All set for 1st July, big day in Indian taxation history. GST council on 18th July had made it pretty clear that GST will be rolling out on said date. But in past few days we have heard many queries relating to real estate industries where builders are demanding to pay whole consideration before 1St July or pay additional amount due to increase in tax rates. On which government is demanding builders, to pass on the benefit of the tax credit availed on inputs to buyer and not demand any additional amount or else they have to face the wrath of government’s new weapon (Anti-profiteering clause and related rules). But is it possible for builder to take proper credit of all inputs lying in stock as raw material, WIP or finished stock?
Builders have to pay service tax on the service provided at the rate of 4.5% after the abatement provided under notification no 26/2012 as amended by 8/2016. Under the said notification they were not eligible to take credit of inputs used for providing the taxable service. At the time of sale they are also liable to pay VAT under the state VAT laws. Construction services are generally continuous in nature, the point of taxation shall be the date of completion of an event on which whole or part of service is determined as per the contract.
Scenario in GST regime:
Supply of construction services is taxed at 12% with full credit but no refund of the overflow will be given. In GST regime time of supply shall be determine as per section 13 of CGST act read with sub-section 5 of sect 31 of the same act.
As per sec 140 of the CGST act, a person can:-
Issues in central indirect taxes:
But what if credit not taken:
If credit not availed then, high rate of tax will be levied on the payment receivable after the appointed day, with no reduction in cost. This will increase the tax liability of the builders. Builders on the basis of decision of Delhi high court in case of “M/S Meattles Pvt. Ltd. vs Hdfc Bank Limited” read with sub-section 9 of section 49 of CGST act can recover the increased liability of tax from buyers.
Issues in state indirect taxes:
Since VAT paid documents are always available, thus builders can take the credit on inputs easily either by sub section 1 or sub-section 3 of sec 140 of state GST act. But route of sub section 3 taken then there is a condition that invoice should not be older than 12 months before the appointed day. Real estate projects take long period, there will be a situation where invoice are older than the said period. On these goods no credit will be given.
Further Issues if want to take credit as per sec 140(3):
The said sub section allows taking credit for the inputs held in stock, contained in WIP and finished goods. As per guidelines issued by ICAI on accounting for real estate, revenue is booked as per percentage of completion method. Now consider a situation where project is completed around 75% but payment is received of 30% of total amount. The difference of 45% is not in stock but payment will be received in future on which tax will be levied. Since there is no stock of input either in raw material or WIP or finished goods builder will not be able to take credit. This will also increase the tax liability.
As of now there are many cases where builder has to call for additional amount from buyers because of increased tax liability but they cannot demand the buyer to pay whole value before the date of payment as decided in contract. I think government has to do a detail analysis on this sector and according take actions so that builder can take proper credit and cost to buyers remain unchanged.
Above views are those of the author. In no case it should be considered as professional advice. Readers are requested to take proper consultation before acting.