I found this interesting snippet circulated through email by ICICIDirect, which describes in simple anecdotes how Short Term Capital Gain/Loss works in India. I am posting it straight away, without any modifications.
1. Mr. Sharma purchased some securities on May 7, 2008 at a total cost of Rs. 100,000. On July 3, 2008, he sold these securities for Rs. 130,000. Here the Short Term Capital Gain, STCG (gain arising from sale of securities which is less than 12 months old) was Rs. 30,000 (a) and STCG tax (15% as per current laws) for this gain calculated to Rs. 4,500.
2. But Mr. Sharma had also purchased securities worth Rs. 90,000 on June 12, 2008 and had sold them at Rs. 40,000 on February 10, 2009. Hence there is a Short Term Capital Loss (loss arising from sale of securities which is less than 12 months old) and equal to Rs. 50,000 (b).
3. Now as per the tax laws, Mr. Sharma’s Short Term Capital Gain (a) is offset by Short Term Capital Loss (b). Hence there is no Short Term Capital Gains tax payable by Mr. Sharma for the financial year 2008-09. Also, he carried forward Rs. 20,000 loss for offsetting any Short Term Capital Gains he makes in the next 8 years.
Thus a person needs to pay STCG tax only for the difference between Short Term Capital Gain and Short Term Capital Loss if the difference is positive; no tax if the difference is zero or negative. Moreover, if the difference is negative, he can even carry forward and offset the loss to gains in the next 8 years, until the loss is completely used off to offset those gains.
Thanks to ICICIDirect.com