Acquiring a home loan can provide opportunities to save on taxes, in accordance with the regulations of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The latest financial budget included provisions that further enhanced these benefits.
During the budget speech, the Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, proposed an extension on the deadline for additional deductions on interest payments for home loans. The new deadline has been set for 31 March 2024, following the previous extension until 31 March 2022. This extension applies to all home loans that have been sanctioned before 31 March 2022.
While obtaining a housing loan can be costly, it is also possible to benefit from several tax deductions that can save money each year. It is important to understand how to maximize these benefits.
|Deductions||Section||Maximum Deduction (INR)||Conditions|
|Principal||80C||1.5 Lakh||House property should not be sold within 5 years of possession.|
|Interest||24b||2 Lakh||The loan must be taken for the purchase/construction of a house, and the construction must be completed within 5 years from the end of the financial year in which the loan was taken.|
|Interest||80EE||Rs.50,000||The amount of loan taken should be Rs 35 lakh or less, and the property’s value does not exceed Rs 50 lakh. The home loan should be taken between 1st April 2016 to 31st March 2017.|
|Stamp Duty||80C||1.5 Lakh||It can be claimed only in the year these expenses are incurred.|
|Interest||80EEA||1.5 Lakh||The stamp value of the property should be Rs.45 lakh or less. The taxpayer is not eligible to claim a deduction under Section 80EE. The home loan should be taken between 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2022.|
A home loan must be taken for the purchase or construction of a house to claim a tax deduction. If it is taken for the construction of a house, then it must be completed within five years from the end of the financial year in which the loan was taken.
The interest paid on the home loan EMI for the year can be claimed as a deduction from your total income up to a maximum of Rs 2 lakh under Section 24.
From the assessment year 2018-19 onwards, the maximum deduction for interest paid on self-occupied house property is Rs 2 lakh.
For let out property, there is no upper limit for claiming tax exemption on interest, which means that you can claim deduction on the entire interest paid on your home loan.
In case the construction exceeds the stipulated time, i.e. 5 years, you can claim deductions on interest of home loan only up to Rs 30,000 for the financial year.
However, the overall loss can be claimed under the head ‘Income from House Property’ against any other head of income up to to Rs 2 lakh only. This deduction can be claimed from the year in which the construction of the house is completed.
Say you bought an under-construction property and have not moved in yet but you are paying the EMIs. In this case, your eligibility to claim interest on the home loan as a deduction begins only upon completion of construction or immediately if you buy a fully constructed property.
So, does this mean you would not enjoy any tax benefits on the interest paid during the period falling between the borrowing of loan and completion of construction? No.
Let’s understand why.
The Income Tax Act allows to claim a deduction of such interest also, called the pre-construction interest. A deduction in five equal instalments starting from the year the property is acquired or construction is completed is allowed, over and above the deduction you are otherwise eligible to claim from your house property income. However, the maximum eligibility remains capped at Rs 2 lakh.
For example, you have availed a home loan for construction and pay interest of Rs 10,000 a month. Construction of the house was completed in 2019 after two years. Hence, you can start claiming the pre-construction interest of Rs 2.4 lakh (approx) paid by you only after the construction gets completed in five equal instalments starting from 2019. Maximum interest deduction under Section 24(b) is capped to Rs 2 lakh (including current year interest + pre-construction interest).
However, if your home loan is eligible for deduction under Section 80EEA, you can claim an additional deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh. We have discussed Section 80EEA later in this article.
The principal paid on the home loan EMI for the year is allowed as a deduction under Section 80C. The maximum amount that can be claimed is up to Rs 1.5 lakh.
But to claim this deduction, the house property should not be sold within five years of possession. Otherwise, the deduction claimed earlier will be added back to your income in the year of sale.
Besides claiming the deduction for principal repayment, a deduction for stamp duty and registration charges can also be claimed under Section 80C but within the overall limit of Rs 1.5 lakh.
However, it can be claimed only in the year these expenses are incurred.
Additional deduction under Section 80EE is allowed to the home buyers for a maximum of up to Rs 50,000. To claim this deduction, the following conditions should be met:
Section 80EE was reintroduced but is valid for loans sanctioned till 31st March 2017 only.
To promote the housing sector, Budget 2019 has introduced an additional deduction under Section 80EEA for homebuyers for a maximum of up to Rs 1.5 lakh.
To claim this deduction, below mentioned conditions should be met:
If the loan is taken jointly, each loan holder can claim a deduction for home loan interest up to Rs 2 lakh each and principal repayment under Section 80C up to Rs 1.5 lakh each in their tax returns.
To claim this deduction, they should also be co-owners of the property taken on loan. So, a loan taken jointly with your family can help you claim a larger tax benefit.
Only the owners of the property can claim tax deduction on home loans. If the home loan is taken jointly with a spouse, each borrower can claim deduction on home loan interest in the ratio of their ownership.
The tax benefit for a home loan as per different sections in Income Tax Acts is listed below
Up to Rs 2 lakh under Section 24(b) for self-occupied home
Up to Rs 1.5 lakh under Section 80C
The property owner is eligible to claim tax benefits, and if the spouse is a co-borrower, they can also apply for tax deductions. In the case of a joint loan, both parties can claim tax benefits based on their respective share of the loan payments.
Yes. When the first home is self-occupied and the second home is vacant, it will be considered as self-occupied. In such a case, a tax deduction can be claimed on the interest paid for both houses. However, it cannot exceed Rs 2 lakh. When the first home is self-occupied, and the second one is given on rent, you have to declare the rental income of the second property. From there you can deduct the standard deduction of 30%, interest on the home loan and the municipal taxes paid.
Yes, your spouse can claim separate deductions in IT returns when your spouse is employed and has a separate source of income. Both of you can claim deduction under Section 80C up to Rs 1.5 lakh from your total income. If the house is jointly owned, both you and your spouse can claim deductions up to Rs 2 lakh on the home loan interest.
Below is the process to claim home loan benefits:
You cannot claim tax deductions till the construction of the house is completed. Once it is completed, you can claim an aggregate of interest paid for the period prior to the year of taking possession in five equal instalments from the year in which construction is completed.
Yes, the maximum amount of interest that can be claimed as a deduction is Rs. 2 lakh per annum for a self-occupied property and there is no upper limit for a let-out property.
Yes, tax benefits on a home loan taken for the renovation of a property can be claimed under Section 24 of the Income Tax Act, 1961, up to a maximum limit of Rs. 30,000 per annum.