There will not always be a property deal ending as planned. There are occasions when owing to unexpected circumstances, a contractor or a buyer can abandon a certain transaction mid-way. Cancellation of a contract, however, does not mean financial loss. Here is a thorough discussion of multiple situations in which a contractor or customer will claim liability if one of the two declares the null and void arrangement.
People are wary of accepting significant financial obligations in the current times of the COVID-19 pandemic when corporations have taken a huge blow, and the economy is undergoing a global recession. Home buying is the furthest form of investment that people can expect in the short future, considering the present scenario. While the reversal of the contract may be a disheartening act for both the customer and the seller, the remaining primary consideration is the repayment of the money spent to acquire the property.
SBP Group is here to help you understand ways to recover reimbursement in the scenario of cancellation of the property deal.
How does token money get taxed?
In the event of transactions for the purchase of some real estate, until the other terms and conditions for the sale of the property are settled upon, the buyer normally pays any amount as nominal money. The amount of token money can vary, from a single token to a large percentage of the property’s worth. There are no real financial repercussions if the seller backs off his promise to sell his land so that the buyer has the right to file a claim in the courts for particular results. This is not necessarily resorted to, however.
The seller has the right to forfeit the token amount paid if the customer pulls out of the contract. The buyer does not assert any income tax gain concerning such forfeited token assets, since this is considered under the tax laws as a capital loss. The advance money / earnest cash that is forfeited, however, remains the seller’s profits in the year in which the contract is terminated.
Such forfeited earnest money is charged under the head of ‘income from other sources’ and not under the head of ‘capital gains’ even though the interest is earned for a capital asset. The amount of forfeited earnest money was supposed to be excluded from the expense of purchasing the asset with which it was purchased in the year in which the asset, which is the topic of the transaction, was sold, before the reform of the legislation in 2014.
Treatment of stamp duty in case of deal cancellation
Generally, the consumer needs to pay a certain fee as stamp duty on all real estate purchases. It is either a set sum or a percentage of the value of the property. To apply for the arrangement, you will have to pay application fees. The stamp duty and registration charges payable are decided by the governments of the respective states. Thus, the laws for repayment of stamp duty charged for property deal will vary from state to state. Before the execution of the paper, you are expected to pay stamp duty.
If the seller is unable to satisfy his side of the deal or delay its possession, the refund is permitted. For the refund to be acknowledged and authorized, the redemption arrangement should be registered under the law. As a reimbursement, the customer will get up to a limit of 98 percent of the stamp duty. The initial document and the original cancellation deed are required to be added to one, with each registered concurrently with the refund claim. Buyers could never obtain any refund under any conditions for their registration fees.
- Before signing it, cross-check the sale deed
- Provide a compelling explanation for the decision to exit the deal.
- Ask for a cancellation agreement.
- Don’t pay in cash, ever.
- Ask to get a copy of the payment
The developer levies a GST (Goods and Services Tax) on the contract value, at a certain amount, when you book an under-construction house, as per the current laws. This rate would depend on whether or not the property comes into the ‘affordable housing’ category and also on whether the input credit is used by the developer.
For whatever cause, if you wish to revoke the reservation and thereby forfeit your rights over the property under construction, the contractor could offer to refund the cost of the reservation and payments charged, or even agree to pay you a higher sum, depending on the circumstances of demand and supply at the moment.
While the developer may have received GST from you, since he may have already deposited the money on the government’s ledger, he may or may not consent to reimburse this money. As it has already made its services to you, the builder would not be entitled to claim any refund about the GST.
The buyer must use the sale documentation and the No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the contractor in the event of a sale of the under-construction property to a third party with the developer as the approving party. Here, by adding it to the selling price, the buyer will recoup the GST charged. Although, for any refund here, the builder is not responsible.
Also, when the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is measured, the GST already charged by the buyer will come under the expense of acquiring property and will be taxable in the long run if the retention duration is three years or more. The GST would be taxed as short-term capital gains (STCG) if the retention duration were to be less than three years.
It is sometimes possible that the property deal will not shift in the direction you expected it to. To safeguard your rights, as a buyer you must bear in mind certain factors. In that course, the first move is to stop paying cash for any money. If money is paid in cash, if there is no valid evidence that you made the purchase, the vendor could later refuse to refund the money.
For any other query regarding real estate, the SBP group is always available for you.