Property tax in Coimbatore higher than in Chennai


With the revision of property tax in the state, tax payers in Coimbatore corporation will be paying higher tax for their buildings than those in Chennai.

“The revised property tax might be appropriate for buildings in Chennai corporation, but it definitely is not appropriate for those in Coimbatore,” said K Kathirmathiyon of Coimbatore Consumer Forum.

During 2008, civic bodies other than Chennai corporation revised property tax not extending up to 25% of the existing slab for residential buildings, up to 100% for industrial buildings and up to 150% for commercial buildings, he said, explaining that Chennai corporation last revised property tax during 1998.

Though the land value is higher in Chennai, building owners from other parts of the state are paying higher tax than those in Chennai, he said.

“For instance, if a building owner in Chennai is paying Rs 2,000 as property tax until revision, we have been paying Rs 2,500.” He explained that now the tax amount has been increased to Rs 3,000 for the building owner in Chennai and to Rs 3,750 for people elsewhere.

“Why should we pay a higher amount,” Kathirmathiyon asked.

Former counsellors said that if the local body council had been in place, such a thing would not have happened.

The hike is exorbitant, C Padmanabhan, a former counsellor, said. The civic body, without knowing how to manage funds, has spent lavishly. “How will the civic body have funds if they privatise all projects?” he said.

The state government in general recommends that the civic body hike the tax up to a certain point and during the discussion at the council meet the exact hike percentage per building type would be decided, said S M Samy, former counsellor.

Since there is no council this year, civic body officials had accepted the government recommendations without any discussion, he added.

Source: Economic Times, Chennai

GST in Real Estate: Is one sector and one tax possible?

Ahead of the GST Council’s meeting on November 9 and 10, subsuming all real estate related taxes under GST is a major talking point. Here is a look at the nitty gritty of the same

NEW DELHI: The real estate sector is expected to feature in the November 9, 2017 GST meet. The government has been hinting that the sector can be considered to be brought under GST. Then all individual taxes would be subsumed into the GST. Or will it?

Practically, can all central, state and local taxes on real estate be subsumed into GST? The finance minister has implied that it can be considered and is expected to one of the major talking points in GST Council’s meeting on November 9 and 10. Real estate is unique because it is an immovable asset and is also bound by state laws.

What is Goods & Services: Under the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (CGST Act), goods and services have been defined as:

  • Goods: Section 2(52) of the CGST Act: “Goods” means every kind of movable property other than money and securities but includes actionable claim, growing crops, grass and things attached to or forming part of land which are agreed to be severed before supply or under a contract of supply;
  • Services: Defined under section 2 (102) “services” means anything other than goods, money and securities but includes activities relating to the use of money or its conversion by cash or by any other mode, from one form, currency or denomination, to another form, currency or denomination for which a separate consideration is charged
  • Schedule III of the CGST Act which states the activities or transactions which shall be treated neither as a supply of goods nor a supply of services includes “Sale of land and Sale of building”(except under-construction buildings which are deemed as supply of service) at Sr. no 5 of this Schedule.

Immovable asset

In real estate, since land is an immovable asset, the industry has been given a 33 per cent abatement on the 18 per cent GST. Therefore, the effective charge on the sector is now 12 per cent as against the listed 18 per cent. During the period of construction, when the developer collects money from the consumers, pays different vendors and service providers and gets the asset constructed, the under construction product is considered a service and therefore, comes under the purview of GST. It also gets input credit from many of the 267 allied industries. Once the input credit starts flowing in there would be clarity on how much the prices can drop by.

Anuj Puri, Chairman, Anarock Property Consultants Pvt Ltd, estimates that the quantum of input credit should come to roughly 2-3 per cent. Therefore, the effective GST impact should be 9-10 per cent. As it stands today, ongoing projects are in different stages of completion and the input credit may not all come back to the developer. However, if developers don’t pass on the input credit benefit to customers, it can be construed as profiteering.

GST can’t be applicable to land as it is an immovable asset and that is why there is an abatement of land value provided to developers in the GST on real estate. There is no GST levied on completed projects which are again considered immovable assets.

Sudip Mullick, Partner, Khaitan & Co says, “The Schedule III note implies that sale of land or buildings are neither goods nor services. If the Government decides to include land and building under GST, firstly, they will have to delete the entry from Schedule III and bring it under Schedule II which deals with activities which can be treated as goods or services.”

