Reduce Tax Burden: Understanding the Cost Inflation Index in India


The Income Tax Cost Inflation Index (CII) is an essential concept in the Indian taxation system, which helps taxpayers understand the impact of inflation on their capital assets. This article aims to provide clarity on the subject by addressing frequently asked questions about the CII and its role in the calculation of capital gains tax.

What is the Cost Inflation Index (CII)?

The Cost Inflation Index (CII) is a measure used by the Indian Income Tax Department to adjust the purchase cost of a capital asset for inflation. The CII is primarily used to calculate long-term capital gains tax by accounting for the impact of inflation on the asset’s purchase price, thereby reducing the taxable capital gain.

Reduce Tax Burden: Understanding the Cost Inflation Index in India

How is the CII Calculated?

The CII is calculated by the Central Government of India, specifically by the Ministry of Finance. The base year for the CII is set at 2001-02, with a base index of 100. Each financial year, the government releases a new CII number, which reflects the average inflation rate for that particular year.

Why is the CII Important?

The primary purpose of the CII is to account for inflation when calculating long-term capital gains tax. By adjusting the purchase cost of a capital asset, taxpayers can minimize the taxable amount of their capital gains, ultimately reducing their overall tax liability.

For example, let’s assume you purchased a property for INR 10,00,000 in 2011-12 and sold it for INR 30,00,000 in 2021-22. The CII for 2011-12 is 184, while the CII for 2021-22 is 301. Without accounting for inflation, your capital gain would be INR 20,00,000. However, by using the CII, your inflation-adjusted purchase cost becomes INR 16,36,957, and your taxable capital gain is reduced to INR 13,63,043.

How to Calculate Capital Gains Using CII?

To calculate long-term capital gains using the CII, follow these steps:

i) Determine the purchase cost of the asset;

ii) Identify the CII for the year of purchase and the year of sale;

iii) Calculate the indexed purchase cost by dividing the CII for the year of sale by the CII for the year of purchase, and then multiplying the result by the original purchase cost; and

iv) Subtract the indexed purchase cost from the sale price to determine the taxable capital gain.

When is the CII Applicable?

The CII is applicable in cases where the capital asset has been held for more than 36 months (24 months for immovable property) before the sale. It is used only for the calculation of long-term capital gains tax and is not applicable to short-term capital gains.

Are there any Exceptions to the CII Applicability?

Yes, there are exceptions to the applicability of the CII. The CII is not applicable to certain assets, including:

i) Bonds and debentures (excluding capital-indexed bonds issued by the Government of India);

ii) Securities (other than units) listed on a recognized stock exchange in India;

iii) Units of a mutual fund specified under section 10(23D) of the Income Tax Act;

iv) Zero-coupon bonds, etc.

Can the CII be Used for Foreign Assets?

Yes, the CII can be used for foreign assets held by Indian residents. The same process of indexing the cost of acquisition applies to foreign assets as well. However, it is essential to keep in mind that the CII is based on the Indian inflation rate and may not accurately reflect the inflation rate of the country where the asset is located.

How Does the CII Impact Tax Saving Investments?

The CII also impacts tax-saving investments such as Equity Linked Saving Schemes (ELSS) and National Pension Scheme (NPS). When you redeem your investments after the mandatory lock-in period, the indexed cost of acquisition can be used to calculate long-term capital gains, ultimately reducing your tax liability.

Updates and Changes in CII

It is crucial to stay updated on the changes in CII as it directly impacts your tax calculations. The Central Government of India revises the CII every financial year, and taxpayers must use the latest CII values while calculating long-term capital gains for the relevant financial year. You can find the updated CII values on the Income Tax Department’s official website or through various government notifications.


Understanding the Cost Inflation Index (CII) and its role in calculating long-term capital gains tax can significantly impact your tax liability. By accounting for inflation, taxpayers can minimize their taxable capital gains, ensuring a more accurate reflection of their actual gains. It is essential to stay updated on the latest CII values and apply them correctly when calculating long-term capital gains on your investments and capital assets.

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CBDT Notifications on Cost Inflation Index (CII)

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