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Tax pass-through status sought for realty investment trusts
June, 23rd 2014

Market regulator SEBI has pitched for tax pass-through status for real estate investment trusts (REITs), its Chairman UK Sinha said.

“We are hopeful that the new Government (at the Centre) will consider this suggestion favourably,” Sinha said at the 36th Skoch Summit here.

A REIT is a real estate company that is modelled after mutual funds.

It gives opportunities to invest in income producing real estate in a manner similar to investing in stocks and bonds through mutual funds.

A pass-through tax treatment in the case of a REIT would mean the taxes of such a vehicle are “passed through” to the tax return of individuals owning the business.

Sinha pointed out that REITs are popular in developed markets such as the US, the UK, Australia and Japan and these vehicles had brought benefits to both investors and real estate developers.

“REITs have been a significant vehicle for investors to take advantage of the growth in the real estate industry on one hand. On the other hand, it releases the funds for developers so that they can utilise the fund for further development,” Sinha said.

“We are almost ready with the regulations. We have to go to our Board. But we believe that we must have clarity on tax treatment before REITS are put in place and become effective,” Sinha said. Once the clarity comes, SEBI will not take much time and come out with the regulations immediately, he said.

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