GST could bring in transparency in the real estate sector, possibly reduce cost of home ownership, especially if GST rate is lower than current rates put together. It could also lead to lower compliance costs and input costs for builders. Getamber Anand, national president of industry body CREDAI says it could reduce harassment that is there due to multiple taxes today. But builders and consultants are concerned about a clause in the GST bill which says input tax credit shall not be available in respect of the “goods and/or services acquired by the principal in the execution of works contract when such contract results in construction of immovable property, other than plant and machinery.”
“This would mean multiple taxation on buyers as builder will pass on non-creditable tax to home buyers even as they pay GST on the consideration charged to them and then stamp duty for registration,” says Abhishek Jain, tax partner at EY India. According to back of the envelope calculations, home-buyers will end up paying around 20-22% in total tax compared to 14-16% if builder gets tax credit.
Here is what the industry has to say about the impact of GST on real estate:
Neeraj Bansal, Partner and Head, Real Estate and Construction sector, KPMG in India
The constitutional amendment bill paving way for introduction of Goods and Services Tax bill and rules in the parliament is a welcome step. The next step involve ratification of this amendment by majority states, post which GST bill will have to be cleared by both Central and State Governments. At an overall level the impact on the sector will hinge upon the effective GST tax rate post abatement allowed for the Land Value in property transactions.
Further, Real Estate industry has to deal with multiple tax authorities such asand VAT and passage of GST Bill may lead to reduction in compliance bring in efficiency whereby the credit input for excise duty etc levied on materials like cement, steel etc. Also the impact of offset of GST credit on construction of building with GST paid on Rents or leases will have to be considered.
From consumer perspective, it is premature to say if GST will bring down property prices. We will have to wait for finer details especially with respect to applicable rate for real estate sector.
Lastly, the Government must consider providing a breather time to the sector to understand and prepare for GST. Global experiences suggest that there is a gap of about 1 year between introduction and implementation of GST, with recent example being Malaysia. Industry however needs to start preparing themselves for GST and organizations must undertake a detailed review of the IT systems, contracts with vendor, suppliers etc.
Abhishek Jain, Tax Partner, EY India
India is on the brink of GST and this is considered as a sign of freedom from multiple taxes currently levied on the real estate sector and the end of myriad litigation owing to ambiguity in the legal provisions. However, eligibility of credits and concessions still remain a cause of worry for the real estate sector. The Model GST Law restricts credit on goods and services acquired for construction of immovable property (other than plant and machinery). This clause is interpretative which may lead to litigation and result in denial of credits in certain situations
Anshuman Magazine, Chairman, CBRE – India and South East Asia
This bill has been long awaited by the industry. This is a major tax reform for our economy, which will transform India into a single market. Once implemented, it is likely to have a positive impact on the real estate sector, which has linkages with over 250 ancillary industries. Unified taxation will also infuse the much needed transparency into our taxation system. While the complete effects of this bill will take some time to be realized in some sectors, overall, it is expected to have a long lasting and progressive impact on the economy, enhancing the prevalent business sentiment in the country.
Anshul Jain, Managing Director, India, Cushman & Wakefield
The clearance of the Goods and services tax (GST) Bill in the Rajya Sabha is a laudable step that would remove cascading taxes and make India’s manufacturing sector more competitive. Being a destination-based, indirect tax aimed at bringing in more efficiency and rational taxes, GST could actually help to lower manufacturing / processing, logistics and distribution costs, which could further revitalize the manufacturing and associated sectors (warehousing and logistics) by making them more price competitive and boost the overall Indian economy. This would definitely boost the PM’s ‘Make in India’ initiative and create more employment. The warehousing and logistics sector, which is essential to raise the competitiveness of India’s manufacturing sector, would be especially benefited by the GST as it would bring about increased supply chain efficiencies. GST will ensure the abolition of various central, state and local taxes, enabling easier transfer of goods between states, which would give way to larger, centralized and advanced warehouses that would serve as hubs to service various states.