April 14, 2010
A memorandum has been submitted to the Finance Ministry concerned with the appeal for removal of service tax on housing complexes under construction by CREDAI, Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India which is a real estate industry body.
The Chairman of CREDAI, Kumar Gera stated that they have put forth their concerns and suggestions and also discussed the probable impact of the provisions with the Ministry. An understanding of the problem and required corrective steps will be taken is a hope from the government. The list of recommendations was built in consultations with KPMG, its knowledge partner and was submitted to Y G Parande, a Finance Ministry Member (Budget).
According to Gera, the money collected through the imposition of service tax on real estate development will not be big enough; rather it would majorly lead an overall negative sentiment and a net loss of revenue.
In budget 2010, it was announced by Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, the Finance Minister that a tax would be imposed on the housing complexes under construction but later it was clarified by the officials that service tax would be imposed on 33 per cent of total selling price. This was interpreted by the real estate players as a 3.5% price escalation for the buyers.
According to CREDAI, it was an impractical proposal to levy service tax on construction of complex since would lead to government giving preference to the secondary market of completed projects.