The GST subsumes central levies like excise and service tax and local levies like VAT, entertainment tax, luxury tax. However, it does not subsume Electricity Duty, say experts

New Delhi : Come July 1 and leasing of land, renting of buildings as well as EMIs paid for purchase of under-construction houses will start attracting the Goods and Services Tax.

 Sale of land and buildings will be however out of the purview of GST, the new indirect tax regime. Such transactions will continue to attract the stamp duty, according to the legislations Finance Minister Arun Jaitley introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday  for approval. Electricity has also been kept out of the GST ambit.

 GST, which the government intends to roll out from July 1, 2017, will subsume central excise, service tax and state VAT among other indirect levies on manufactured goods and services. The Central GST (CGST) bill — one of the four legislations introduced, states that any lease, tenancy, easement, licence to occupy land will be considered as supply of service.

 Also, any lease or letting out of the building, including a commercial, industrial or residential complex for business or commerce, either wholly or partly, is a supply of services as per the CGST bill.

  ‘Goods’ in earlier drafts of the bills were defined as every kind of movable property other than money and securities but includes actionable claim. ‘Services’ were defined as anything other than goods. It was thought that GST may be levied on supply of immovable property such as Land or building apart from levy of stamp duty.

 But the bills presented in Parliament have now clarified this position.  Experts said service tax is currently levied on payments made for under-construction residential houses after providing abatement, which brings down the effective rate from 18 per cent to around 6 per cent.

 “The government is trying its best to make GST litigation free. The bills very clearly specify that GST would be charged on any lease of land or letting out of the building or construction of a complex, building, civil structure or a part thereof, where whole or any part of consideration has been received before issuance of completion certificate or its first occupation,” Nangia & Co Director Rajat Mohan said.

 Experts said the GST subsumes central levies like excise and service tax and local levies like VAT, entertainment tax, luxury tax. However, it does not subsume Electricity Duty.

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