This article focuses on provisions of The Income Tax Act, 1961 and rules made there under relating to Set Off and Carry Forward of Losses. This is a complete guide to set off and carry forward the losses including the set off of losses from business and profession from presumptive income.

A. There are two types of adjustments under set off of losses:

1. Intra Head Adjustment (section 70) – It means loss from one source of income can be set off against income from another source but in the same head of income.

2. Inter Head Adjustment (section 71) – It means loss under one head of income can be set off against income from another head of income but in same previous year*.

Guide to Set Off & Carry Forward of Losses under each head of Income

Exceptions :

1. Speculative business loss can be set off against speculative business income only.

2. Specified business loss (u/s 35AD) can be set off against specified business income only.

3. Long term capital loss can be set off against long term capital gain only.

4. Loss from owing & maintaining race horses can be set off against income from owing & maintaining race horses.

5. Short term capital loss can be set off against Short term capital gain and Long term capital gain only.

6. Loss from business cannot be set off against salary income.

*  In case of carry forward losses Inter Head adjustment Not Allowed.

B. Set Off & Carry Forward of Losses :

Types of Losses Intra   Head Adjus tment Inter Head Adju stment Carry For warded Brought Forward Losses to be Set Off against Time Limit to carry forward Man datory filing of return of income
Loss from House Property Allowed Allowed, upto Maximum of Rs. 2,00,000 from AY 2018-19 Allowed Income from House Property 8 Years No
Loss from Speculative Business Only against Speculative business income Not Allowed Allowed Income from Speculative Business 4 Years Yes
Loss from Specified Business Only against Specified business income Not Allowed Allowed Income from Specified Business Unlimited Yes
Other Business Losses Allowed Allowed, except from Salary Income Allowed Income from Normal Business Yes
Short Term Capital Loss Only against STCG & LTCG Not Allowed Allowed STCG & LTCG 8 Years Yes
Long Term Capital Loss Only against LTCG Not Allowed Allowed LTCG 8 Years Yes
Loss from Owing & Maintaining Race Horses Only against income from Owing & Maintaining Race Horses Not Allowed Allowed Income from Owing & Maintaining Race Horses 4 Years Yes
Other Loss under ‘Other Sources’ Allowed Allowed Not Allowed N/A N/A N/A
Loss from Salary Loss from Salary Not Possible

C. Timely filing of Income Tax Return

In order to carry forward the losses of current assessment year it is mandatory to file Income Tax Return within the timelines specified u/s 139(1) of the Act.

However, the provisions apply only in case of losses of current assessment year and not on the brought forward losses of previous assessment years which are still unutilized and required to be carried forwarded. Also, the losses are allowed to be set off against the income even if the return is filed after due date.

For Example : If a person has Losses of Rs. 1,00,000 brought forwarded from AY 2017-18 and incur losses of Rs. 6,00,000 in current AY 2019-20 and he filed his return of income after the due date of return filing then he is allowed to carry forward Rs. 1,00,000 pertaining to loss of AY 2017-18 but he is not allowed to carry forward the current year loss of Rs. 6,00,000 however, he can set off this loss from the eligible income in the current AY only.

Exception :

House Property loss & Unabsorbed Depreciation can be carry forwarded even if return filed after due date.

D. Brought Forward Loss & Presumptive Income

In case a person has brought forwarded losses from the business or profession and in the current assessment year the person files the return of income declaring his income under presumptive scheme specified u/s 44AD or 44ADA or 44AE then he is allowed to set off the brought forward losses from the presumptive income.

In such a case the person is required to file return of income under form ITR-3 declaring his income on presumptive basis under table 61 to 64 of “Part A P & L” of the form and declaring the brought forward losses under “Schedule-CYLA”.

E. Carry Forward of Losses in case of Amalgamation/ Demerger

Particular Amalgamation Demerger Conversion of Firm / Proprietary into Company Conversion of Unlisted Co. into LLP
Accumulated Business Loss Amalgamating Co. Demerged Co. Firm / Proprietary Unlisted Co.
Can be carry forward by Amalgamated Co. Resulting Co. Successor Co. LLP
Time Limit to carry forward Fresh 8 years Remaining 8 years Fresh 8 years Fresh 8 years

Notes :

1. Only business losses (except speculative business loss) can be carry forwarded by successor.

2. Unabsorbed Depreciation can be carry forwarded by Amalgamating Co./ Resulting Co./ Successor Co./ LLP for unlimited period.

3. The Carry forward of losses by successors are subjected to some conditions specified under the Act.

Disclaimer : The information contained in this article is intended solely for the dissemination of information and does not aim at solicitation of work. Though meticulous care has been taken but the author assumes no liability in respect of any loss/ damage incurred while acting on the information provided in this article. The author can be reached at SAMAKSH.SGC@GMAIL.COM and can be called at +91-9873368144.

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Qualification: CA in Practice
Company: Samaksh Gupta & Co.
Location: Delhi, New Delhi, IN
Member Since: 04 Feb 2020 | Total Posts: 2
I am a Qualified and Practicing Chartered Accountant based in Delhi and having key interest and expertise in Direct taxes; Indirect taxes and Corporate & Economic Laws and I believe my expertise have roots in my internship in a renowned CA firm bagging its place in top 10 firms of India for past fe View Full Profile

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