Finance Minister Piyush Goyal in his Budget 2019 speech has proposed to relax the condition required to be met to save on capital gains made on the sale of a residential property. The FM in the budget speech stated that the benefit of rollover of capital gains under section 54 of the Income Tax Act will be increased from investment in one residential house to two residential houses for a tax payer having capital gains up to Rs 2 crore. This benefit can be availed once in a life time.
Under section 54, to save on the capital gains made on the sale of a residential property, one is currently allowed to invest only in one other house property. The FM has proposed to increase it to two houses in one’s lifetime.
To claim the exemption, a new residential house property must be purchased or constructed and only one house property was allowed to be purchased or constructed.
The purchase has to be made either 1 year before the sale or 2 years after the sale of the property/asset.
If the seller is going to construct a new house with the capital gain proceeds, then the new house must be constructed within 3 years of sale of the property/asset.
However, if one is not able to purchase or construct during the specified time period, before the date of tax filing or 1 year from the date of sale, whichever is earlier, the amount may be deposited in a public sector bank (or other banks as per the Capital Gains Account Scheme, 1988).
Also, the benefit is available only if the new residential properties are situated in India. The exemption shall not be available for properties bought or constructed outside India to claim this exemption.