Business Standard

Unsold realty inventory may be taxed


In a bid to curb hoarding of unsold inventorie­s by real estate developers, the income-tax (I-T) department is set to tax unsold flats that have been lying with developers for more than a year.

According to a senior I-T official, the fresh tax would be applicable on such inventorie­s from the next financial year. The move would reduce developers’ strategy of hoarding constructe­d property in anticipati­on of price escalation in future.

The tax would be levied on the property that is held under “stock in trade” by the developers. The tax rate could be anywhere between 8 per cent and 10 per cent of the total value of the property, said an official in know. The Central Board of Direct Taxes has already sent the internal guidelines to I-T officials across the country.

At present, Section 22 of the I-T Act says the annual value of the property of which the assessee is the owner…the profit made out of it are chargeable to income tax under the “income from house property”.

The said section would be extended to the property held as stock in trade in accordance with the books of the accounts of the developers, explained the official cited above.

Sources say that the valuation of property would be identified/calculated on the basis of deemed annual value of the property. In I-T terms, the deemed value of any property shall be the sum for which the property might reasonably be expected to be sold or let out from year to year.

Tax officials are of the view that real estate developers, especially the big ones, create cartelisat­ion and show artificial shortage in the market. So far, they have been evading the tax by classifyin­g unsold stocks as stock in trade under the Act.

“We are assessing the pan-Indian real estate data of unsold flats, which have been kept for more than a year. The tax department is taking the stocks of statewise unsold inventorie­s, which could fall under the new tax regime,” said an official cited above.

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