Other taxes like stamp duty and property taxes are local taxes and there is as yet no means of subsuming them. If the government decides to include real estate in GST then there has to be a way of compensating the states for this loss of revenue. With 12 per cent GST, 6 per cent stamp duty, 1 per cent land under construction, a labour cess and various other taxes, currently, the sector is already burdened with many invisible taxes. If all of them are subsumed into GST then the rate will have to go up.

Inflationary pressure

Niranjan Hiranandani, President Naredco (National Real Estate Development Council), says that GST has put inflationary pressure of 3.5 per cent on affordable and 5.5 per cent on ongoing luxury housing. “The underlying principle of GST was to keep it revenue neutral.” There are 31 or 32 taxes on affordable housing. No country in the world has such high taxation on affordable housing. He suggests that there should be no tax at all on affordable housing till 2022. Let industry get the input credits so that it becomes profitable and there is ample stock in five years to rationalize rates.

Hiranandani maintains that bringing real estate under GST will make the sector more transparent and hidden charges will come to the forefront.

Current tax rates

Getamber Anand, Chairman, Confederation of Real Estate Associations of India (Credai), estimates that taxes account for 10 per cent of the cost of real estate. Hiranandani says “About a third of the cost of housing can be attributed to taxation.” PWC estimates the tax burden @18 per cent. Essentially, the taxes are so many and varied across states, that one figure is difficult to compute today. Naredco has made a comprehensive list of taxes that are applicable to the sector. (see Box)

Stamp duty

Can stamp duties be subsumed in GST? It is a state tax and the total tax amount comes solely to the state. GST is a central tax and needs to be shared with the Centre. If this issue is discussed at the GST council meeting in Kolkata, then there has to be consensus among the states. Past High Court orders on stamp duty also need to be revisited.


If GST is applied on land and immovable property, the buyer has to pay one tax at uniform rate across states (eg stamp duty varies state wise).

The industry benefits in the long run, if the timing is right. Prajakta Menezes, Principal Associate, Khaitan & Co says, “In the short term this sector is already grappling due to demonetization (purchases were deferred by buyers), RERA and GST. One more amendment may aggravate the shock in the short term.”

Implemented efficiently and effectively, one GST for real estate across the country is the way to go. How the states will agree to this and what changes have to be made to compensate them for loss of revenue remain subjects of debate. However, both, the industry and the consumer, seem to be beneficiaries of a more transparent way of taxation

Technology in homes is making life easy with a simple touch on your phones

Smart windows for smart living


With the advent of new technology, many are opening up to the idea of incorporating automation in their homes, making it a regular feature.

Technology in homes is making life easy. Everything is available with a simple touch on your tab or phones. This recent revelation that is making tech-savvy residents happy. With the concept of smart windows, Indian houses too are all geared up to embrace this boon. With motorised window shades and automatic blinds, the modern living experience has become more convenient.

The new age Indian is going the extra mile to avail the luxurious lifestyle and convenience by getting the latest technology home. Be it drapes or shades, these tech windows open and close based on pre-programmed timers. One also can operate the blinds with just a click. Motorised curtain rods are time and energy saving. However, app controlled drape rods are yet to enter the market. Currently, drapes unlike windows are being controlled by remotes. Automated windows not only eliminate the need to manually open and close windows, depending on the time of the day, but also add a certain aesthetic appeal to the house.

When opting for a technology upgrade, the budget plays a crucial role. These smart window accessories cost a little more than the regular windows. The purpose of the room also plays an important role. Each room can be designed differently using different kinds of blinds and colour combinations.

In the entertainment room, where one wouldn’t want too much of natural light since it could ruin the viewing experience, app-controlled windows can be used. It not only helps the room to be lit when the room is not in use, it also helps to diffuse the light thus providing an uninterrupted watching experience. Automations like motorised shades and blinds add an extravagant feel while bringing in convenience as well as safety.

Seema Ahuja, a smart window user shares, “Even when I’m not home, I need not worry about the sun light ruining my furniture or fading my upholstery. With the help of these smart windows, I can now I pre-set the opening and closing window time. I have set it in a way that they automatically shut after letting the morning sunlight brighten the house. My smart window is also connected to my smart phone.”

Pre-programmed timers and smart phone applications can help users avail this luxury from anywhere in the house. The technology is available on most smart phones and connects easily to any WiFi router.

