The study of Market & taxation

Lesson -> Balance sheet , P&L, and Turnover

6.1 - Audit of tax & Turnover

We have already discussed tax audits and when they are required for trading income. First, let's determine how much your trading business has been profitable to determine whether an audit is necessary.

It is important to reiterate that turnover must be calculated only when trading P&L is considered a business income. (An audit will not be required if capital gains income is all that you have. Only the turnover is used to determine whether a tax audit should be performed. Your turnover does not affect your tax liability.

If -

  • Rs.5 Crores mark The year's turnover crosses Rs. 5 crores. The Rs.5 Crore limit applies from the next financial years, i.e. 2019 - 2020. This applies to digital transactions. Stock market trading is 100% digital.
  •   Section 44AD: If the turnover doesnot exceeds Rs 2 crore, and the profit doesnot exceeds (this section only applies to taxable income that is not less than the taxation slab), an auditor is not needed. However, if your total income falls below Rs 2.5ks, and the turnover exceeds Rs 5 crores, then you are eligible for audit.  

Note The turnover limit has been increased to 5 crores following the Finance Bill 2020's introduction. An audit is not required if the turnover exceeds the 5 crores mark.

After reading about turnover, I'm sure that the first thing you thought of was contract turnover.

  • You can buy 100 Nifty when the Nifty is at 8000
  • Buy-side value =
    8000 * 100 = Rs.800,000/-
  • You square off the 100 Nifty when Nifty goes up to 8100
  • Sell-side value = 8100 * 100 = Rs,810,000/-
  • Turnover =
    Buy-side value + Sell-side value =
    800,000 + 810,000 = 1,610,000/-

It is and not contract turnover that the IT department is interested; they are interested business turnover.

Find out how to calculate business turnover.

It is difficult to calculate turnover using the method described above. The IT department has not provided any guidance. The guidance note on tax audit in Section 44AB of the ICAI (Institute of chartered accountants of India), is a great resource. This guidance note , Section 5.12 on, contains a guideline for how to calculate turnover. It states:

  • Delivery-based transactions

All delivery-based transactions in which you purchase stocks, hold them for more than one day, and then sell them are to be counted as turnover. If 100 Reliance shares were purchased at Rs 800 and then sold at Rs 820 each, the total value of the sales can be considered turnover (820 x 100).

If you are declaring equity delivery-based trades as income, the above calculation of turnover on delivery transactions only applies. These transactions can be used for capital gains and investments. You don't have to calculate the turnover. A turnover audit is unnecessary if there are capital gains.

  • Speculative Transactions (intraday Equity Trading)

A turnover is the total or absolute sum of all positive and negative trades. This means that if you purchase 100 shares of Reliance at 800 AM and then sell them at 820 in the afternoon, you will make a profit of Rs 2000.

  • Non-speculative Transactions (Futures or options)

The article states that for all transactions other than speculative, turnover should be determined as follows:

  • Turnover shall be the sum of all favourable and unfavourable variations.
  • Also, the premium received for options can be included in turnover
  • Any reverse trades that are entered should be included in the turnover.

If you buy 25 units of Nifty futures or 1 lot at 8000, and then sell at 7900 at Rs.2500 (25x100), the turnover is the negative difference or loss.

Options: If you buy 100 or four lots of Nifty-8200 calls at Rs.20, and then sell them at Rs.30, it is called buying options. First, the favourable profit or difference of Rs 1000 (10x100) is the turnover. The turnover also includes the premium earned on sale, which is Rs 30x100 = Rs 3000. This means that the total turnover for this option trade is 1000 +3000 = Rs 40000.

These calculations (points 1 through 3) are quite straight-forward. The next thing is to decide if you want trade- or scrip-wise to calculate your turnover.

Scrip wise is something ,when the turnover is calculated by collating all trades on the contract for the FY, average buy/sell value is calculated and then turnover is determined using the above mentioned 3 rules with total profit or loss or difference on average value.

