Advice
Risks from tax avoidance in real estate transaction
29/08/2019 09:27
As home sellers commonly propose to state a lower price in the sale contract than the actual transaction value, home buyers have to bear additional risks from such real estate transactions.

Buying and selling real estate with a “sensitive” status to avoid taxation is quite common. According to experts in Ho Chi Minh City, only 25% of real estate transactions have the accurate transaction value listed in the contract while the remaining 75% list a bottom-low price, 5 to 10 times less than the actual market value.

Seller commonly lists a lower price in the notarized contract than in the deposit agreement to avoid taxes as tax calculation based only on the notarized contract. The difference in prices will then play as an additional fee for the successful transaction. However, if one party somehow change their mind or intentionally violate the contract, it would be extremely difficult to resolve the dispute.

Lawyer of LPVN Law Firm Nguyen Van Loc, the Director of Thinh Viet Tri Law Firm Luong Ngoc Dinh, and legal expert Nguyen Tan Phong have all raised a warning about the risks of this action.

Risk from tax avoidance in real estate
As home sellers propose to state a lower price in the sale contract than the actual transaction value, buyers have to bear additional risks from such real estate transactions. Photo: Vu Le

Seller always offers a lower transfer price than the contract value. As the buyer also agreed on the offer, they fall to a disadvantaged position in the following transaction, in which they will be the seller, and likely not be protected by law.

To be more specific, if a dispute or conflict regarding the sale contract arisen, the buyer, by any means, cannot prove the actual amount of money paid to the seller. Handwritten records or money transfer receipts (if any) are usually used only when the parties resolve disputes in court or produce to prove when under investigation. In another case which the buyer, now become a seller, continue to sell the property to another buyer, they will have to incur a large amount of personal income tax from the real estate transaction if the next buyer wants to buy at the market price.

Tax avoidance means risk and most homebuyers would accept the proposal for a small incentive. Based on market records, the closing prices of successful transaction, which are not shown in the tax file, are several times larger than the listed price.

The lawyer also advised a win-win solution for both buyers and sellers, in which they share the tax and list the correct price in the contract.

 

(Source: Vnexpress)