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Income-tax relief for home buyers

Hello fellow investors
 

As a part of various relief measures taken by the Government in response to the economic slowdown post-COVID-19, the Finance Minister (FM) has announced a very attractive income tax relief for home buyers (new residential properties of value up to Rs 2 crore). Here is what you need to know.  

Income Tax relief for home buyers
 

In case the declared purchase consideration of the land/building is less than the stamp value (circle rate) by up to 20%, there will be no additional tax outgo for both the seller and the purchaser for the period 12th November 2020 to 30th June 2021. Earlier, the acceptable difference was 5% which was to be enhanced to 10% with effect from 01 st April 2021.

This move will also help developers in selling off their unsold inventory at up to 20% below the circle rate and the buyers in getting cheaper homes without any additional tax burden on either party. Let’s look at the relevant provisions of the Income Tax Act to understand the applicable tax relief.

Section 43CA of the Income-tax Act – for the seller

This section provided for deeming of the stamp duty value (circle rate) as sale consideration for the transfer of real estate inventory in the case the circle rate exceeded the declared consideration. The circle rate is the minimum rate per unit area fixed by the state governments for the sale of land or property and is
aimed at reducing stamp duty evasion by declaring lower sale values in the sale-purchase deeds.

Thus, even if the real estate was sold at a price below the circle rate, the circle rate was considered as the sale value for calculation of business profits of the seller. For example, if a house is sold by a developer for Rs 80 lakh but its value as per the circle rate is Rs 96 lakh, the developer is supposed to take Rs 96 lakh as the sale value for
calculating his profit.

Through Finance Act 2018, a difference of 5% between the two rates was declared to be acceptable. This was increased to 10% through Finance Act 2020. Now, the FM has raised this acceptable difference to 20%. Thus, in the above case, the difference is exactly 20% as seen below and the developer can consider Rs 80 lakh for calculating his profits from the sale. 

Section 56(2)(x) of the Income-tax Act for the buyer

This section is applicable to the buyer and provides for stamp duty value to be deemed as purchase consideration even if the purchase was made at a lower price. As per the above example, the buyer is deemed to have received Rs 16 lakh (the difference between the stamp value and the sale consideration) and was supposed to declare this amount as ‘Income from other sources’ and pay tax on the same. Now, he will not have to pay any tax if the difference is up to 20% as is the case in the above example.

In summary, this announcement by the FM comes as a major relief to real estate developers who were struggling to offload their inventory due to lower demand in the market. The benefit is applicable, however, only for the primary sale of residential properties and not for commercial and secondary sales.

Know your Mutual Funds (2)

List of banks for your PPF investments

What is PPF?

Public provident fund is a popular investment scheme among investors courtesy its multiple investor-friendly features and associated benefits. It is a long-term investment scheme popular among individuals who want to earn high but stable returns. Proper safekeeping of the principal amount is the prime target of individuals opening a PPF account.

Why open a PPF account?

public provident fund scheme is ideal for individuals with a low-risk appetite and is okay to invest their money in the long term. Since this plan is mandated by the government, it is backed up with guaranteed returns to protect the financial needs of the masses in India.

You can read more about PPF and things to note in PPF in our article.

Eligibility Criteria

Indian citizens residing in the country are eligible to open a PPF account in his/her name. Minors are also allowed to have a Public provident fund account in their name, provided it is operated by their parent.

Non-residential Indians are not permitted to open a new PPF account. However, any existing account in their name remains active till the completion of tenure. These accounts cannot be extended for 5 years – a benefit available to Indian residents.

Interest in a PPF Account

The interest payable on the public provident fund scheme is determined by the Central Government of India. It aims to provide higher interest than regular accounts maintained by various commercial banks in the country.

Interest rates currently payable on such accounts stands at 7.9% and is subject to quarterly updates at the discretion of the government.

How to Open a PPF Account

Both offline and online procedures are available for an individual provided he/she meets the requisite parameters mentioned in the eligibility criteria. Activating PPF online can be done by visiting the portal of a chosen bank or post office.

The following documents have to be produced at the time of activation of a public provident fund account –

  1. KYC documents verifying the identity of an individual, such as Aadhaar, Voter ID, Driver’s License, etc.
  2. PAN card.
  • Residential address proof.
  1. Form for nominee declaration.
  2. Passport-sized photograph.

Tax Benefits

Income tax exemptions are applicable on the principal amount invested in a PPF as an account. The entire value of an investment can be claimed for tax waiver under section 80C of the Income Tax Act of 1961. However, it should be kept in mind that the total principal that can be invested in one financial year cannot exceed Rs. 1.5 Lakh.

The total interest accrued on PPF investment is also exempt from any tax calculations.

Therefore, the entire amount redeemed from a PPF account upon completion of maturity is not subject to taxation. This policy makes the public provident fund scheme attractive to many investors in India.

List of Banks Offering PPF Accounts

  • Allahabad Bank
  • Corporation Bank
  • Bank of Baroda
  • HDFC Bank
  • ICICI Bank
  • Axis Bank
  • Kotak Mahindra Bank
  • State Bank of India and its subsidiaries which include the following –
    • State Bank of Travancore
    • State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur
    • State Bank of Hyderabad
    • State Bank of Patiala
    • State Bank of Mysore
  • Canara Bank
  • Bank of India
  • Union Bank of India
  • Oriental Bank of Commerce
  • Central Bank of India
  • Bank of Maharashtra
  • Dena Bank
  • Syndicate Bank
  • United Bank of India
  • Indian Overseas Bank
  • Vijaya Bank
  • IDBI Bank
  • Andhra Bank
  • Punjab National Bank
  • UCO Bank
  • Punjab and Sind Bank

These are some of the common PPF Account opening banks. There are other banks too and if you hold a savings account with another bank that is not on the list, you can find out whether the bank is a PPF Account opening bank or not.

 



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