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Sunday, December 04, 2016

Capital Gains Tax Based on Guideline Value..!

Property Sales: 
Capital Gains 
Tax Based 
on Guideline Value..!

by Mr. G. KARTHIKEYAN, 
Coimbatore

Ms. Chitra Kumar sold a plot of land for Rs. 54 lakh. The guideline value of the property as assessed by the stamp duty authorities is about Rs. 72 lakh. Stamp duty on transfer was, of course, paid based on the guideline value.

After completing the sale, Ms. Chitra Kumar submitted the information to her tax advisor for inclusion in her tax returns and financial statements. She was in for a shock when she was told that for taxation and capital gains purposes the sale value would be considered to be Rs. 72 Lakhs under Section 50 C of the Indian Income Tax Act.

The Act..!

Section 50 C clearly states that if the value stated in the instrument of transfer is less than the valuation adopted, assessed or / assessable by the stamp duty authorities, the valuation as adopted, assessed or / assessable by the stamp duty authorities will be considered for the purpose of computation of capital gains arising on transfer of land or / building or both.

Many like Ms. Chitra Kumar are in a spot. If gains were computed using the guideline value as sale value they would have to pay tax for gain they never received in monetary terms.

If they were to save on tax by investing in instruments that allow exemption of long term capital gains (like another house, capital gain bonds etc), they would have to shell out additional money to cover for the funds they never received but was only deemed to have received.
 
G. KARTHIKEYAN CA, Coimbatore
Aim..!

It goes without saying that plot of land prices in India are booming. Huge gaps in demand & supply, especially in urban areas, tend to push up prices and generate a speculative market & also provide an unmonitored channel for unaccounted money. In undervalued transactions, the seller saves on capital gains & the buyer on wealth tax by not disclosing the actual higher value of the transaction.

Thus, real estate transactions in India tend to be undervalued leading to fall in revenue to the government. With a view to plugging this leak, the government introduced Section 50 C into the Income Tax Act.

Of course, it is the buyer who pays the stamp duty & has a right to challenge the value as assessed by the authorities but the process of appeal with the State Government authorities takes a longer time.

The seller can not appeal for reassessment since he or she is not directly concerned or a participatory to paying the stamp duty.

Solution..!

In such circumstances, the seller does have a provision for relief under Section 50 C. The assessee may represent before the Income Tax Authorities that the valuation adopted by the Stamp duty authorities is higher than the fair market value & request the ITO to refer the matter of valuation to the Valuation officer of the Income Tax Department.

If the valuation arrived at is lower, the same may be adopted by the IT authorities for purposes of computing capital gains. The assessee also has the option of disregarding a higher valuation by the valuation officer, should such a situation arise. This situation also demonstrates some inequity in application of taxation principles. The seller is subjected to taxation on money she did not receive while the buyer has some advantage.

He or she has to pay additional stamp duty but when the property is sold, the cost basis will be inflated the guideline value was never actually paid to purchase the property. This will result in lower than actual gain on sale in the future.


About the author...
Mr. G.Karthikeyan
Mr. G.Karthikeyan is a Coimbatore-based chartered accountant. Karthikeyan & Jayaram - Chartered Accountants He is President of the Rotary Club of Coimbatore.
Email: tax.coimbatore@gmail.com, karthikeyan.auditor@gmail.com
Capital Gains Tax Based on Guideline Value..! Reviewed by S. Chitra on December 04, 2016 Rating: 5 Property Sales:  Capital Gains  Tax Based  on Guideline Value..! by Mr. G. KARTHIKEYAN,  Coimbatore Ms. Chitra Kumar sold a plot...

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