‘GST rate on real estate not to impact property prices’

‘Incidence would match or be lower than the existing taxes’

The Goods and Services Tax rate of 12% on the real estate sector will not have a measurable impact on prices, according to the National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO).

However, the Council pointed out that there were other areas of concern that the Government needs to address, such as the tax treatment of the affordable housing segment, and the tasks to be completed after the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 comes into effect. There are also aspects of the GST rate as specified by the GST Council that need clarity, the Council said.

NAREDCO was established as an autonomous self-regulatory body in 1998 under the aegis of Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation. “It seeks to be the leading advocate of developing standards for efficient, effective, and ethical real estate business practices, valued by all stakeholders of real estate sector and viewed by them as crucial to their success,” according to a statement on its website.

“NAREDCO is of the view that the actual tax incidence under GST would match or be lower than the existing multiple indirect taxes on the sector,” Rajeev Talwar, Chairman of NAREDCO told reporters on Wednesday. “The GST rate for work contracts, which will also be offset by input credits, will provide for a seamless and simplified tax policy.”

Multiple taxes

“Property prices will neither go up nor down, but it will be an easier mechanism due to the removal of multiple taxes and will be more transparent,” Parveen Jain, President of NAREDCO said. “The unified tax regime will stop the unwanted practice of double taxation, which hurt real estate and other sectors, given the cascading effect which inflated prices for end users.”

Another issue he said required clarity was on the tax treatment of instalments to be paid to the developer before the July 1 rollout of GST.