this case, the period of holding shall be taken from 15.04.2019 to 14.04.2021, therefore it will not be treated as long term capital asset because of a shortage of 1 day and his capital gain shall be calculated by taking it as short term capital assets. In simple words, determining the period of holding, consider till the date prior to the date of transfer. Now let’s starts with the example:

Below, I will give you 2 example with the same facts of Mr. Nikhil and see how can you take the benefit by delaying the in the registration of the property 

Facts: As mentioned above, Mr. Nikhil wants to sell the property in the month of march 2019 of Rs.50 Lakhs which he has purchased in the year for 2014-15 for Rs.10 Lakhs.

Example 1: If the registration has been made in March 2019 i.e. FY 2018-19

The capital gain shall be calculated as follows:

Particulars Amount
The full value of sale consideration   50,00,000.00 
Less: Expenses incurred in connection with the sale                     –   
Net Consideration 50,00,000.00 
Less: Indexed Cost of Acquisition   11,66,666.67 
Less: Cost of Improvement                     –   
Capital Gain 38,33,333.33 
Indexed cost of Acquisition =
1000000 X 280 1166666.667
240

Example 1: If the registration has been made in April 2019 i.e. FY 2019-20

The capital gain shall be calculated as follows:

Particulars Amount
The full value of sale consideration   50,00,000.00 
Less: Expenses incurred in connection with the sale                     –   
Net Consideration 50,00,000.00 
Less: Indexed Cost of Acquisition   12,04,166.67 
Less: Cost of Improvement                     –   
Capital Gain 37,95,833.33 
Indexed cost of Acquisition
1000000 X 289 1204166.667
240

TDS CERTIFICATE

Isn’t that amazing that delaying in the registration of property by one month, you can be able to reduce the capital gain of Rs.37,500 (3833333.33- 3795833.33).

This all happens due to the change in the cost inflation index rates.

If there is a difference of 1 or 2 months then you can also plan to consider the assets as short term capital assets or long term capital asset i.e. if you are selling the property within 2 years from the date of purchase then it shall be treated short term capital asset however there is no indexation benefit is available in case of short term capital assets hence you can plan accordingly by delaying in the registration for treating the asset as long term capital assets.

Also, in the example, I have chosen the financial year 2014-15 as the year of acquisition and year of transfer 2018-19 and 2019-20 but in any case, you can take the benefit for this. Although, it’s a hypothetical example and actual savings may vary depending on actual cost inflation index declared 

We can see this in another way that it is financially beneficial for you to buy property when inflation is LOW and sell when Inflation is HIGH

This was one perspective in which by delaying in the registration can save you long term capital gain tax now we will see how this delay will help you to save tax u/s 80C

As per section 80C, a person may get the deductions of Rs.1.5 Lakhs by making the number of investments as mentioned in this section. It includes the deduction of home loans. It is generally seen that most of the employees have to submit the proof of investment u/s 80C to their respective employers by the month from December or January. In other words, all the investment planning for tax savings purposes is completed by mid-January. Do you know that the stamp duty and registration charges paid for property registration can be claimed u/s 80C? So, if you have already crossed the limit of Rs.1.5 Lakhs under section 80C then after that any payment of stamp duty or registration charges cannot be used for the deduction under this section. In simple words, If you have registered property during the last quarter of FY then in it’s a probability that you will not be able to claim a tax deduction on stamp duty and registration charges u/s 80C. Also, this deduction can be claimed only in the financial year in which the stamp duty and registration charges are paid. I hope, now it will make more sense to you for delay property registration so that you can plan tax deduction u/s 80C for next FY to take advantage of stamp duty and registration charges.

Do not confuse in the date of acquisition: Normally, the date of registration is considered as the date of acquisition of the property but it is not the same in all cases. Let’s take the case of under-construction property, Under this, the date of allotment is considered as the date of property acquisition i.e. Cost Inflation Index Value of FY of allotment will be considered. In such a case, it is not at all advisable for you to delay property registration since it will not help to save tax.

Hope this article will help you with some tax planning. In case, you have any doubt about this, you can contact us. We will be happy to give our guidance.

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