Thursday, March 7, 2024

Understanding GST on Transfer of Leasehold Rights

Introduction to GST on Leasehold Rights

In a recent ruling by the Authority for Advance Rulings (AAR) in Uttar Pradesh, a significant decision was made regarding the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on the transfer of leasehold rights. This ruling sheds light on how GST applies to the lump sum payments made for transferring these rights, specifically within the context of a case involving Remarkable Industries (P.) Ltd. Here’s a simplified breakdown of the ruling and its implications for businesses and individuals dealing with leasehold properties.

The Case of Remarkable Industries (P.) Ltd.

Remarkable Industries wished to sell their industrial plot, which was originally leased to them by the Noida Authority under a 99-year lease agreement. The sale of this plot involved a lump sum upfront premium and annual lease charges. For the buyer to take over this leasehold right, they had to pay transfer charges to the Noida Authority.

AAR’s Ruling on GST Application

The AAR ruled that when a leasehold right is transferred for a lump sum payment, an 18% GST applies. This decision is based on the nature of transferring leasehold rights, which the AAR does not consider as sub-leasing. Instead, it's seen as a service, specifically classified under "other miscellaneous service" with the SAC code 999792. This classification subjects the transfer to an 18% GST rate.

Key Takeaways from the Ruling

  1. Transfer of Leasehold Rights as a Service: The transfer of leasehold rights is considered a supply of services, not a mere transaction involving immovable property. This distinction is crucial for understanding the application of GST.

  2. Tax Rate: The applicable GST rate for such transactions is 18%, classified under SAC 999792, as per Notification No. 11/2017-Central Tax.

  3. Implications for Leaseholders: Individuals or entities looking to transfer their leasehold rights must be aware of this GST implication, as it adds a significant cost to the transaction.

Simplified Explanation

In simpler terms, if you're paying a big one-time fee to take over someone else’s rights to use a piece of land (or property) for a long time, you'll have to pay an extra 18% of that fee as tax. This tax applies because giving up those rights is treated like a special kind of service.


The AAR's decision to levy an 18% GST on the transfer of leasehold rights highlights the need for leaseholders and potential buyers to consider GST implications in their transactions. This ruling not only clarifies the tax obligations but also ensures that participants in such transactions are well-informed about the financial aspects involved. Whether you're a business or an individual dealing with leasehold properties, understanding this GST application is crucial for a smooth and compliant transaction process.

Keep in mind, as with all tax-related matters, consulting with a tax professional is advisable to navigate the specifics of your situation accurately.