Short Term vs Long Term Capital Gain: An Overview

You realize a capital gain if you dispose of a capital asset for more than you paid. Real estate, jewelry, machinery, copyrights, lands, stocks, etc., are examples of capital assets. Another way to categorize capital gains is as either short-term capital gain or long-term capital gain. For various asset classes, multiple definitions of STCG and LTCG apply. This is important because the rules governing the taxation of multiple asset classes and forms of capital gains vary widely.

The Long Term Capital Gain

Gain On Investment In The Long Term

  • Long term capital gain, often known as LTCG, is the earnings you make when you sell off the capital assets after one year. Please note that the amount of time purchase must be held before it can be considered a long-term investment varies greatly depending on the support.
  • The rate of taxation on long-term capital gains is 20%, although this rate does not apply to the sale of share capital or the unit of equity-oriented funds.
  • Gains on the sale of stock shares or units in equity-oriented funds greater than 10 percent qualify as a long term capital gain.

Investment Returns And Long-Term Gains

Any long term capital gain can be computed as follows:

  1. To do this, you must first determine the actual full value consideration (the wholesale value of the item, as stated in the sale document, less any adjustments allowed under income tax legislation;
  2. Take into account the net worth after lowering the selling costs;
  3. The final sum is known as “net consideration.";
  4. Deduct the indexed costs of acquisition and enhancement from the net consideration;
  5. Value attained is considered a Long Term Capital Gain;
  6. Lessen the (if any) loopholes in LTCG;
  7. The resulting sum is your taxable long term capital gain;

Rates Applicable To Gains On Long-Term Capital Investments

Earnings on investment instruments for over a year are subject to a 20% tax rate, exclusive of any applicable cess. In the following cases, however, long-term investment income is subject to a 10% tax:

  • Section 112A defines long-term capital gains as profits beyond INR 1 lakh derived from the sale of listed securities.
  • Long-term investment income is realized through selling securities listed on India’s stock exchanges. These securities include, among others, equities, bonds, convertible notes, and government securities.
  • Shares of mutual funds as well as United Trust of India(UTI) are examples of such investments.
  • Bonds with no coupon payments.

Estimation Of Long Term Capital Gains

  • Long term capital gain (LTCG) can be achieved for certain assets after a holding period of at least a year. These assets include equity shares of a listed firm, securities like debentures & bonds, UTI units, & zero coupon bonds, among other financial instruments.
  • The LTCG tax also applies to mutual funds. However, the holding time for equity-based funds is not the same as the holding period for debt-based funds.
  • If the investment asset was received as a gift, the calculation of the long term capital gains considers the period that the prior owner held the asset.
  • LTCG that is less than one lakh rupees are eligible for capital gain exemption; this means that the investor or taxpayer does not have to pay any tax if indeed the LTCG is less than one lakh rupees.

The Short Term Capital Gain

Gain On Investment In The Short Term

  • Gains on investments realized over a shorter period than one year are referred to as short-term, defined as earnings made via the sale of capital assets. It is important to keep in mind that the holding duration varies depending on the capital asset. Earlier, to qualify as short term capital gain, the holding duration of purchase had to be less than 36 months. This rule applied to all forms of capital assets. On the other hand, the term for immovable properties, including land, buildings, house properties, and so on, was cut in half, from 36 months to 24 months.
  • A 15% tax on STCG is applicable whenever a security transaction comes into play.
  • When a transaction involving a security is not applicable, The tax on the taxpayer’s unrealized short term capital gain will be computed according to the taxpayer’s income and automatically included in the taxpayer’s tax return (ITR).

Implications of Taxes on Gains from Short-Term Investments

The following are the several types of short term capital gain that can be categorized for taxation:

  • Profits that are subject to taxation under Section 111A of an Income Tax Act.
  • The Securities Transaction Tax (STT) applies to profits from selling equity shares listed on a recognized stock exchange. The STT also applies to gains from selling equities mutual fund units.
  • The profit is made when one sells their shares in a company trust.
  • Profits made from selling equity shares, equity mutual funds, or business trusts on a stock exchange that is recognized and based in any International Financial Centre can be considered gains. Even if the sale transaction did not involve STT fees, the gain is still felt in this category because the consideration must be payable in a foreign currency.

Deductions For Gains On Short Term Investments

  • Sections 80C through 80U of the Income Tax Act detail eligible tax breaks. No tax break or exemption is available for Section 111A short-term capital gains.
  • However, you may choose to deduct your taxable income between Section 80C and Section 80U if the capital gains did not come from one of the sources specified in Section 111A.

Approaches For Figuring Out Your Capital Gains In A Short Timeframe

Here’s how to figure out your STCG:

  1. Determine the total whole worth consideration (the full value of the item as stated in the sale deed, less any applicable deductions);
  2. Take into account the net worth after deducting the selling costs;
  3. The final sum is known as “net consideration.";
  4. Subtract the purchase and improvement costs from the total consideration;
  5. The monetary gain is known as a “short term capital gain.";
  6. Minimize STCG’s exemptions;
  7. Determine your tax liability based on the value you obtained, which is the taxable short term capital gain.

Investment Returns On Time And Short Term Gains

  • Gains realized on an IRA investment are exempt from taxation due to the IRA investor’s status as a long term capital gain taxpayer.
  • Any withdrawals from an IRA will be taxed as regular income at the rate applicable to the investor or taxpayer.
  • Investors profit from IRAs because their investments can grow over time without being subject to capital gains taxes.
  • Gains are taxed at the investor’s ordinary income tax rates when made, but the pace is delayed until the money is withdrawn.


If one makes below 2.5 lakh a year, do I still have to pay CGT?

No tax is owed if the assessee’s total income (including capital gains) falls underneath the basic exempt ceiling.

How can I minimize my exposure to capital gains tax?

Investing the amount of gain in government investment plans and other means specified by CBDT will help you avoid paying capital gains tax.

Is capital gain and casual income subject to withholding? In that case, how would the cost be determined?

Paying tax in advance is required for both capital gains and incidental income. Capital gains are added to other forms of payment and then taxed to arrive at the final figure.

If one moves to a different nation, can you get out of paying taxes on your capital gains?

No, there is no way to get around it. A person’s residency status does not matter to be liable to pay the tax on their capital gain.