It is also a stepping stone towards safety and security. If one forgets to shuts the window before leaving the house, one can easily operate the windows using the app on their phones.

Garima Malvanker, Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai

ongoing construction project in GST Road Chennai July 2016


Medium and Small Scale Constructions

Properties for Rent in Chennai Coimbatore

The glass house – aesthetic element in living spaces



Glass has gone from being a mere utility material to being an integral aesthetic element in living spaces.

Over the years, interior spaces have become suffused with design, material and color. Despite the fast pace of these changing trends, some elements have remained relevant, becoming classics. Glass is one of them it needs no renaissance and has been part of interiors greatly by its virtue of appearing not to occupy any.

While interior designers agree that glass has always been a part of interior dEcor, they also acknowledge the broadening gamut of its type and usage. Thusail, marketing manager, Glass Decors, says “We have seen a steady increase in the use of glass, which is gradually becoming a vital aspect in interior designing. Although somewhat expensive, wherever people prefer glass because of its aesthetic appeal as well as the wide range of utility benefits it offers.”

The many types of glass available today allow for variety in design. Thomas Rajan, managing partner, Classic Flooring and Interiors, talks about the versatility of glass, in terms of design as well as a concept. “Glass interiors are elegant. The best feature of glass interiors is that one can control the color theme while maintaining the brightness of the room. Glass can be found in various degrees of translucence and this can be used create an illusion of space while maintaining privacy. This can usually be seen when it is used for staircases and partitions since glass makes the whole space nonintrusive. In homes, muted shades of pastels and tones of blue and grey are used to lend a soothing ambience. But because colors seem to vary when translucent light comes into play, the palette grows.”

Apart from partitions, windows and décor items, glass is mostly ued for lighting purposes. Hemanth, director, Meridian Lights and Light Sutra lighting studios based in Chennai feels that light is the soul of a building, which is why glass is an irreplaceable part of interior décor. “Tinted or stained glass can add an aesthetic touch to facades and windows. Because apartments are limited in size, use of clear glass in lighting makes them look stark. This is where colored and translucent shades play an important role as they minimise glare and better the ambience of a room,” he says. Another reason for the increased use of glass in living spaces is the growing awareness of the ill effects artificial lighting and the fact that glass allows for creative manipulation of natural light.

Anu C J, a reader, says, “Because ours is an independent house with a high ceiling, we used a glass chandelier to fill up the space. The combination of metal and glass makes it an interesting an intricate piece which is always a conversation starter. Our dining room too has suspended glass lampshades that are a mix of textured and plain glass pieces. I feel the material is such that is makes the room look contemporary and cozy at the same time.”

Source – Reshma S, Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai

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Finely designed study area can enhance your productivity

Although high end apartments and independent houses may have room for building an elaborate study, space is sometimes a constraint for smaller apartments. “When it comes to study rooms for your children, most parents do not prefer a closed door study, since they would like to keep an eye on what the kids are doing. They prefer an open area, attached to the living room. There are even instances of pooja rooms being converted into a study area. I would suggest a closed door study for adults, since they will have their privacy. Privacy is something which is often overlooked in a study room decor, for adults,” says Xavier Benedict, principal architect, Anameka architects and designers.

With regard to the features, architects often pander to customer demands, since most customers are very specific about their choices. “The styles can go from very funky and colorful to extremely classical. The demand for hideaway tables, sliding doors, multipurpose rooms and foldable gadgets. They have specific selection for chairs, sofas, and even the de vices. In the western countries, there is an interest for ‘Space-Age’ designs, something which has not caught on in India yet,” adds Ponni Concessao.

As books are disappearing, the space for accessories is becoming the priority. “Last ten years have seen a change in perception about the study area, with more importance on accommodating the desktops and the lap tops. In the next ten years, there will be even better features included in the Indian study room, as lifestyles change.” says Xavier Benedict.

People might use the study room, for more than one purpose. “When I wanted a study decor, I wanted a place which can be used for different aspects. So, I read my morning newspaper, do yoga and my stretching exercises in the study room. I have installed a TV and music system as well, so that I can listen to music while I read. It also provides an extra space when we host parties,” says PT Govindarajan, a client who got his study done with Anameka architects. Whatever may be the purpose, study decors are here to stay, in the aesthetics of an Indian home.

Source Madhav Menon, Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai

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