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A guide on how to claim HRA exemption and save taxes
Salaried individuals, who live in rented houses, can claim the House Rent Allowance (HRA) to lower their taxes – partially or wholly.
This allowance is for expenses related to rented accommodation. If you don’t live in a rented accommodation, this allowance is fully taxable.
Please note that the tax exemption of house rent allowance is not available in case you choose the new tax regime from FY 2020-21 (AY 2021-22)
HRA is the house rent allowance in income tax. It means the salary component received towards the rent payment and is allowed as a deduction from taxable salary under Section 10(13A).
The deduction available is the least of the following amounts:
Yes, you may claim the HRA as it has no bearing on your home loan interest deduction. Both can be claimed.
Try out our free HRA calculator to determine your HRA exemption. This calculator shows you what part of your HRA you have to pay taxes – i.e. how much of your HRA is taxable and exempt from tax.
If you have taken a house on rent and are making a payment of over Rs 1 lakh annually – remember to provide the landlord’s PAN. Else, you may lose out on the HRA exemption.
Landlords without a PAN must be willing to give you a declaration as per circular No. 8/2013 dated 10 October 2013. Tenants paying rent to NRI landlords must remember to deduct TDS of 30% before making the payment towards rent.
If you pay rent for living in a residential accommodation but do not receive an HRA from your employer, you can still claim the deduction under Section 80GG. Conditions that must be fulfilled to claim this deduction:
If you own any residential property other than the place mentioned above, you should not claim the benefit of that property as self-occupied. The other property would be deemed to be let out to claim the 80GG deduction.
Mr Anwar, employed in New Delhi, has taken up an accommodation on rent for which he pays Rs 15,000 per month during the Financial Year (FY) 2020-21. He receives a basic salary of Rs 25,000 monthly and DA of Rs 2,000, which forms a part of the salary. He also gets an HRA of Rs 1 lakh from his employer during the year.
Let us understand the HRA component that would be exempt from income tax during FY 2020-21. As per the given data, calculate the following:
Therefore, the entire HRA received from the employer is exempt from income tax in the above example.
Let’s understand this with an example.
Samiksha works in an MNC in Bangalore. Though her company provides her with HRA, she lives with her parents in their house and not in rented accommodation. How can she make use of this allowance?
Samiksha can pay rent to her parents and claim the allowance provided. She has to enter into a rental agreement with her parents and transfer money to them every month. This way, Samiksha can make a nice gesture to her parents while saving on taxes. Also, Samiksha’s parents need to report the rent she paid as income in their income tax returns. If their other income is below the basic exemption limit or taxable at a lower tax slab, they can save tax on the family income.
The least of the will be considered as the deduction under this section:
*Adjusted total income means total income minus long-term capital gain, short-term capital gain under Section 111A, income under Section 115A or 115D, and deductions 80C to 80U (except deduction under Section 80GG).
You can claim tax exemption on HRA in a case where you pay rent for your residential accommodation.
You can claim HRA exemption by submitting proofs of rent receipts to your employer. Alternatively, you can claim the HRA exemption yourself while filing your income tax return.
A self-employed individual cannot claim HRA exemption. Only a salaried individual with an HRA component in their salary package can claim HRA exemption.
The employer deducts TDS at the applicable rates on balance HRA, which is not tax-exempt.
Salaried employees who receive house rent allowance as a part of salary and pay rent can claim HRA exemption to reduce their taxable salary wholly or partially.
House rent allowance received by an employee is partially or wholly exempt as per the conditions laid out in Section 10(13A).
Dearness allowance is a component of salary towards adjustment for living costs paid generally to government employees, public sector employees, and pensioners. Dearness allowance is calculated as a percentage of basic salary to cover the impact of inflation.
HRA is a component of salary paid by big employers towards rent payment by the employee. HRA exemption is allowed least of the below :
For the calculation above, the salary would include basic, dearness allowance and fixed percentage of commission.
The taxable portion of the HRA component should be included as a part of ‘Salary as per Section 17(1)’. An exempt portion of the HRA component is to be added under the heading ‘allowances to the extent exempt u/s 10’ (ensure that it is included in salary income u/s 17 (1) 17(2) 17 (3) ). Please note that if you file ITR online through Clear, the software auto-populates the Form 16 component. In such a case, verify the amount auto-populated with information in Form 16.
If HRA is not mentioned in Form 16, that means your employer has not provided a separate component of HRA. HRA u/s 10(13A) can be claimed when the employer gives a separate component towards HRA. In the absence of it, you can claim for rent paid under Section 80GG.
HRA can be at most claimed as according to the lowest of these three amounts
Please note that you can claim HRA if you reside at your parents’ house, provided that you transfer the rent to your parents. In this case, your parents will have to report this rental income in their return of income for taxability purposes.
If your parents have income less than the basic exemption, they are not liable to pay taxes.
Further, the benefit of HRA can also be claimed if you own a house and are claiming a deduction for principal payment u/s 80C and interest deduction u/s 24. The reason for residing in a rented house should be genuine and valid. The IT department can closely monitor this arrangement.
An HRA certificate is a certificate issued by the government employee for claiming house rent allowance for not being able to avail a government accommodation according to the prescribed procedure.
Documents like rent receipts and rental agreements must be submitted to the employer to claim a house rent allowance deduction. If the payment of rent is more than Rs 1 lakh per annum, then the PAN of the house owner must be submitted. Based on these proofs, employers will provide a deduction for HRA in Form 16.
While filing returns through ClearTax, you can directly upload Form 16. The details mentioned in Form 16 will auto-populate, including the HRA exemption. However, suppose you don’t have Form 16. In that case, you can add the exempt portion of HRA as calculated on the HRA calculator of ClearTax under tab Income sources > point 2 exempt allowances under Section 10.
The employer mandatorily requires rent receipts as proof for claiming house rent allowance deduction.
If you missed submitting rent receipts and rental agreements to your employer at the time of proof submission, you could claim the HRA deduction while filing ITR. If you miss claiming the HRA while filing a return, you can file a revised return to correct the error before the end of the assessment year.
According to Section 10(13A), an employee can claim an HRA deduction maximum up to the actual HRA component received from the employer.
No, individuals paying rent but not receiving house rent allowance can claim deduction under Section 80GG. Also, the individual, spouse or children should not own a house property in the place of employment for claiming this deduction.