GST Implications On Real Estate

– Anil Pharande, Chairman – Pharande Spaces

The Goods and Services Tax (GST), is a kind of a comprehensive indirect tax on sale, manufacture and consumption of different kinds of goods and services throughout India, with all other Central and State taxes intended to be subsumed under it. If this happens, it has far-reaching implications, including on real estate.

Taxation and real estate industry

If we take a look at the real estate industry in India today, we find that there have been major tax changes in the last few years. However, these taxes are not uniform all over the country – different practices and regulations are followed in different states in India. It was the 46th Amendment to the Constitution that brought massive changes towards taxation in the real estate sector. Later in the following years, special powers were given to the State Government for implementing Value-Added Tax (VAT) on some specific kinds of transactions.

gst

For land, property and other kinds of work contracts, different kinds of taxes are levied by the State Government and the Central Government. The transactions are mainly categorized in three parts – value of services, value of goods and materials and value of land. VAT is applied by the State Government on the goods portion, while value of services is taxed by the Central Government. However, other than stamp duty, there is no clear tax on the transactions regarding value of land. This situation leads to confusion and can result in dual taxation. Compliance and implementation of such taxes also get difficult.

The real estate industry has justifiably been feeling jittery with such confusing tax implantations and calculations. For one real estate transaction, multiple taxes need to be paid and this has a negative effect on the industry. The industry’s demand to bring GST on board is primarily to get a clear and transparent taxation rule for the real estate sector in India.

Expected GST effects on the real estate industry in India

The implementation of GST can prove to be a significant step in reforming indirect taxation in India. Chances of double taxation would be diminished, as some of the Central and State Government taxes will be amalgamated into one tax. This will ease the process of taxation considerably, making its enforcement and administration easier and simpler.

Talking about the real estate industry in this context, there are many things which have to be known and understood. In the current situation, a builder or a real estate developer incurs various kinds of expenses during the construction phase of a project. Different kinds of taxes are involved with these expenses, such as VAT/CST, customs duties, service tax, excise duty and so on. Majority of these taxes are expenses that are included in the system. This is because they are not creditable to the developer or to the end-customer. These non-creditable expenses lead to tax inefficiency, which is not desirable.

One positive impact that might result from GST is doing away of restrictions on credit utilization. This will definitely help in strengthening the credit chain in the entire system. If property developers and builders can properly manage this aspect, they will see some profit.

It is expected that the proposed GST structure will have a progressive and streamlined approach. The tax compliance rules should not have any serious impact on real estate builders and developers. In present conditions, builders running projects in different states have to comply with State-specific VAT laws, as well as other kinds of service taxes. Bringing in GST will therefore not bring any additional compliance burden on real estate builders in the country.

Issues regarding GST which affect real estate builders

There are a few clarifications that might be sought for GST taxation by real estate developers. For instance, the definition of a real estate developer varies from one state to another in India. The composition scheme varies according to State, in which the VAT rates come between 1-5%. In some States, there are differences between the terms real estate contractors and real estate developers. It has to be understood what will the GST implications are if the terms have different meanings.

There might be some confusion regarding GST implementations on residential property, as well. In the present scenario, there is no service tax applicable on renting immovable property, particularly for residential purposes. But service tax and VAT is implemented on the construction work. The question that arises is if the proposed GST will offer differential tax for residential properties.

As of now, it does not look like completed residential projects will be affected by GST, as buyers into completed projects have already paid statutory charges such as stamp duty and registration charges on the transaction. The segments to watch on the GST front are under-construction flats and rental flats, which are expected to come under the ambit of GST. GST will apply to the materials that a developer procures for building a residential project, so there is a direct correlation to the overall cost of construction.

Much depends on what rate of GST will finally be confirmed. If it is more than the existing cumulative taxes currently in force, it means that the overall cost to consumers of buying an under-construction flat will increase along with the added cost of stamp duty and registration. At the same time, developers have to keep an eye on costing, as price competitiveness is very important in the current real estate market scenario.

