Payment of stamp duty on the purchase of property is a must under the law and there is no avoiding making this payment. Registration, however, is not compulsory, says Vimal Punmiya, a leading property expert
A stamp duty amnesty scheme is under the consideration of the government of Maharashtra and should be announced some time soon, according to Vimal Punmiya, one of the country's leading property experts. Mr Punmiya, who was addressing a seminar on co-operative housing rules, hosted by Moneylife Foundation recently, encouraged people to prepare to take advantage of the scheme and save on otherwise huge penalties for non-payment of stamp duty.
He explained that stamp duty and registration of properties is one of the most vital and complicated issues in everyone's life. Yet, a large section of people were not properly informed about the rules and the process of paying stamp duty or registration. Mr Punmiya pointed out that under the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act, registration is not compulsory, but payment of stamp duty is a must.
Here are some of the other aspects on stamp duty and registration that Mr Punmiya dealt with.
When is stamp duty to be paid?
Stamp duty is usually paid at the time of signing of the documents and they are subsequently registered. In case stamp duty is not paid on the day the agreement is formalised, it can be paid on the next working day. However, if the stamp duty is not paid on the next day, the person would have to go for adjudication on a payment of Rs100 and then pay the stamp duty.
Penalty for non-payment of stamp duty
Earlier, the government had the power to slap a penalty up to 10 times the amount of the stamp duty, but that provision has been lifted. Now, an interest of 2% per month is charged on the stamp duty not paid and this cannot be more than 200% of the stamp duty amount due. Under an amnesty scheme the penalty is waived and a token amount is charged instead.
How is stamp duty charged?
If a property was purchased before 4 July 1980, the stamp duty is applicable on the agreement value and not on the market value. For properties purchased after 4 July 1980, the stamp duty is charged on the market value of the property as listed in the ready reckoner of rates published during the relevant period.
Types of agreements
An agreement of sale is executed when a person pays money and takes possession immediately, whereas an agreement for sale is made when a buyer agrees to purchase something and to pay the money within a specified period. Up to 9 December 1985, whatever agreements for sale executed were not liable for stamp duty. However, whenever the landlord or builder conveys the property to the society stamp duty will be applicable. Under agreements of sale, where a buyer has taken possession right away, the buyer is required to pay stamp duty from the beginning.
Stamp duty on exchanged/inherited property
In case of exchange of property, where two transactions take place, stamp duty is applicable on only one property that has a higher value. A property received through inheritance by legal heir/relative is charged a stamp duty on just Rs200.
Stamp duty on property received as gift
If a property is given to relatives as a gift, stamp duty on such property is charged at 2% of the value. Stamp duty is different for properties being rented out, on lease and license, or lease.
Registration of property
Registration of societies is not compulsory. The registration fee is 1% on the market value or Rs30, 000, whichever is lower. However, a bank loan usually is not granted until the society is registered.
After buying a property and paying the stamp duty applicable, the buyer can register the purchase within four months of the agreement. Registrations done after this period, that is in the fifth month, are charged a penalty of 2 ½ times the registration fee; in the sixth month the penalty would be five times the registration fee; in the eighth month the penalty would be ten times the registration fee; but in the ninth month there is no penalty.
In general, buyers and sellers should go for registration. However, in case a property was purchased a long time back and the seller is not available, or is not ready to come forward for the registration, the purchaser has right to register the property by making a declaration.
According to the UIDAI chief, the UID number will create a much more ‘open’ marketplace, where ‘hundreds of millions of people’ who were shut out of services will now be able to access them
The truth is finally out. In case you were wondering why the government and big corporates are lobbying hard for the unique identification (UID) programme, here is the answer.
Speaking at the Nielsen Company's 'Consumer 360' event in New Delhi, Nandan Nilekani, chairman, UID Authority of India (UIDAI), said that over a third of India's 1.1 billion 'consumers' had been largely overlooked in areas such as banking and social services.
"The (unique identification) number will create a much more open marketplace, where hundreds of millions of people who were shut out of services will now be able to access them," he told business leaders, adding that the poor find it difficult to reach the market. "Their anonymity limits agencies from providing them services that are remotely available, and that could be accessed through a mobile phone," he said.
Delivering his keynote address, Mr Nilekani focussed more on Indian consumers, especially the ones in remote places, rather than his pet project, the UID or Aadhaar. However, Piyush Mathur, president, Nielsen for India, was more forthcoming. He said, "The UID system will change the way we market to consumers. It will also change the way companies deliver goods and services. At a basic level, UID will enable businesses to improve their traditional supply chains in support of consumers across the country but the big win comes with being able to identify emerging demand."
As per our knowledge and understanding, the UID as a system is being pushed in order to provide identification to the 'poor' or the residents who keep migrating. Everyone, including Mr Nilekani and even the prime minister believed that the UID would help improve the public distribution system (PDS). With the UID, the poor would be able to receive food grains, which otherwise would have vanished in the transit between government's warehouse to the PDS shop. (See: http://www.moneylife.in/article/78/8567.html).
Interestingly, the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and auto sectors, riding on the robust demand from rural markets, did not need UID for reaching their customers. When the rural market called, these companies responded with innovative products that were more suitable to consumers. It may be the use of sachets to sell shampoo, hair oil etc at affordable prices or more fuel-efficient and sturdy vehicles or variants at lower rates, those who have adapted to this strategy are enjoying the fruits.
Mr Mathur said, "Demand has driven new products like shampoo sachets and low-price vehicles but with more information around consumption habits, those types of products can be identified earlier and brought to market in lockstep with consumer needs. That means manufacturers and retailers will waste less money on unnecessary product development, hone their distribution capabilities and anticipate consumer needs."
According to the UIDAI chairman, four broad trends like a demographic disruption, mass migration to cities, availability of low-cost mobile phones and impatience with failing systems, are heralding the rise of a new kind of consumer in India. "This shift in attitudes is creating new urgencies for our services and infrastructure. And we are indeed seeing the emergence of solutions that respond to these forces," he said.
Using UID or Aadhaar or allowing its database to be used by companies for marketing would turn the UIDAI into a business against its mandate, feels some activists. According to an IT expert it appears that pressure on the corporates to show revenues is driving them to squeeze the last drop of blood from the most vulnerable sections of society, namely the poor.
"With foreign companies joining the fray using this as a means to show growth which is difficult to achieve now in the developed world, and the third world opening their door to them by using a fig leaf in the name of helping the poor, the UID is turning whole of India into a 'dukaan'," he said.