Latest in the real estate sector came in on February 7, 2018 where the Finance Ministry asked builders not to recover Goods Services Tax (GST) from home buyers who avail of the Credit-Linked Subsidy Scheme. The effective rate of GST shall now be adjusted against the input tax credits. The finance ministry further said builders can levy GST on buyers of affordable housing projects, only if they reduce the apartment prices after factoring in the credit claimed on inputs.
Over the last meeting that happened on 18 January, 2018, the GST Council extended the concessional rate of 12% GST, for the construction of houses under the Credit-Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) in order to promote housing – given an infrastructure status in 2017-18 budget. The effective GST rate is around 8%, after deducting one-third of the amount of land cost for house/flat. The provision was made effective from 25 January, 2018.
According to the finance ministry’s statement, “All inputs used in and capital goods deployed for construction of flats, houses, etc., attract GST of 18 per cent or 28 per cent. As against this, most of the housing projects in the affordable segment in the country, would now attract GST of eight per cent. As a result, the builder or developer will not be required to pay GST on the construction service of flats, etc., in cash but would have enough ITC (input tax credits) in his books to pay the output GST”
The concessional rate of 12% GST, was already applicable on houses that were constructed under the following three components of the Housing for All (Urban) Mission/ Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) –
(i) ln-site redevelopment of existing slums using land as a resource component
(ii) Affordable housing in partnership
(iii) Beneficiary-led individual house construction/enhancement.
After the meeting last month the council decided to extend the tax benefit to CLSS for economically weaker sections / lower income groups / middle income groups – 1 / middle income groups – 2 under the PMAY (Urban) programme.
Now that the decision has been made the buyers under CLSS would be entitled to interest subsidy as well as to a lower concessional rate of 8 per cent GST.
Well, it is definitely some good news for the affordable housing buyers the take of the builders on this new implementation is still awaited.