DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS – WHO ARE ENTITLE – SOCIETIES OR MEMBERS?
In respect of Tenants co-partnership co-operative societies, which are of the nature of “Flat Owners Societies” in which the flats are acquired by the society from the builder on ownership basis and thereafter Society is formed, and land is conveyed to the society and individual members acquire ownership rights over the building and underneath the development rights.
This concept has been recognized under Bombay stamp Act as on the conveyance in favour of the housing societies, stamp duty paid by the purchasers of flats on ownership agreements is deducted from the stamp duty payable on the market value of the property transferred in favour of the society as per proviso to article 25 of schedule 1 of Bombay Stamp Act.
Circular No. F.N. 4 / 28 / 68 – WT DT. 10.0.1969 AND 27.01.1969 explaining the provisions of section 5(1)(iv), the Board clarify that flats vest with individual members of society and wealth tax exemption will be available to individual members.
1. Additional Area expected at Redevelopment
Liability of Income/Capital Gain Tax, if any, on:
(A) Additional area in the hands of individual members.
Ans. As per Section 54 of the Income Tax Act, 1961, if any residential property which was held for a period of more than 3 years is sold or given for redevelopment and the new flat is purchased or acquired within a period of 1 year before or 2 years after the sale or constructed within 3 years after the sale then capital gain arising on the transfer of the old flat will be exempt to tax u/s. 54 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 to the extent of the cost of such new flat.
In the case of redevelopment, the new flat to be acquired is treated as constructed for the purpose of the Section 54. Thus, if the new flat is acquired by the owner within a period of 3 years from the surrender of the original flat then the capital gain arising from the sale of the original flat can be claimed to be exempted u/s. 54 of the Income Tax Act.
If the new flat is not acquired by the owner within a period of 3years then the Assessing Officer at his discretion can disallow the same at any time during the assessment.
However, allotment of a flat or a house by a cooperative society, of which the assessee is the member, is also treated as construction of the house [Circular No. 672, dated 16-12-1993]. Further, in these cases, the assessee shall be entitled to claim exemption in respect of capital gains even though the construction is not completed within the statutory time limit. [ Sashi Varma v CIT (1997) 224 ITR 106 (MP)]. Delhi High Court has applied the same analogy where the assessee made substantial payment within the prescribed time and thus acquired substantial domain over the property, although the builder failed to hand over the possession within the stipulated period. [ CIT v R.C. Sood (2000) 108 Taxman 227 (Del)].
Hence, relying upon the above judgments, even if in the case of development, the new flat is acquired by the owner after a period of 3years from the surrender of the old flat, an assessee can claim exemption u/s. 54.
If the new flat acquired to claim exemption u/s. 54 is sold within a period of three years from the date of purchase then the capital gain exemption claimed earlier would become taxable in the year the new flat is transferred.
Thus, in your case, the Receipt of extra carpet area over and above the existing area could be claimed as exemption u/s. 54 of the Income Tax Act,1961.
Further, we would like to state that under the definition of “Transfer” according to Sec 2(47) Income Tax Act, 1961, transfer, in relation to a capital asset, includes sale, exchange, or relinquishment of the asset or the extinguishment of any rights therein or the compulsory acquisition thereof under any law.
An exchange involves the transfer of property by one person to another and reciprocally the transfer of property by that other to the first person. There must be a mutual transfer of ownership of one thing for the ownership of another. Hence, the acquisition of new flat would be considered as exchange and would be considered as transfer for the purpose of capital gain.
Argument could not be made that no cost is incurred by any member for the acquisition of the new flat and hence capital gain cannot be computed and the case does not fall within the ambit of Section 55(2). The member is forgoing his rights in the old flat. And hence, it would be considered as the cost of acquisition of the new flat.
However, if the residential flat is held for a period of less than 3 yrs than the receipt of extra area by the individual members would be taxable in the hands of the individual members.
(B) Cash compensation received upon surrender of entitled additional area, in part or in full, by an individual member.
Ans. If the Individual member is surrendering a part of the existing area then the Individual member would be liable to pay Capital Gain Tax. The sale consideration would be calculated as per Section 50C of the Income Tax Act, which is as follows:
“Where the consideration received or accruing as a result of the transfer by an assessee of a capital asset, being land or building or both, is less than the value adopted or assessed or assessable by any authority of a State Government for the purpose of payment of stamp duty in respect of such transfer, the value so adopted or assessed or assessable shall, for the purposes of section 48, be deemed to be the full value of the consideration received or accruing as a result of such transfer.”
However, if the Individual member is surrendering a part of the additional area then the Individual member would not be liable to pay any income tax or capital gain tax on the same.
(C) The Society for receiving amenities and facilities for the common use of its members and their families.
Ans. If the Society is receiving for amenities and facilities for the common use of its members and their families then the same is not taxable in the hands of the Society or the Individual members as there is no cost of acquisition of the same.
