Section 73 of the Income Tax Act: Carry forward and set off Losses of speculation business


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After making the appropriate and permissible intra-head and inter-head adjustments, there could still be unadjusted losses. These unadjusted losses can be carried forward to future years for adjustments against income of these years

Analysis of Section 73: Speculative Business Loss:
  • Can be carry forward up to next 4 assessment years from the assessment year in which the loss was incurred
  • Can be adjusted only against Income from speculative business
  • Cannot be carried forward if the return is not filed within the original due date.
  • Not necessary to continue the business at the time of set off in future years
Extract From Act: Section 73 (Losses in speculation business):

(1) Any loss, computed in respect of a speculation business carried on by the assessee, shall not be set off except against profits and gains, if any, of another speculation business.

(2) Where for any assessment year any loss computed in respect of a speculation business has not been wholly set off under sub-section (1), so much of the loss as is not so set off or the whole loss where the assessee had no income from any other speculation business, shall, subject to the other provisions of this Chapter, be carried forward to the following assessment year, and—

 (i)  it shall be set off against the profits and gains, if any, of any speculation business carried on by him assessable for that assessment year; and

(ii)  if the loss cannot be wholly so set off, the amount of loss not so set off shall be carried forward to the following assessment year and so on.

(3) In respect of allowance on account of depreciation or capital expenditure on scientific research, the provisions of sub-section (2) of section 72 shall apply in relation to speculation business as they apply in relation to any other business.

(4) No loss shall be carried forward under this section for more than four assessment years immediately succeeding the assessment year for which the loss was first computed.

Explanation.—Where any part of the business of a company (other than a company whose gross total income consists mainly of income which is chargeable under the heads “Interest on securities”, “Income from house property”, “Capital gains” and “Income from other sources”, or a company the principal business of which is the business of trading in shares or banking or the granting of loans and advances) consists in the purchase and sale of shares of other companies, such company shall, for the purposes of this section, be deemed to be carrying on a speculation business to the extent to which the business consists of the purchase and sale of such shares.


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