Tax Implications of Selling a Property: Five Must Know Terms

Property management can at times become a complicated business involving a plethora of protocols and arcane abbreviations. This will make the field daunting, but knowing the basics and is the key to coming out on top. The following are a few terms that will help you on your way there.1. Short Term Capital Gain (STCG)When selling your property, the profit you earn is taxable. Setting a standard rate for property taxes might seem logical, but due to the dynamic nature of the field, it wouldn’t be fair to everyone.To counter this, the profits earned have been split into two groups; Short and Long Term Capital Gains, based on how long it takes you to sell your property from the date of the purchase. If the duration between your property purchase and sale is less than 36 months, then the profit earned comes under Short Term Capital Gain. The profit earned in this case will be classified as additional income and the tax rate on this will mirror your personal income tax rate.2. Long Term Capital Gain (LTCG)If you sell your property after a period of 36 months, then the profits you earn will come under Long Term Capital Gains. Under this criteria, the profit earned will be taxed at 20%.3. Tax ExemptionIn certain cases, you can legally avoid paying tax on the profits earned. This can only be done if your profits come under the LTCG. You can claim exemption from tax by reinvesting the profit in certain investment avenues. Make sure you talk to the tax authority before you make an investment as these investment terms are subject to change.4. IndexationA property trade can cover a very wide time frame, from a few hours to a few decades. The short-term transactions do not need indexation, but if you purchase a property and sell it after a few years, then indexation becomes a key factor when calculating the cost of acquisition and development of the property. Indexation factors currency inflation into the tax calculation by using a Cost Inflation Index (CII) number. This figure is published by the Body that manages the monetary policy of the region, usually a central banking institution.5. Capital Gains Account SchemeIf you are unable to make the investment at the right time to avail the tax benefit, you can opt for a Capital Gains Account Scheme (CGAS). To avail this scheme, you must deposit the profits earned from your property sale in a savings or a term deposit account, under a nationalized bank in accordance to the CGAS. However, this scheme has certain restrictions, I.e. once deposited, the capital can only be used to buy or invest in a residential property. Furthermore, the capital needs to be invested in the stipulated time frame or it will be classified as a Long Term Capital Gain and will be taxed at the standard LTCG rate.