Removal of sunset clauses on CGT exemptions for real estate sector demanded

Removal of sunset clauses on CGT exemptions for real estate sector demanded

KARACHI: Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) has pointed out that at present timelines for exemption from Capital Gain Tax (CGT) are discouraging long-term investors from entering the Real Estate Sector.

Moreover, different Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) categorization have created distortion and excluded commercial and mixed-use REIT projects, the PSX highlighted the issue in its proposals for the upcoming budget 2021/2022.

It further said that higher rate of tax on dividends as compared to mutual funds (enhanced through Finance Act 2019, rate of tax on dividend from REITs Schemes was enhanced from 15 percent to 25 percent.

Sale of real estate to a REIT scheme at market value is a paper transaction required to transfer title of real estate in the name of trustee.

Furthermore, REIT Scheme is exempt from income tax when 90% income is distributed as dividend and therefore advance tax cannot be adjusted.

The PSX proposed exemption from CGT provided in clause 99A, Part 1, 2nd schedule of Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 should be applied to all categories of REITs (mix-use projects)

– Remove sunset clauses

• June 2023 for Developmental REIT Scheme and Rental REIT Scheme.

— Rate of tax on dividend, which is 25% at present, be synchronized with mutual funds15 percent [First schedule, Part-1, Division-Ill, paragraph B]

— Exempt advance tax on property transfers to/from a REIT Scheme u/s 236C & 236K.

Giving rational to the proposals, the PSX said it will promote documented real-estate will attract more investments particularly by companies with disclosure of actual prices and income. Revenue impact will be positive as it will generate indirect and additional revenues from allied businesses.

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