Trade-wise This is how you calculate the turnover. It involves adding up the absolute profit and loss from every trade that was made during the year, and following the rules.
Following are the examples to understand better-


  1. 100 Nifty Jan Future bought at 8000, and sold at 8100 1 st. 100 Nifty January future purchased at 8100, and sold at 8050 10 _th Jan. Turnover

Using Scripwise

Average Nifty Jan Fut Buy: 200 Nifty Buy at 8150

Average Nifty Jan Fut Sell: 200 Nifty Buy at 8075

Total profit/loss = Rs 200 x 25 = Profit of Rs 5500 = Turnover for Nifty Jan Futures

Trade wise

100 Nifty: Buy at 8000, sell at 8100, profit = Rs 10,000

100 Nifty: Buy at 8100, sell at 8050, loss = Rs 5000

Nifty Jan futures turnover = Rs 10,000 + Rs 5500 (absolute loss sum) = Rs 15000

  1. 100 Nifty Dec.8000 puts were purchased at 100 and then sold at 50 on December 3 . 100 additional Nifty Dec.8000 puts were purchased at 50 and then sold at 30. Turnover

Using Scrip wise:

Average Nifty Dec 8000 puts Buy: 200 puts at 75

Average Nifty Dec 8000 put sell: 200 puts at $40

Total profit/loss = 200x Rs 35 = Rs 7000

Total selling value of options = 200x Rs 40 = Rs 8000

Total Turnover Dec 8000 Puts = Rs 7000 + R 8000 = Rs 15000

Trade wise:

Trade 1

100 Nifty Dec Puts bought at 100, and sold at 50. Loss = Rs 5500

Option selling value = 100 x Rs 50 = Rs 5500

Turnover = Rs 10000

Trade 2

100 Nifty Dec Puts purchased at 50, and sell at 30. Loss = Rs 2000

Option selling value = 100 x Rs 30, Rs 3000

Turnover = Rs. 5000

Total turnover = turnover (trade 1+trade2) = Rs 150000

Should I trade or scrip wise?

Trade-wise turnover calculation is the most accurate way to determine turnover. However, trade-wise turnover is the most difficult part of calculating. No broker (other than Upstox) currently provides trade wise turnover reports. Every broker provides a P&L that shows the average buy/sell price. This can be used for calculating scrip-wise turnover. If you don't trade at Upstox but are interested in calculating turnover trades you will need to download all trades made during the year onto an excel sheet. Then, manually calculate turnover.

Here are the trade and scripwise turnover reports for Console .


Once you have determined the turnover, you can determine if an audit is required. If so, visit a CA to verify your balance sheet, P&L statements, and see if they are mandatory.

6.2 - what Section 44AD says?

If your profit is lower than 6%, an audit may be required. If your turnover is less than 6%, you will need to have an audit. By profit, I mean only your net profits, not including salary and capital gains. If you trade as a business, and you incur losses, you will need to have your books audited.

An important point to keep in mind is that audits are not necessary if you have zero tax liability for the year. If your total income (Salary plus Business income + capital gains) is less that Rs 2.5ks (minimum tax bracket), then audit is not necessary. If your losses are significant, it is recommended to file the return with an auditor.

Retail traders are experiencing major inconveniences due to section 44AD being applied for trading as a business revenue. The difference between trading on the market and an ordinary business is how much turnover you can achieve. In trading, there is no guarantee of a margin. This is in contrast to an ordinary business that has a fixed margin for every transaction. This section is unnecessary and makes it difficult for small retail traders to have their books reviewed.

If you want to show trading income as a business, you must file ITR3. This would mean that you have to maintain your business just like any other.

  • Balance Sheet
  • Statement on P&L
  • Books of Accounts

These will need to audited according to your turnover. If your turnover exceeds 5 Crore, or if your profits are less that 6% of total turnover, then these should be audited. For individuals who trade as a business income, creating a balance sheet, P&L and maintaining books of accounts is easy.

6.3 -Covering all i.e. 'Balance Sheet, P&L and Book of Accounts'

Balance Sheet

The personal balance sheet gives you a snapshot of your wealth over a period of time. It shows you your assets (what are you own), your liabilities and your net worth (assets minus liability).

It is easy to create a personal balance sheet by combining all the information.

