HRA or house rent allowance is the most common allowance received by the salaried. Those who live on rent can maximize on saving tax through HRA.

Very soon it will be time for employers to start collecting tax-saving declaration for the financial year.

Are you unsure about how to claim HRA if you live with your parents? Those who live with parents, can pay rent to their parents and save tax on HRA.

Let’s find out how- 1. How to claim HRA by paying rent to your parents? 2. Understand how to save tax by paying rent to parents with an example. 3. Points to remember to claim HRA by paying rent to parents Ownership of the house –Since rent is paid to owners, the property must be owned by your parents. It may be owned by one or both of your parents. Remember that you cannot be an owner or co-owner of this property since you cannot claim tax exemption on rent paid to yourself.

Paying rent –You can pay rent to your parents by transferring money to their bank account or pay via a cheque. This way you will be able to claim your HRA deduction properly.

Rent agreement and rent receipts – Usually employers ask for a copy of the rental agreement for their records. They can also request for rent receipts to allow you HRA exemption. You can enter into a simple rent agreement with your parents. You can prepare rent receipts by using ClearTax’s rent receipt generator – see here. You can print these receipts and submit to your HR/payroll department. You can also download them and save them on your computer. It is important to keep proper records in case the assessing officer ask for them.

Rental income is taxable for parents – Rent paid by you to your parents shall be taxable for them. They will include this income under the head ‘income from house property’ in their tax return. They can claim property taxes paid by them and also claim a 30% standard deduction from this rental income.

Save tax as a family – By submitting rent receipts and paying it, you will be able to claim exemption on HRA. Your parents can deduct property taxes and also claim 30% standard deduction on the rental income. If they are in a lower tax bracket than you, the family can save tax as a whole. If they are more than 60 years old, they will also enjoy a higher minimum income exemption limit (Rs.3 lakh for those who are aged above 60 years old and Rs.5 lakh for those who are aged above 80 years old). In case they do not have any taxable income, you will be able to save significant tax as a family.

Example 22-year-old Aditya lived in Dwarka, New Delhi with his parents. His office was in Gurgaon and he commuted daily to his office from Dwarka. Aditya had recently started working, and his employer asked for tax saving declarations for FY 2018-19 to calculate TDS on salary. Aditya’s colleagues who lived in Gurgaon in PG accommodation were submitting rent receipts to claim HRA. HRA is paid to them as part of their salary. However, Aditya is unsure if he can claim HRA since he lives with his parents.

This is the detail of salary earned by him.
Basic Salary        3,00,000
HRA        1,50,000
Special Allowance        1,65,000
Total        6,15,000
 Less : Standard Deduction       40,000
Total Taxable Income       5,75,000
Total tax       27,500
Cess @ 4%       1,100
Total Tax Payable       28,600
Now, using ClearTax’s HRA calculator, let’s find out how much HRA will be exempt if Aditya decides to pay rent to his parents.
HRA exemption calculation
Case 1 Case 2 Case 3
A. Rent paid           12,000           12,500           13,000
B. HRA per month           12,500           12,500           12,500
 C. 50% of the basic salary*   12,500   12,500   12,500
D. Actual rent paid – 10% of the basic salary  9,500  10,000  10,500
E. HRA exempt portion(Least of the B, C & D)              9,500           10,000           10,500
F. HRA taxable portion              3,000             2,500             2,000
Revised Taxable Salary
Basic Salary        3,00,000        3,00,000        3,00,000
Taxable HRA           36,000           30,000           24,000
Special Allowance        1,65,000        1,65,000        1,65,000
Total salary        5,01,000        4,95,000       4,89,000
 Less:Standard Deduction  40,000  40,000  40,000
Total taxable salary 461,000 455,000 449,000
Total tax 10,500 10,250 9,950
cess @ 4%   422    410                398
Total Tax Payable 10,972            10,660            10,348
Tax Saved 17,628         17,940           18,252    
However, rent paid to Aditya’s father will have to be included in his father’s total income.

Let’s take Case 1, where Aditya decides to pay rent to his father, a sum of Rs 12,000 per month. His father’s rental income is Rs 1,44,000 for the whole financial year. Besides this income, his father has an interest income of Rs 3,00,000. His father is 65 years old.

Let’s find out the taxable income of Aditya’s father, before receiving rent and after receiving rent from Aditya.

Income tax calculation of father with and without rental income.
Taxable Income of Aditya’s father
with rental income without rental income
Interest income                   3,00,000                     3,00,000
Rental income              1,44,000
Less: taxes paid                   3,000
Less: 30% deduction                 42,300                       98,700                                     –
Total taxable income                    3,98,700            3,00,000
Total tax 4,935
Cess                 197                                     –
total tax payable                           5,132                                     –
Total tax saved as a family = Rs 17,628 less Rs 5,132 = Rs 12,496

I could not submit receipts on time and have not claimed HRA through my employer? If you are not able to submit the rent receipts in time to your employer and your employer deducts TDS on HRA, you’re still covered. HRA exemptions can be claimed at the time of filing your income tax return. You can adjust your total taxable salary with the HRA exemption amount while filing your return on ClearTax. Do remember to keep your proofs (rent receipts and rent agreement) safe, in case the assessing officer asks for them later.


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