About The Author:

Anil PharandeAnil Pharande is Chairman of Pharande Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in Western Pune. Pharande Promoters & Builders, the flagship company of Pharande Spaces and an ISO 9001-2000 certified company, is a pioneer in the PCMC area offering a diverse range of real estate products catering especially to the 42 sectors of Pradhikaran. The luxury township Puneville at Punavale in West Pune is among the company’s latest premium offerings. Woodsville in Moshi is another highly successful PCMC-based township by Pharande Spaces which is now in its 3rd phase.

PCMC Beats Pune To Rank Among India 10 Cleanest Cities

– Anil Pharande, Chairman – Pharande Spaces

The verdict by Swachh Survekshan 2016, a survey undertaken by the Ministry of Urban Development February 15, 2016 to monitor how far the Union Government’s Swachh Bharat Mission has progressed, was an eye-opener for India. While the multiple award-winning Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation ranked 9th on the list of India’s 10 Cleanest Cities, Pune – administered by the Pune Municipal Corporation, did not make it to the Top 10 list at all.

punawale_pharandeAltogether, the Swachh Survekshan 2016 survey studied 73 cities having populations of 10 lakh or above, and focused on aspects such availability of public and private latrines, the efficiency of services delivery, solid waste management and infrastructure development. Always at the forefront when it comes to providing a healthy, wholesome life to its residents, PCMC had in the recent past added to its solid waste processing capabilities via a new garbage depot.

This mechanised plant processes 500 tonnes of garbage into compost useful for agriculture on a daily basis. Moreover, PCMC has set the national trend in its progressive and scientific management of landfills, as well as its initiative to turn waste plastic into energy.

Another variable which the Swachh Survekshan 2016 survey focused on was the effectiveness of communication in the identified cities, specifically their citizens’ access to information and education, and the civic authorities’ proactive approach to in Behaviour Change Communication (BCC). BCC is a very important interactive function via which a city’s governing authorities communicate with the city’s population to ensure that initiatives to help the city to grow and prosper are understood and adopted.

bannerWithout a doubt, PCMC has been consistent in upholding its promises to provide the very best living standards to its residents. Therefore, the fact that it has been numbered in the 10 Cleanest Cities of India comes as no surprise. The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation is a veritable masterpiece of urban planning, driven by an unrelenting focus on infrastructure, sustainability and future-readiness. It offers a sharp contrast to the confused and retrograde approach being followed by the Pune Municipal Corporation, which has not been able to deliver on the functions and aspects that make a city worth living in.

The fact that PCMC has been able to come out a winner on the list of India’s 10 Cleanest Cities is all the more remarkable if we consider that this region is home to the thriving MIDC industrial belt, as well as the Hinjawadi Infotech Park. These hubs are among the country’s most prolific employment generators, causing countless new skilled professionals to make PCMC their home every year.

Despite the immense complexities this presents to the city authorities, PCMC has consistently risen to the challenges and continues to provide people from all walks of life and income segments with a wholesome, healthy environment to live and work in. It has been able to do this is by encouraging the development of integrated townships and ensuring that all real estate development happens with strict compliance to its town planning norms.

In PCMC, open spaces and green ‘lung’ pockets are available in every sector to control pollution and provide citizens with places to meet and relax, and wide roads and over/underpasses allow for free-flowing traffic. Water and electricity supply is several times more reliable than in the Pune Municipal Corporation, and highly efficient civic sanitation services ensure that all residential and commercial zones are kept clean.

Thanks to these factors, there is no doubt that PCMC will move further up the rankings over the next few years. In the meantime, it will continue to focus on maintaining its well-deserved reputation for being the best region in the country for people to work, live and prosper in.

About The Author:

Anil PharandeAnil Pharande is Chairman of Pharande Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in Western Pune. Pharande Promoters & Builders, the flagship company of Pharande Spaces and an ISO 9001-2000 certified company, is a pioneer in the PCMC area offering a diverse range of real estate products catering especially to the 42 sectors of Pradhikaran. The luxury township Puneville at Punavale in West Pune is among the company’s latest premium offerings. Woodsville in Moshi is another highly successful PCMC-based township by Pharande Spaces which is now in its 3rd phase.