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Maharashtra buyers may get a VAT blow, Check your agreement if you have already paid it, otherwise get ready for a financial hit

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Sunita Nair is worried that her family’s finances may go through another stress, if they have to pay Rs 4 lakh as value-added tax (VAT) by August 31. And her fears may come true. According to a sales tax notification last week, buyers of under-construction property in Maharashtra, between 2006 and 2010, should gear up to pay five per cent VAT on their flat. That’s not all. There could be additional burden due to interest and penalty charges which could increase the liability by another two per cent. Sunita and her sister bought flats in 2009 in Chembur. But, her sister will escape the tax burden as she bought a ready-for-possession flat. Sunita, on the other hand, had bought an under-construction property and has to pay the VAT now. Over 500,000 property buyers are expected to take the hit in Mumbai alone.
This norm is applicable for shops and bungalows also. VAT will not be applicable in case of resale. According to Pujit Aggarwal, managing director & chief executive officer of Orbit Corporation, even if the construction of a flat had started before June 2006 but it was delivered anytime between 2006 and 2010, the customer will have to pay VAT. If the first sale of flat is cancelled then the subsequent sale of the same flat by the developer is taxable. The tax paid on first sale can be adjusted towards subsequent sale. This levy will be applicable to redeveloped plots also, says Amit Geonka, National Director - Investments at Knight Frank. As a property buyer, the first thing you should do is check the property agreement. In many cases, the builder has already charged the buyer. Some builders have even submitted the money with the Court. Also, if you are someone who gave your land to the builder for construction, you will not be liable to pay this tax. In addition, the sales department has pegged the incremental burden at three per cent because the developer will get benefits under several heads such as labour and land costs. So check the actual numbers before paying.
Source: Business Standard

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