Buying a home involves several taxes and duties, which may go over 10 per cent of the total expenses, depending on the state and area which the property belongs to as the Stamp Duty varies from state to state. Not only buying, but owning a house also attracts property tax, which is payable every year.
Out of the taxes that have to be paid at the time of purchase of a property, one is Goods and Services Tax (GST) which is applicable on under-construction properties and also on properties that are fully constructed but the completion certificate has not been issued.
Apart from GST, other taxes and duties involved at the time of buying and owing a house are Stamp Duty and Registration Charges, apart from Property Tax which is payable every year till you are in possession of the house.
Before buying a new hose, check if the completion certificate has been issued and the flat is occupancy-ready or not. It is very important because no tax is applicable only on ready-to-move-in flats wherein sales took place after the issue of completion certificate. As GST is not applicable to houses having completion certificates, purchasing such a house would help you save a lot.
However, in its recent policy meeting, the GST council has provided a big tax relief to homebuyers by cutting the applicable GST rate to 5 per cent from 12 per cent on premium houses. However, the benefit of input tax credit (ITC) will not be available with the new lower rate, while it was available earlier. Similarly, the GST figure has been slashed to 1 per cent without ITC for affordable homes from the earlier figure of 8 per cent.
Although declining ITC would make the cut less beneficial for buying a property for commercial purpose, but it is a huge benefit for people looking to buy home for self occupation, which realty experts think, would give a major boost to the sector that is bogged down by huge unsold inventory and liquity crisis.
“The reduction in the GST rates for under-construction projects is the most decisive move by the GST council with a clear focus on demand stimulation. This move will give the necessary fillip to the demand in under-construction segment, which has been suffering from low sales levels for the last many quarters,” said Shishir Baijal, Chairman & Managing Director, Knight Frank India.
“We estimate that the reduction in GST can potentially reduce the buyers payout by 6 – 7 per cent on the overall purchase, depending on the category. The increase in sales will bring down the unsold inventory which has been afflicting the real estate sector,” he added.
Talking of the ITC issue, Baijal said, “The elimination of input credit tax benefit may hit profitability for the supply side; however, the potential demand generation as a result of this move will far outweigh any negative aspects leading to greater sales numbers and revenues.”
Another booster shot given by the government is changing the very definition of the budget-range of affordable housing and bringing properties priced up to Rs 45 lakh under the category for GST purpose. In the previous definition of affordable housing, only the sizes were mentioned, like – 60 sq. mt. for metros and 90 sq. mt. for non-metros – and there was no clear-cut mention of the limitation of prices.
According to ANAROCK data, there are as many as 5.88 lakh under-construction homes lying unsold in the top 7 cities. Of these, 34 per cent are priced below Rs 40 lakh.
“With affordable housing now being defined within Rs 45 lakh budget, more properties qualify for this ‘sweet spot’ category. The GST cut, coupled with this critical change in definition, will induce more sales in homes falling in this budget range – a win-win for both builder and buyers,” said Anuj Puri, Chairman – ANAROCK Property Consultants.
Although the rate of GST has been slashed considerably, but still, to reduce your payout, first check if the completion certificate has been issued or not.
Stamp Duty varies from state to state and is between 5 and 7 per cent, while the Registration Charges are 1 per cent. Generally, in most of the states, these charges are lesser for women buyers than their male counterparts.
Unlike other charges, which are payable at the time of purchase or transfer of properties, Property Tax is payable every year by the owner of a property. This tax is generally payable to municipal corporations and varies directly as per the size of a property as well as its location.