Builders and developers declaration available on IRIS

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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Friday issued declaration for developers and builders for registration of their new and ongoing projects in the real estate sector with the Iris portal of the bureau.

The FBR has issued “Builders/Developers Declaration” on the Iris web-portal.

The developers and builders across the country can easily access the FBR website and get themselves registered with the Iris system to avail tax incentives such as fixed tax regime under Tax Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020.

Under the Tax Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 for construction industry, the government has introduced fixed tax regime – based on per square feet and per square yard – for developers and the builders.

“All persons registered under this scheme shall submit the registration form along with the irrevocable option to be assessed under this schedule in respect of each project on the Iris through the FBR website by December 31, 2020 or within 30 days of setting up of project, whichever is earlier, said the Tax Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 .

Key features of the ordinance are: (i) Fixed tax to be charged on the basis of square feet/per square yard basis; (ii): no withholding tax on materials for construction sector except cement and steel; (iii) abolition of withholding tax on services; (iv) facility for availing 10 times tax credit of profit/gains of the tax paid by the developers/builders; (v) 90 percent reduction in taxes for low-cost housing schemes of Naya Pakistan Housing Authority; (vi) scheme would be available to projects initiated before December 31, 2020 and existing ongoing projects registered with the scheme; (vii) new and ongoing projects would be required to be registered on the “Iris” portal of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR); (viii) ongoing projects should tell about their completion ratio and need to pay taxes for the remaining work under the new fixed tax scheme; (ix) no tax on payment of dividends to the shareholders by the companies; (x) exemption from capital value tax (CVT) within the jurisdiction of federal capital on the pattern of the Punjab and the KP.

Other main features of the Ordinance include advance tax on sale of properties has been reduced from 10 percent to five percent, and plant and machinery imported for construction and land development would enjoy the same facility available to other industries.

One-time exemption from capital gains on personal residence – 500 square yards for house and 400 square feet for apartments – has also been given.

Under the ordinance, the provisions of Section 111 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 shall not apply to any shareholder or partner of a builder or developer in respect of any amount invested as capital in a builder or developer or land possessed or acquired by the builder or developer, or its partner in case of a limited liability partnership or in association of persons, if the amount is invested as capital or the land is transferred on or before December 31, 2020 in the manner as prescribed and is utilised in a construction or development project in the specified manner.

“Provided, that the exemption from the provisions of Section 111 shall also be available to the first purchaser of newly-constructed buildings of a project, if the purchase is made on or before September 30, 2022, in the manner as prescribed.

“The immunity would not be available to holder of any public office as defined in the Voluntary Declaration of Domestic Asset Act, 2018 or his Benamidar as defined in the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 2017 or his spouse or dependents; or any proceeds derived from the commission of a criminal offence including crime of money laundering; terror financing but excluding offence of tax evasion.”

“Listed companies and real estate investment trusts would not be exempted from the provisions of the section 111 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.”

“The conditions for availing immunity from Section 111 by the companies and Association of Persons (AOPs) revealed that the new company or the AOP must be registered before December 31, 2020.”

In case of cash investment, it added, the amount should be transferred to AOP and to the company by December 31, 2020 through Cross Banking Instrument.

“All moneys to be invested in projects under this schedule for which an explanation of source is not available with the person making the investment shall be put in a designated bank account of the person on or before 31st day of December 2020 and subsequently be drawn for investment expenses.”

“The government will introduce special provisions relating to the developers and the builders.”

“The new provisions would be applicable on builders and developers opting to be assessed on their income, profits and gains from projects, which are set up between the date of promulgation of the ordinance and December 31, 2020; and completed on or before September 30, 2022.”

“Under the Tax Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020, the income shall not be chargeable to tax under any head of income in computing the taxable income of the person; no deduction shall be allowable for any expenditure incurred in deriving the income.”

“The amount of the income shall not be reduced by any deductible allowance; the set off of any loss and no tax credit shall be allowed against the tax payable except credit for tax collected from the builder or developer under Section 236K collected after the date of promulgation of the ordinance on purchase of immoveable property utilised in an eligible project.”

“The income tax exemption would be available on any income chargeable under the head “capital gains” derived by a resident individual from the sale of constructed residential property.”

“Provided that exemption under this clause shall apply if, at the time of sale, the residential property was being used for personal accommodation by the individual, his spouse or dependents; the land area of the property does not exceed 500 sq yards in case of a house and 4,000 square feet in case of a flat, and exemption under this clause has not previously been availed by the individual, his spouse or dependents.”

“A builder or developer availing this scheme shall electronically file a return of income and wealth statement as may be prescribed accompanied with evidence of payment of due tax, which shall be taken for all purposes of the ordinance to be an assessment order issued to the taxpayer by the commissioner to the extent of income computed under these rules.”

The return and wealth statement filed may be revised without approval of the commissioner within 60 days, according to the ordinance.

About the withholding of tax, a builder or developer shall not be required to withhold tax under Section 153 of the Ordinance on purchase of building material except steel and cement.

“Provided that a builder or developer shall also not be required to withhold tax under Section 153 on services of plumbing, electrification, shuttering and other similar and allied services other than those provided by companies.”

“Under the draft law, a builder or developer shall be allowed to incorporate its profits and gains in its books of accounts, which shall not be more than 10 times the amount of tax paid.”

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