Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday stayed the Bombay high court judgment dismissing the builder association’s appeal against the state government’s move to levy 5% value added tax (VAT) for flats sold between 2006 and 2010. The amount is 1% for flats sold after 2010.
The SC has extended the deadline for builders to pay VAT from August 31 to October 31. If they do so, they are not entitled to pay penalty and 15% interest on delayed payment of VAT, according to the SC interim order. The builders must register with the sales tax department by October 15 before paying VAT. The VAT money will be collected and kept in a separate account of the state government. If the state loses the case, the developers will get back their money along with interest. The date for the final SC ruling is not known as yet.
A bench of justices RM Lodha, AR Dave and Ranjan Gogoi on Tuesday stayed the sales tax department notification dated August 6, 2012, asking VAT developers to file their VAT returns by August 31.
The SC passed the interim order while hearing a special leave petition filed by MCHI-CREDAI, a developers’ representative organisation. The petition challenged the Bombay high court order dismissing the writ petition against the state government in the VAT case. Dr AM Singhvi and Parimal Shroff appeared on behalf of MCHI-CREDAI.
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Promoters & Builders Assn.
State of Maharashtra
R.M. LODHA, ANIL R. DAVE
AND RANJAN GOGOI, JJ.
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 17709 OF 2012
AUGUST 28, 2012
I.A. No. 2 in S.L.P. (C) Nos. 17709, 17738 and 21052 of 2012:
We have heard Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, learned senior counsel for the petitioners-applicants and Mr. Darius Khambata, learned Advocate General for the State of Maharashtra.
2. In the course of arguments, Mr. Darius Khambata, learned Advocate General for the State of Maharashtra submitted that the time provided in Clause (1) of the Trade Circular dated August 6, 2012 for registration by the developers by August 31, 2012 would be extended by the State of Maharashtra to October 15, 2012 and the time for filing returns provided in clause (m) of the said circular would be extended to October 31, 2012.
3. Having regard to the above statement of the learned Advocate General, we are satisfied that the following interim arrangement shall subserve the ends of justice:
(i) The time for registration by the developers as per clause (1) of the Trade Circular dated August 6, 2012 shall stand extended up to October 15, 2012 and the time for filing returns by the developers as per clause (m) of the said circular shall stand extended up to October 31, 2012.
(ii) In case the concerned developers pay tax under the Maharashtra Value Added Tax Act, 2002 (for short “2002 Act”) as amended vide section 2(24) w.e.f. June 20, 2006 on or before October 31, 2012, the coercive process for recovery of tax, interest or penalty shall remain stayed. This shall however not preclude the Assessing Officer to complete the assessment.
(iii) The above payment of tax by the concerned developers shall be subject to the final decision in the matter before this Court.
(iv) In case the amendment in section 2(24) of the 2002 Act is held to be unconstitutional and the tax so deposited/paid by the developers is ordered to be returned by the State Government to the developers, the same shall be returned along with interest at such rate that may be ordered by the court finally at the time of disposal of the matter.
4. I.A. No. 2 in S.L.P. (C) Nos. 17709, 17738 and 21052 of 2012 stand disposed of accordingly.