Sale of land has been expressly excluded from GST as per Schedule-III of the CGST Act. However, transactions in immovable property are generally complex involving multiple persons, and therefore, sometimes, they get intertwined with various other transactions or activities. Such other transactions then become the subject matter of scrutiny for fastening GST liability. Joint development agreements (JDAs) constitute one of the sources of dispute and revenue under GST. A recent ruling is analysed as under:In the ruling by Appellate Authority for Advance Rulings,Karnataka in the case of Maarq Spaces Pvt. Ltd., the appellant-developer is stated as engaged in the development of land into plots and sale of such developed plots to prospective buyers. The landowners and the developer share the revenue from the sale of land (developed plots) in the ratio of 75% and 25% respectively. Development work undertaken by the appellant includes leveling of land, construction of roads and drains, and provision of various civic amenities. The appellant was of the view that the sale of land being the primary activity with development being incidental, GST was not liable to pay on the activity carried out by them.In real estate transactions involving plotted development, one party owns the land and another party has the expertise to develop the land - The two parties come together with the common intention of developing the land and sharing the revenue accruing for the sale of the developed plots in the land. However, the landowners give the rights of using the land to the developer in exchange for which, the developer gives the service of developing the land of the owners. The joint development of the agreement is entered into for the two parties to jointly reap the benefits of the sale of the land to customers, there is a clear rendering of service by the developer to the landowner in developing the land which belongs to the landowner. The AAAR perused the clauses of Joint Development Agreement (JDA) entered into between the landowners and the appellant-developer. The primary purpose of the JDA was a development of land and consideration for the same was in the form of a share in the revenue earned from the sale of land/plots. The transaction was held to be not a sale of land simpliciter but coupled with an obligation to develop and provide amenities. The Authority held that the element of service of development was the dominant activity of the appellant and the same was liable to GST. Therefore, the activity of developing the land is a supply of service by the appellant. A combination of two activities, one of which is not a supply under GST cannot be said to be a composite supply.