The unused Input Tax Credit (ITC) on goods and services lying with the property developers as on March 31 will be reversed for under-construction properties since the ITC stands to lapse from April 1 for such houses. “This (unused ITC lying in the ledger of the developers) has to be reversed as ITC benefits available to them will lapse from April 1 and can not be passed on to the buyers,” said a source, adding this is the suggestion from the GST Fitment and Law panel which is currently making the rules.
“From April 1 new rates will apply without ITC where 5 per cent will be charged for and 1 per cent will be the rate for affordable housing,” said the source.The reverse would take place through the monthly return file by GSTR3B. GSTR-3B is a monthly return required to be filed by all regular taxpayers till March 2019. Last month, GST on under-construction housing properties was cut to 5 per cent and for affordable houses to 1 per cent. In both the cases, builders will not be able to claim ITC.
Properties where the construction has been completed attract stamp duty, not GST. The GST Council has decided to lower the GST rate on under-construction houses to 5 per cent against 12 per cent and on affordable homes to 1 per cent against 8 per cent to boost housing. A member of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs said government is mulling two-three models for calculating the same.
Bimal Jain, chairman of Phdcci Indirect Tax committee, opposed the move for reversal of credit saying real benefit of GST will accrue only when the impact of higher rates on raw material such as cement, steel and the like is neutralized. At the same time, he said, ITC as on April 1, 2019 should not be allowed to lapse and return credit be allowed for utilization with other tax liabilities.
Industry sources said while the ITC should not be returned for unused credit, government can not demand used credit before April 1 for under-construction houses (but not sold) as then it would amount to a decision being forced retrospectively.