In deciding the case of JETHALAL D.MEHTA V. DY. CIT [( 2005) 2 SOT 422 (MUM.), Hon. Income Tax Appellate Tribunal mainly relied upon Supreme Court decision in the case of CIT V. B.C.SRINVASA SHETTY 128 ITR 294 in which it was decided that if there is no cost no capital gain can be worked out hence amount received is to be treated as exempt receipt.
2. Corpus Money expected at Redevelopment
Liability of Income/Capital Gain Tax, if any, on:-
(A) Corpus Money received by the individual members from the Developer in lieu of surrender of part entitlement of FSI/Development rights.
Ans. If the Individual member is receiving an area which is same or more than the present area then the Individual member is not liable to pay capital gain tax on the same.
If however, Individual member is receiving an area which is less than the present area than the Individual member is liable to pay Capital Gain Tax as per Section 50C of the Income Tax Act, 1961 as already explained above.
(B) Corpus Money received by the Society from the Developer in lieu of surrender of part entitlement of FSI/Development Rights, such funds being invested by the Society to earn interest income to meet/ subsidize the maintenance costs of its Redeveloped premises and property.
Ans. If at the time of Redevelopment, the Society was in not in possession of unutilized FSI/Development Rights, then the Society would not be liable to pay any Capital Gain Tax on the receipt of the Corpus Money on surrender of a part of FSI/Development Rights.
Further, if the Society has unutilized FSI/ Development Rights in its possession at the time of Redevelopment, then the receipt of the Corpus Money on surrender of the part of FSI/Development Rights would be taxable in the hands of the Society.
Also, in the case of (1) New Shailaja CHS v. ITO (ITA NO. 512/M/2007. BENCH B dated 2nd Dec, 2008 (mum.)and (2) ITO v. LOTIA COURT CO- OP. HSG. SOC. LTD. ( 2008) 12 DTR (MUMBAI)(TRIB) 396 it was held that where the assessee, a Co-op. Hsg. Soc. Ltd. Became entitled, by the virtue of Development Control Regulations, to Transferable development Rights (TDR) and the same was MAHESHWAR PRAKASH 2 CHS LTD. 24 SOT 366 (MUM.), it was held that the assessee-society acquired the right to construct the additional floors by sold by it for a price to a builder , the question arose whether the transaction of sale receipt could be taxed. It was held that though the TDR was a Capital Asset, there being no ‘cost of acquisition’ for the same, the consideration could not be taxed. The same is held in the cases of NEW SHAILAJA CHS LIMITED (ITA NO. 512/MUM./ 2007), OM SHANTI CO-OP. HSG. SOC. LTD. (ITA NO.2550/ MUM./2008)& LOTIA COURT CO-OP. HSG. SOC. LTD. (ITA NO. 5096/MUM./2008).
Further, in the case of virtue of DCR, 1991 which could not be available to the assessee on expenditure of money. Prior to DCR, 1991, no society had any right to construct the additional floors, so it was not a tradable commodity. Suddenly by virtue of DCR, 1991, the right was conferred by the Government on the assessee. Such right exclusively belonged to the building owned by the society. It could not be transferred to any other building.
Similarly, similar right belonging to other societies could not be purchased by the assessee for the purpose of constructing additional floors in its own building. Therefore, such right had no inherent quality of being available on expenditure of money and, therefore, cost of such asset could not be envisaged. Hence, the said view was fully justified in terms of the decision of the Apex Court in the case of B.C. Shrinivasa Shetty.
Therefore, the right acquired by the assessee did not fall within the ambit of section 45 itself. The amended provisions of section 55(2) were also not applicable, since such right was not covered by any of the assets specified in section 55(2)(a).
Therefore, the sum of Rs. 42 lakhs received by the assessee from the developer was not chargeable to tax under section 45. Therefore, the impugned orders passed by the lower authorities were to be set aside.
(C) Corpus Money received by the Society from the Developer (as described in B above) and subsequently distributed to its members.
Whether such incomes enlisted above at A, B and C, if taxable, shall be treated as Capital Gains or deemed to be income earned in the year of receipt.
Ans. As per Maharashtra Coop. Societies Act, 1960, a Cooperative Society cannot distribute the corpus funds to its Individual member, it can only declare dividends.
However, the declaring of Dividends has lots of restrictions and formalities.
(D) Liability of Income Tax, if any, on interest income arising from investment of such Corpus Money by the Society/ individual members in the Co-operative/other Banks.
Ans. If the Society receives interest income form a Co-operative bank then the same is exempt from tax.
And, if the interest income is received from other banks than the same is taxable and the Society has to pay tax on the same.
However, as per recent Hon’ble Tribunal Judgment in the case of ITO v. Sagar Sanjog C.H.S. Ltd., ITA Nos. 1972 to 1974 and 2231 to 2233/ Mum./ 2005(BCAJ) it was held that the interest income earned out of the fund money invested went to reduce the maintenance. According to the tribunal, the interest would have been taxable, had there been surplus left after it being adjusted against the maintenance expenses. To read full article