Personal Finance

What should home buyers know about stamp duty and registration charges?

Bavadharini KS | Updated on September 02, 2020 Published on September 02, 2020

Reduction in stamp duty is expected to boost residential demand, and help developers bring down the level of unsold inventories in the market.

Payment of stamp duty acts as proof of ownership in court while registration charges are paid to record execution of transaction

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, demand for house property has slowed, with many postponing big-ticket purchases. In a bid to attract home buyers, the Maharashtra Government recently announced reduction in stamp duty rates on property purchases. It has lowered the stamp duty rate to 2 per cent (from 5 per cent) of the property value; this is applicable across Maharashtra from September 1 to December 31, 2020. The State has kept the stamp duty rate at 3 per cent from January 2021 to March 31. This reduction in stamp duty rates is expected to boost residential demand, and help developers bring down the level of unsold inventories in the market.

With demand slowdown in the property market and economic uncertainty, property prices too have remained stagnant, and in some regions it has declined. As stamp duty rates (and registration charges) add to the total cost of the property, any increase or decrease in these rates influences demand to some extent. So, if you are looking to buy a property, it would be good to have a fair idea about these charges.

Basics

In addition to the property price, a home buyer has to incur other charges as well, most of which are mandatory. Among such unavoidable expenses are stamp duty and registration charges that are payable to the respective state Governments.

Stamp duty is the tax levied when a property is transferred from the seller to the buyer.

The receipt or acknowledgement of payment of stamp duty is a crucial, legally recognised document that acts as proof of ownership in court, in case of any dispute. So you are considered an owner of a house property when your sale agreement is registered and signed, and the stamp duty and registration charges are paid. Stamp duty is applicable on conveyance deeds, sale deeds and power of attorney papers and this rate varies with each State (2-8 per cent). For instance, stamp duty in Maharashtra is currently around 2 per cent of the value of the property, while in Tamil Nadu, it is around 7 per cent.

Registration fee, on the other hand, is charged to record the execution of transaction between the buyer and the seller. This, too, varies with each State. For instance, in Maharashtra, registration charges are around ₹30,000 (flat fee), while in Karnataka, it is 1 per cent of the value of the property.

The amount paid as stamp duty and registration charges depends on the value of the property and the circle rate (price of the residential or commercial property or land for a given area, published and regulated by the state government), whichever is higher.

Aarthi Lakshminarayanan, Partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, says “The value of any house or building, in Tamil Nadu, is arrived at based on a common schedule of plinth area rates prepared by the PWD department and published by the Government of Tamil Nadu every year”.

Do keep in mind that, both stamp duty and registration charges, are over and above the purchase value of the property. So, if you are a buyer, plan for such outgo as well at the time of buying a property.

Say, the house property you plan to buy is a resale property and costs ₹1 crore. While this is the price you pay to the seller, you will have to pay stamp duty of, say, 7 per cent and registration of, say, 4 per cent, (on ₹1 crore), in addition to the purchase price. In total, you will pay ₹1.11 crore (₹1 crore plus 11 per cent on ₹1 crore).

In case of under-construction property, the payment varies with each state. In Tamil Nadu, for instance, you will pay stamp duty on the guideline value or market value of undivided share (land), whichever is higher. Say, the cost of property is ₹60 lakh, of which the undivided share of land accounts for ₹20 lakh, then the stamp duty (7 per cent) and registration charges (4 per cent) are levied on this amount. On the balance ₹40 lakh, registration charges of 1 per cent (in Tamil Nadu) on the cost of construction or the amount mentioned in the construction agreement, whichever is higher, will apply. The Government of Tamil Nadu also charges 1 per cent stamp duty on the same. You will also have to pay Goods and Services Tax (GST) (around 5 per cent or 1 per cent in case of affordable housing) on the total consideration of the property. GST is not applicable on completed properties.

Payment

Usually, it is the buyer who pays the stamp duty at the time of registration of property. There are two popular ways to make this payment: e-stamping and through non-judicial stamp paper.

When it comes to e-stamping, a buyer has to visit the website of Stock Holding Corporation of India, the central record keeping agency for all e-stamps in the country. It has authorised collection centres (ACC) that issue such e-stamps. You can go to schilestamp.com and check if your State government provides for such facility.

So, if your State allows e-stamping, first you will have to fill an application by providing details of the transaction, name of the parties involved (buyer and seller) and PAN number of the parties, value of the property (for which stamp paper is required), and mode of payment (NEFT/cheque/DD). If you are making payment via NEFT, then the website will generate an acknowledgement for the payment. Next, at the ACC, buyers/payers have to submit the filled up form along with the amount to be paid as stamp duty or submit acknowledgement. The e-stamp certificate will be generated immediately after realisation of the funds.

The advantages of using e-stamps are that it can be generated within minutes and is tamper proof. But on the downside, once an e-stamp is generated, it is a difficult process to modify or cancel the e-stamp; so, fill the details with care.

With restrictions of movement due to the coronavirus, home buyers can pay stamp duty online and print e-stamp certificate from home. But this facility is provided only by a few states such as New Delhi, Karnataka and Chandigarh. You can also use the e-payment facility, if provided, by your State government for making payment of both stamp duty and registration charges.

Another and the most common method of paying stamp duty is by purchasing non-judicial stamp paper from a licensed vendor. Under this, the stamp paper — either purchased for the value of the stamp duty or a lesser amount (rest can be remitted as cheque or DD to the designated banks), will contain the agreement details and should be signed by the parties involved.

Note that once the payment of stamp duty is made and signed by the parties, registration of the property can be done immediately or within a certain time period, say three to six months. The applicable registration charges will be paid at the time of registration of property.

Payment modes:

e-stamping

e-payment

Non-judicial stamp paper

Additional cost to buyer

Stamp duty and registration charges are costs over and above the cost of a house property

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Published on September 02, 2020
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