GST On Under Construction Flats Likely To Be Lowered To 5 Per cent

A  Group of Ministers constituted by the Government of India has unanimously recommended lowering GST from the existing 12 per cent to 5 per cent on under-construction residential flats. The Group of Ministers on Friday also favoured slashing the GST on affordable housing units to 3 per cent from 8 percent. Officials said the report of the GOM would be finalised within a week and placed before the GST Council headed by Finance Minister Piyush Goel.  The GOM favoured lowering GST rates on residential houses to 5 per cent without input tax credit and to 3 per cent for those under affordable housing,” an official said.The panel headed by Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel was set up last month to analyse tax rates, issues and challenges being faced by the real estate sector under the GST regime. If these recommendations are finally Okayed by the GST Council, real estate sector and individual buyers of flats and houses would substantially benefit in terms of lower tax liability. Suresh Nandlal Rohira, a partner with advisory firm, Grant Thornton said  “home buyers will get their due benefit under GST with GOM recommending 5 per cent levy without ITC (input tax credit) for under construction property and 3 per cent without ITC for affordable housing.”“It is a welcome move as in most cases, buyers always felt that the builders were not passing on ITC benefits to consumers under 12 per cent levy and the ultimate burden was to be borne by the consumers. This will really boost the real estate sector,” Rohira added. Currently, GST is levied at 12 per cent with input tax credit on payments made for under-construction property or ready-to-move-in flats where completion certificate has not been issued at the time of sale. The real sector across the country has been affected adversely by demonetization and GST, as they the source of cash flow was impacted. This sphere is also considered labour intensive enterprise enriching coffers of central and state governments.

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