Real estate might soon be under GST: Arun Jaitley

Real estate, a sector prone to tax evasion, might soon come under the goods and services tax (GST) net. The GST Council would consider this at its next meeting on November 10 in Guwahati.

While delivering a lecture on tax reforms in the country, he called the taxation system in India one of the least efficient in the world, with a very small tax base. He also hinted at making Aadhaar mandatory for buying a car or international air tickets in the future.

The GST was rolled out on July 1, replacing a large number of indirect taxes with one unified tax of five rates. Petroleum, real estate, and alcohol were kept out of its ambit.

“The one sector in India where maximum amount of tax evasion and cash generation takes place and which is still outside the GST is real estate. Some of the states have been pressing for it. I believe that there is a strong case to bring real estate into the GST,” Jaitley said.

Stamp duty, which is outside the GST, has complicated the tax structure for real estate. A lot of states had opposed the inclusion of stamp duty under the GST, as it was a source of revenue for them.

“Some states want; some do not. There are two views. Therefore, by discussion, we would try to reach one view,” he said.

The FM is on a week-long visit to the US, during which he will attend the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Earlier, Jaitely h...

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