Assessee and Minor Child both are Eligible for Separate Exemption u/s 54EC

Assessee and Minor Child both are Eligible for Separate Exemption u/s 54ECAs reported by The Economic Times: The Kolkata Income Tax Tribunal has put to rest the vexatious issue of whether long-term capital gains (LTCG) earned by minors when clubbed with that of their parents are eligible for deduction separately under Section 54 EC of the Income-Tax Act. The clause exempts long term capital gains up to Rs 50 lakh if they are reinvested in prescribed securities.

The tribunal ruled in favour of an assessee who earned Rs 5.5 crore long-term capital gains from the sale of shares of one Arc India. His daughter and son, both minors, earned Rs 49.47 lakh and Rs 39.5 lakh, respectively, from the share sales. The assessee invested Rs 50 lakh in Rural Electrification Corporation bonds in his name and the respective LTCGs earned by his minor children under their names.

The assessing officer clubbed the long-term capital gains made by the assessee’s minor children in his hands, but limited deduction under Sec 54 EC only to investment of Rs 50 lakh in the assessee’s name. He disallowed deduction for investment in REC bonds made by the assessee’s minor children on the ground that the upper limit of Rs 50 lakh applied to the aggregate amount of LTCG, including that of the parent and children.

However, a division bench of the Kolkata ITAT ruled in favour of the assessee, saying that only the net taxable LTCG needs to be clubbed with the parent’s income and not the gross LTCG as was done by the assessing officer.

For example, if a parent and his minor child earn Rs 51 lakh each in long-term capital gains, only 1 lakh of the minor’s gain, and not the whole Rs 51 lakh, need to be clubbed with the parent’s Rs 1 lakh for tax assessment.

“The Kolkata ITAT ruling will come as a major relief to the assessee (parents) whose income includes taxable long-term capital gains of their minor children by way of clubbing,” said chartered accountant Bhupendra Shah.

The judgement also applies equally to clubbing of LTCG between spouses.

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