As per section 79 of the Income-tax Act, where a change in shareholding has taken place in a previous year in the case of a company, not being a company in which the public are substantially interested, no loss incurred in any year prior to the previous year shall be carried forward and set off against the income of the previous year unless-
On the last day of the previous year the shares of the company carrying not less than fifty-one percent of the voting power were beneficially held by person who beneficially held shares of the company carrying not less than fifty-one percent of the voting power on the last day of the year or years in which the loss was incurred.
However, where a change in shareholding has taken place in a previous year in a company being an eligible startup, loss can be carried forward and set off against the income of the previous year, if all shareholders of such company (who held shares carrying voting power on the last day of the year or years in which loss was incurred) continue to hold the shares on last day of such previous year. [Inserted by the Finance Act, 2017]
Restriction of section 79 is applicable only in case of loss and is not applicable in case of adjustment of unabsorbed depreciation, unabsorbed capital expenditure on scientific research or family planning expenditure.
Further, the provisions of section 79 are not applicable in case of change in shareholding on account of death of shareholder or on account of transfer of shares by way of gift to any relative of the shareholder or change in shareholding in case of an Indian company which is a subsidiary of foreign company, when such foreign company is amalgamated/demerged with another foreign company and 51% or more shareholders of the amalgamating/demerged foreign company continues to be the shareholders of the amalgamated/resulting foreign company.