Islamabad: The Federal Cabinet on Friday approved amendments to the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 for immediate implementation of its recently announced Construction Sector Relief Package, according to news sources.
Under this ordinance, the construction sector, as well as its related businesses, industries and investors, are expected to reap the following benefits:
Fixed tax regime
- Fixed tax to be implemented on ‘per square yard’ and ‘per square feet’ bases on real estate projects,
- Withholding tax waived off on building materials – except cement and steel,
- Builders and developers to receive 10 times more profit-credit with respect to the taxes they pay,
- Tax percentage on low-cost projects initiated under the Naya Pakistan Housing Programme (NPHP) to be dropped by 90%,
- Offered tax cuts and relief provisions to be applicable on projects registered under the relief package and launched before December 31, 2020, as well as those currently underway; with the further criteria:
- Builders are required to get their new and current projects registered with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) via its IRIS portal,
- Builders are required to inform the authorities regarding their project completions’ status; along with being bound to pay taxes as per the new regime for any pending development work.
- The dividends issued by the companies concerned to their shareholders are to be exempted from these taxes.
Exemption on declaring source(s) of income
Section 111 of the Income Tax Ordinance (concerned with declaring the sources of income) will not be applicable on investments made in the sector; to be further determined by investors’ adherence to the following criteria:
- Cash investments stacked in a new bank account before December 31, 2020
- In case of investment in form of land, the said property has to be registered in the owners’ name prior to introduction of this ordinance
One-time exemption on Capital Gain Tax
The relief package waives the imposition of Capital Gain Tax (Tax) on the sale of personal property if:
- The house is smaller than 500 square yards,
- The flat (in the other case) area is under 4,000 square feet
Advance Tax on property
- The Advance Tax on property sales has been reduced to 5% from the previous 10%.
Construction sector given ‘Industry’ status
- With the construction sector’s new ‘Industry’ status affixation, the government will offer sector stakeholders the same facilities it extends to the parties concerned hailing from other industries – narrowly, on the import of machinery required for carrying out construction and development work.
Amendment in Sales Tax rules
- Following the model introduced by the Punjab government, the Federal Government has cancelled the Sales Tax due on construction services.
CVT and Stamp Duty applicability in the Federal Capital
- The same rules notified by the Governments of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for the collection of CVT and Stamp Duty will now be applicable in Islamabad.
Who cannot avail these offered construction sector ‘relief’ provisions?
- Public office holders, their spouse and dependents,
- Listed public companies and real estate investment trusts,
- Parties deploying and in possession of income earned through illegal means such as money laundering, extortion and terror financing.