August 2018 Vol 01


Deduct TDS when buying a property from NRIs

The income tax (I-T) department says it will focus on tax deducted at source (TDS), especially in case of sale of property by non-resident Indians (NRIs), according to media reports. Both NRIs and those who make payouts to them need to understand the TDS provisions applicable or risk punishment. Any payment to an NRI which s chargeable to tax in India is subject to TDS, according to Section 195 of the I-T Act. Says Suresh Surana, founder, RSM Astute Consulting Group: “The rationale for applying TDS on NRIs’ income is better tax administration, the same as in the case of residents.”

The TDS rules are, however, a little more stringent for NRIs. In the case of bank deposits, for instance, the TDS rate applicable to interest on a non-resident ordinary (NRO) account is 30%, whereas in the case of residents it is 10%. In the case of residents, surcharge and cess are not deducted while making non-salary payments. But, in the case of payments of NRIs surcharge and cess have to be levied, which increases the effective TDS rates. India has entered into Double Tax Avoidance Agreements (DTAA) with several countries. “Of DTAA and the provisions of the Indian IT Act, whichever is more beneficial to the taxpayer will apply,” says Archit Gupta, founder and chief executive officer, ClearTax.

“Form 15CA is a form for remittance filed by the person deducting TDS. In the case of certain payments, it becomes mandatory to obtain Form 15CB from a chartered accountant, too, besides filing 15CA,” says Gupta. Form 15CB is not required when the remittance does not exceed Rs.5 lakhs and does not require the Reserve Bank’s approval. Form 15CB is a certificate in which details of payment, TDS rate, deduction and other details of the nature and purpose of the remittance are verified by a chartered accountant. India follows a source-based taxation regime for NRIs. NRIs’ income that is received or deemed to be received in India, and income that accrues or arises or is deemed to accrue or arise in India, is taxed here.

Source: Business Standard, Friday 3 August 2018

A look inside the smart-home systems that affluent people use

Many of us have dreamed about living in a home where mundane tasks like washing the dishes or turning on the TV can be outsourced to a device. With the creation of products like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, that dream is closer to becoming a reality for the mass market. But if a few hundred of dollars can buy the average consumer these gadgets, what can those who have unlimited resources get out of their smart home systems? The answer: pretty much everything they want. “Affluent households are more likely to become early adopters of new technology than the average consumer, and smart home systems are no different,” says Winnie Bekmanis, who works in product marketing for the Internet of Things (IoT) at Qualcomm. “What differentiates the pricier smart home systems is the scale of installation and personalization.”Celebrity homes are the perfect examples of what personalized smart home systems can look like. In an interview with a tech website, actress Sofia Vergara talked about building a smart house that lets her not only watch movies in her at-home theatre but also allows her to Skype with family and use her social media on a mega screen. According to news reports, media mogul Oprah Winfrey spent $14million on a high-tech ski home in Telluride where a radiant heat system keeps the driveway completely snow free. Bekmanis says, when it comes to luxurious home, those systems that can intuitively adapt to the entertainment or security preferences of the homeowner are naturally more desirable.

 Source: Business Standard, Friday 3 August 2018

Rera covers long-term lease

Provisions of the real estate regulatory law were applicable to three apartments booked on a 999-year ‘agreement to lease’ in Lavasa, near Pune, and for which 80% of “purchase price” had been paid, said the Bombay high court on Tuesday. It added that complaints for compensation for a delay of six to seven years in possession of these apartments could be decided by the adjudication officer under MahaRera, the state’s real estate regulatory authority. Justice Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi, after analyzing the salutary object of Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (Rera), held that “merely because the legislation excluded allotment when given on rent, it does not exclude long-term lease… That would be defeating and frustrating the object of the Act”. The judge dismissed three appeals filed by Lavasa Corporation, which is developing a township project, registered under Rera.

The appeals were against orders passed by the Maharashtra real estate appellate tribunal, which had held that Rera provisions were applicable for the three persons who had booked apartments through ‘agreements to lease’ at Lavasa. Their complaints could be entertained under section 18, providing for compensation with interest for delay by a builder in giving possession in terms of ‘agreement for sale’. An adjudicating officer under Rera had earlier held that since the agreement was not of ‘sale’, they cannot seek compensation from the developer, here, the lessor.

Source: The Times of India, Wednesday 8 August 2018

Be Smart: Own A Place to call Home

The constant debate between the benefits of buying and renting never ceases. While renting may be a wise decision for short durations, EMIs are the choice for those focused on future benefits. This Independence Day, free yourself from the burden of rent and enjoy a sense of ownership. A number of people, who come to the city to make a living, often spend a major chunk of their salary on monthly rent. And it doesn’t end there; the hassle of moving homes often adds to the expense – not to mention the yearly deposit. And after all that trouble, they neither have a house to call home nor land as asset.