  • Your latest bank statements
  • Statement of loan
  • Statement of a house loan
  • Statements for personal use
  • Any outstanding loans - principal balance
  • Demat holding statement

Once you have all the information, begin to create your balance sheet. List all your assets (financial as well as tangible) and their respective values. Examples of assets include:

  • Cash (All i.e in the Bank/hand, Bank deposits)
  • All investments (mutual funds and shares, debt investment, etc.)
  • Property value = Cost of purchase + Duty + Interiors, etc.
  • Automobile value (Motor Car + Two-wheeler)
  • Personal Property Value (jewelry, household items, etc.)
  • Other assets: Computers, loans to friends, a plot or land, etc.

The sum of all these values is your assets.

Next, consider your liabilities. This should include everything you owe. These are some of the most common liability categories.

  • Resting mortgage balance (Loan statement)
  • Car loans
  • Student loans
  • Other personal loans
  • Balances on credit cards

Liabilities are the sum of all your money owed.


The difference between your assets and liabilities is considered to be your net worth
This is your balance sheet. It is better to have one updated every few months than to create one at the end each financial year.

Profit & Loss statement

Your revenue streams and expenses will be summarized in profit and loss for the financial year.

You will need to list all revenue and expenses in order to create your P&L.


  • Realized sale value of your stock holdings (Capital gain)
  • The income from F&O, Intraday or Commodity Trades. (Speculative as well as non-speculative business income).

Keep in mind that your salary income, if earned elsewhere, cannot be added to your revenue stream on your P&L.


  • If you have people who help you trade, you can get a salary.
  • Rent if you rent an office or space to trade, even if it is not your rental income.
  • Brokerage fees, taxes, and any other trade-related expenses.
  • Advisory fees, consultancy, computer depreciation, etc. (see the expenses section of the chapter on taxation traders).

Profit is the sum of revenue and expenses.

The Balance Sheet allows you to see your net worth between two dates. The P&L shows you why your networth changed. Financial discipline is key to creating long-term personal wealth. You will be able to keep track of your assets and liabilities by keeping a personal balance sheet and a P&L.

Book of accounts/Book-keeping

Maintaining a Book of Accounts and Book-keeping can seem very difficult. I've seen traders react to this by getting scared and trying to postpone the decision to find out more. It is very simple for someone trading solely as a source of income or salary. You only need to keep two books.

Bank Book: Make an Excel download of all bank statements and add a note to each entry to identify the transaction's nature. In case of expenses, it is a good idea to have a copy of all bills.

Trading book - This should automatically be maintained by the broker that you trade with. If required, the broker should be able provide a P&L report that includes all expenses and ledger statements. Contrary to popular belief, contract notes are not required unless they are subject to scrutiny by IT. Even then, if you only ask for them.

If you have traded with more than 10 Indian online brokers, your ledger and P&L statements will include all expenses. This will reveal any hidden fees.

Stock market box takes great pride in our transparency as a business. All charges other than brokerage are captured in the Other Credits/Debits section of the tax P&L. You will also receive a summary of the value of all open options positions between April 1 and March 31 . This information is very useful when you want to add your ledger to your P&L statement.

The taxation module is almost complete. The final chapter will explain which ITR forms are best and provide an Excel download of an example ITR 4 form.

Keypoints –

  1. If the turnover exceeds Rs 5 Crore, audit of the books will be required
  2. If the turnover is less that Rs 5 crore, but the profits are less then 6%, and the total income is more than the basic exemption limit (which was 2 cr from FY 2019/20), audit of the books will be required.
  3. Audit of the books IS NOT necessary if the turnover is less INR 5 crore and the profits are higher than 6% (which was 2 cr from FY 2019/20).
  4. The regular contract turnover is not taken into account when calculating the turnover.
  5. The business turnover is also known as the turnover.
  6. For trading as a business, the turnover of a business can be calculated either scripwise or trade wise
  7. Trade-wise turnover is the most consistent way to declare turnover.
  8. To file your tax returns, you must use the ITR3 form (ITR 4 to 2016) if you declare trading as a business.
  9. ITR3 requires that you have Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss Statement along with books of accounts.
  10. The balance sheet equation says that net worth is the sum of assets and liabilities.
  11. P&L statements detail the revenue and expense.
  12. Two books of accounts are required if a company trades as a business: Bank Book and Trade Book
  13. It is recommended that you maintain and update your Balance Sheet, P&L and books of accounts at least once a quarter.