Taxing sale of goods – Works Contract - Whether taxing sale of goods in an agreement for sale of flat which is to be constructed by the developer/promoter is permissible under the Constitution – Held that:- When the agreement between the promoter/developer and the flat purchaser is to construct a flat and eventually sell the flat with the fraction of land, it is obvious that such transaction involves the activity of construction inasmuch as it is only when the flat is constructed then it can be conveyed - There is no reason why such activity of construction is not covered by the term “works contract”.
After all, the term “works contract” is nothing but a contract in which one of the parties is obliged to undertake or to execute works. Such activity of construction has all the characteristics or elements of works contract. The ultimate transaction between the parties may be sale of flat but it cannot be said that the characteristics of works contract are not involved in that transaction. When the transaction involves the activity of construction, the factors such as, flat purchaser has no control over the type and standard of the material to be used in the construction of building or he does not get any right to monitor or supervise the construction activity or he has no say in the designing or lay-out of the building, in our view, are not of much significance and in any case these factors do not detract the contract being works contract insofar as construction part is concerned.
In a contract to build a flat there will necessarily be a sale of goods element. Works contracts also include building contracts and therefore without any fear of contradiction it can be stated that building contracts are species of the works contract.
For sustaining the levy of tax on the goods deemed to have been sold in execution of a works contract, three conditions must be fulfilled, there must be a works contract, the goods should have been involved in the execution of a works contract and the property in those goods must be transferred to a third party either as goods or in some other form.
For the purposes of Article 366(29-A)(b), in a building contract or any contract to do construction, if the developer has received or is entitled to receive valuable consideration, these things need to fully met. It is so because in the performance of a contract for construction of building, goods like cement, concrete, steel, bricks etc. are intended to be incorporated in the structure and even though they lost their identity as goods but this factor does not prevent them from being goods.
Where a contract comprises of both a works contract and a transfer of immovable property, such contract does not denude it of its character as works contract. The term “works contract” in Article 366 (29-A)(b) takes within its fold all genre of works contract and is not restricted to one specie of contract to provide for labour and services alone. Nothing in Article 366(29-A)(b) limits the term “works contract”.
Transfer of property in goods under clause 29-A(b) of Article 366 is deemed to be a sale of the goods involved in the execution of a works contract by the person making the transfer and the purchase of those goods by the person to whom such transfer is made.
The expression “tax on the sale or purchase of goods” in Entry 54 in List II of Seventh Schedule when read with the definition clause 29-A of Article 366 includes a tax on the transfer of property in goods whether as goods or in the form other than goods involved in the execution of works contract.
Taxing the sale of goods element in a works contract under Article 366(29-A)(b) read with Entry 54 List II is permissible even after incorporation of goods provided tax is directed to the value of goods and does not purport to tax the transfer of immovable property. The value of the goods which can constitute the measure for the levy of the tax has to be the value of the goods at the time of incorporation of the goods in works even though property passes as between the developer and the flat purchaser after incorporation of goods - Circular is a trade circular which is clarificatory in nature only. The notification enables the registered dealer to opt for a composition scheme – Following decision of K. RAHEJA DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION versus STATE OF KARNATAKA [2005 (5) TMI 7 - Supreme Court] and LARSEN & TOUBRO LIMITED & ANR. VERSUS STATE OF KARNATAKA & ANR. [2008 (8) TMI 28 - SUPREME COURT OF INDIA] – Decided against assesse.