Shanti Prime Publication Pvt. Ltd.
Section 17(5) of CGST Act, 2017—Input tax credit—In the instant case, petitioners have challenged the provision of section 17(5)(d) of CGST Act, that this section is not applicable in the case of construction of immovable property intending for letting out for rent.
The benefit of input tax credit has been denied to the petitioner by applying Section 17(5) (d) of the CGST Act as well as of the OGST Act and the language of the said sub-section in both the Acts is identical.
Held that—On a plain reading of Section 17(5)(d), it is clear that what it contemplates and provides for is a situation where inputs are consumed in the construction of an immovable property which is meant and intended to be sold. The sale of immovable property post issuance of completion certificate does not attract any levy of GST. Consequently, in such a situation, there is a break in the tax chain and, therefore, there is full justification for denial of input tax credit as, on the completion of the transaction, no GST would at all be payable and, therefore, no set-off of the input tax credit would be required or warranted or justified. But the position is totally different where the immovable property is constructed for the purpose of letting out the same, because, in that event, the tax chain is not broken and, on the contrary, the construction of the building will result in a fresh stream of GST revenues to the Exchequer on the rentals generated by the building. The denial of input tax credit in such a situation would be completely arbitrary, unjust and oppressive and would be directly opposed to the basic rationale of GST itself, which is to prevent the cascading effect of multi-stage taxation and the inevitable increase in costs which would have to be borne by the consumer at the end of the day.
In that view of the matter, in our considered opinion the provision of Section 17(5)(d) is to be read down and the narrow restriction as imposed, reading of the provision by the Department, is not required to be accepted, inasmuch as keeping in mind the language used in (1999) 2 SCC 361 (supra), the very purpose of the credit is to give benefit to the assessee. In that view of the matter, if the assessee is required to pay GST on the rental income arising out of the investment on which he has paid GST, it is required to have the input credit on the GST, which is required to pay under Section 17(5)(d) of the CGST Act.
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