Millennials who have learnt to strike a balance between the traditional and modern way of living, those who live independently and yet have a certain sense of belonging and responsibility now understand why buying rather than renting is the smart way to go. A home starts appreciating as soon as you buy it; better returns and a place to call your own are among the many perks of buying a home. The decision to buy or rent is influenced by factors such as property prices and potential appreciation, annual income, job stability, prevailing rental yields, tax benefits and other investment opportunities and lifestyle.

Source: Times Property, Saturday 11 August 2018

GST & RERA Impact: DLF to sell only completed flats under the new biz model

DLF will sell apartments only when they get occupancy certificate after completing the project as part of its new business model to remove any uncertainty regarding costs and delivery timelines, a senior official of the realty major said. The decision assumes significance as the Indian real estate market, especially Delhi-NCR, has been facing huge delays in project executions, forcing home buyers to protest and move courts. Lakhs of home buyers are stuck in various projects of developers such as Jaypee group, Amrapali, Unitech and The 3C Company.

Highlighting the company’s new business model, DLF’s group CFO Saurabh Chawla said the company would sell only completed products now. “Customers are now averse to taking a risk and they prefer to buy ready-to-move-in apartments,” he added. Chawla said DLF will apply for occupancy certificates once the structure of the building is complete along with other infrastructure. The additional cost on increased working capital requirement would be marginal, he added. DLF currently has completed inventory worth about Rs.135 billion, which would be sold over the next 5-6 years. The company would continue to build a fresh inventory of completed product. DLF, along with its partner GIC, has started construction on the first phase of its 7 million sq ft housing projects in central Delhi.

Source: Business Standard, Sunday 12 August 2018

Pune, Navi Mumbai, Gr Mum top ‘ease of living’ rankings

Cities in Maharashtra have taken the top three positions as well as the sixth rank in the first national survey of the most livable cities. Pune, Navi Mumbai and Greater Mumbai featured on the podium, while Thane was at number six. The Ease of Living Index of 111 cities, released on Monday, ranked Rampur in UP at the bottom, with Kohima in Nagaland and Patna in Bihar preceding it. Bengaluru, which has seen congestion become a serious drawback, ranks 58 and Hyderabad 27. Although Pune did not bag the top rank in any of the 15 parameters the cities were judged on, it finished in the first 10 in nine categories.

Not everyone is convinced by the rankings. “If Mumbai is considered liveable despite all this (long commutes and high pollution), it is really frightening as it means quality of life is even worse in other cities,” said Subodh Kumar, a former Mumbai municipal commissioner. Jodhpur is the cleanest railway station in the country, followed by Jaipur and Tirupati, according to a survey carried out by the Quality Council of India (QCI). The third such survey covered 407 stations, including 75 in A1 and 332 in A categories. Kalyan is the second dirtiest in the first category while Bandra (ranked 7th) is the only station from the city to figure in the top 10.

Source: The Times of India, Tuesday 14 August 2018

Mumbai 1st top ‘Ease of Living’ among mega cities, does well on mixed land use, open spaces

The national Ease of Living exercise by the Union home and urban affairs ministry is aimed at helping cities assess their liveability vis-à-vis global and national benchmarks and encourage cities to move towards an outcome-based approach to urban planning and management. Mumbai scored well on identity and culture (rank 2), public open spaces and mixed land use (1), assured water supply (3) and transportation and mobility (8). Surprisingly, the financial capital ranked 63 in economy and employment, 54 in reduced pollution, 23 in governance and 36 in education.

“While we are glad Mumbai has ranked third, we will look at areas where the city requires improvement as well. Once we have evaluated it, we will start filling in the gaps to improve our ranking the next time,” said additional municipal commissioner Vijay Singhal. In May, an independent team arrived and audited facilities across random locations. The BMC also had to provide water and noise samples from random locations. What worked in favour of Navi Mumbai was governance (rank 1), education (2), health (3), transportation and mobility (4) and assured water supply (7). It was let down by power supply (74), reduced pollution (48), housing and inclusiveness (35). Municipal commissioner Ramaswami N said he is happy Navi Mumbai is marginally behind Pune. Thane scored on power supply, transportation and mobility, ranking first, assured water supply (4) and employment (9). It came up short in safety and security (82), public open spaces (40), reduced pollution (53).

Source: The Times of India, Tuesday 14 August 2018

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