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Realtors hail option to charge old GST rates on ongoing projects

The real estate industry on Tuesday hailed the GST Council’s decision to allow realty firms charge old GST rates from buyers in those projects,Last month, the Council had decided to cut GST rate on affordable homes to 1 per cent without input tax credit (ITC) from earlier 8 per cent with ITC.
The GST on under-construction flats, which are not under the affordable housing segment, was reduced to 5 per cent without ITC, from 12 per cent earlier with ITC. These rates will be effective from April 1.While approving a transition plan for the implementation of new tax structure from the next fiscal, the GST Council decided that the developers of residential projects, which are incomplete as on March 31, will have an option either to choose the old structure with ITC or to shift to new 5 per cent and 1 per cent rates without ITC.“The real estate industry is particularly happy that the Government has taken all precautions to ensure a smooth and easy transition to the new regime of rates, and allowed the option to follow the existing rates for ongoing projects.
“The period of wait and watch as regards to GST for both the industry and the consumers is now over. We should expect colour to return to the real estate this Holi,” CREDAI President Jaxay Shah said in a statement.Transition issuesNAREDCO’s President Niranjan Hiranandani said the GST Council addresses the transition issues on ITC for the ongoing projects making it flexible for the developers to choose between the old GST and new GST schemes.The option to developers will help avoid operational hassles, he said, adding that the developers who choose the new GST rates will have to proportionately reverse their input credit.CII’s Director-General Chandrajit Banerjee said: “Providing choice to realtors to opt for the reduced rates or continue with existing rates with input tax credit for ongoing housing projects shall make compliance easier for them”. He said the real estate industry had taken up the issue of complexities of apportioning and reversal of input tax credit for the ongoing projects.
Anarock Chairman Anuj Puri termed this decision as an intelligent move by the incumbent government. “With this decision, it has carefully side-stepped conflict with both builders and buyers”.Some reprieveKnight Frank India CMD Shishir Baijal said the announcement of giving developers a choice of tax regime for ongoing projects has brought some reprieve to developers’ concern on the loss of ITC in the new regime.“The choice of selecting the GST regime would depend on the respective project dynamics.The ones with healthy sales traction are likely to continue with the earlier regime to maintain their profitability,” he said.

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