HRA (House Rent Allowance) FAQs

How to Calculate HRA Income Tax Exemption?

According to section 10 (13A) of Income Tax Act, 1961 read with rule 2A of Income Tax Rules, least of following three is exempt from tax:

1. Actual HRA received
2. Rent paid in excess of 10% of salary (Basic + DA)
3. 40% of salary (50% if residing in a metro i.e., New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai or Mumbai)

Salary for the above purpose means BASIC + DA. However, private sector organizations, usually, doesn’t provide DA to employees.

Let’s take an example. Suppose that you’re residing in Mumbai and paying a rent of Rs 20,000 p.m. and that your salary package comprises the following:

Basic — Rs. 50,000 p.m.
DA — Nil
HRA — Rs. 20,000 p.m. (40% of basic)

Now, the exempted amount of HRA will be least of the following three figures:

1. HRA received i.e., Rs. 20,000
2. Rent above 10% of basic i.e., Rs. 15,000 (Rs. 20,000 – Rs. 5,000)
3. 50% of basic i.e., Rs. 25,000

The least of the three is Rs 15,000; therefore, in this particular case you’re entitled for HRA tax exemption of Rs. 15,000 p.m. (per month) out of total HRA received of Rs. 20,000 p.m. In other words, net taxable portion of the HRA works out to be Rs 60,000 i.e., Rs 2,40,000 (HRA received) minus Rs 1,80,000 (HRA tax exempt).

 

Whether HRA calculation to be done on monthly basis or annual basis?

There are four variables in HRA tax calculations: namely, salary (i.e., basic pay plus DA), HRA received, rent paid and the city of residence (whether metro or non-metro). In case all of the four remain the same through out the year, the HRA tax exemption calculation is to be done on ‘annual’ basis. On the other hand, if there is a change in any of the variable during the year then HRA tax exemption calculation is to be done on monthly basis.

 

What if the place/city of residence and place/city of working is different?
In such a case for the purpose of HRA calculation, place of residence will be considered and not place of working. Suppose that you’re working in a factory or a company located in Sonepat (near New Delhi) while residing in New Delhi. So, for the purpose of HRA, your maximum entitlement for tax purpose will be 50% of the basic instead of 40% because for metros HRA tax entitlement is 50% and for non-metros it is 40%.

 

How can a self-employed person claim tax benefit for the rent paid?
As the self-employed person doesn’t receive any salary, so there is no HRA and consequently question of HRA exemption – under section 10 (13A) of Income Tax Act, 1961 read with rule 2A of Income Tax Rules –doesn’t arise.

However, to take care of such a situation, there is a separate provision in the Income Tax Act, whereby a person not in receipt of HRA but incurring rent expenses for his residence can claim a deduction under section 80GG which is quite similar to section to 10(13A) but some additional conditions have been imposed.
What if the employer refuses to allow the HRA tax benefit?
Nothing to worry about. Just claim it while filing your return of income and get the refund of excess TDS deducted from your salary. But, first try to convince your employer and clarify his doubts, if any, regarding your eligibility for claiming it. If your case is indeed genuine, I don’t think your employer should have any problem in allowing HRA tax exemption.

 

Can both the working spouses claim HRA tax benefit separately?
Yes, Why not? If both of them are paying rent and landlord issues either two separate rent receipts or only one receipt specifying the amount or proportion paid by each, then both husband and wife are entitled for HRA exemption according to the amount of rent paid.

 

What evidence needs to be submitted for claiming HRA?
The only evidence required for claiming HRA tax exemption is proof of rent payment (i.e., the rent receipt issued by the landlord). A lot many people think that you also require rent agreement for claiming HRA tax exemption but there is no such requirement in tax laws.

Furthermore, even the requirement of production of rent receipts have been dispensed with for the salaried employees drawing HRA (house rent allowance) up to Rs 3,000 per month. Please note that this relaxation is only for the purpose of TDS on salary and in the regular assessment, tax assessing officer has the power to ask for the relevant evidence, if deemed necessary.

Besides, please carefully note the above limit of Rs 3,000 is for the amount of HRA received per month and not for the amount of rent paid. For example, if you’re drawing a monthly HRA of Rs 4,000 p.m. but paying a rent of Rs 2,500 per month, you’ll have to submit the rent receipt for claiming HRA.

 

Whether PAN no. of landlord needs to be mentioned on rent receipt?
Yes
, if rent paid for the year exceeds is Rs. 1 lacs . (Cir. No. 8/2013). If land lord does not have PAN then declaration to be taken from him. Format is attached at the end of article.

 

Is it possible to claim HRA as well as home loan tax benefits?
Yes, certainly
. There is no relationship between claiming HRA exemption and claiming interest deduction for housing loan.

 

Can I claim tax benefit of HRA if I have my own house?  

No, one cannot enjoy the tax benefits of own house with HRA, as one cannot pay rent to oneself. Hence, whole of HRA received becomes taxable under “Income from Salary”.

 

If you have taken a home loan and still living in a rented place then you will be entitled to claim tax benefit of  both HRA as well as of Home loan? 

As for claiming HRA exemption, one should be living in a rented accommodation for which he should be paying rent. Further, if the home is ready to live in during financial year tax benefits of home loan can be claimed. Once the construction of home is complete, the HRA benefit stops.

Following benefits can be claimed:

  1. Tax benefit on principal repayment under Section 80C – Repayment of Housing Loan
  2. Tax benefit on interest payment under Section 24(a) & (b).
  3. HRA benefit.

 

Can I avail tax benefit of HRA if I am living in the house of my parents?

In such a case, one will be entitled for HRA tax exemption, but the owner of the house who may be the parents is assessable for the rental income derived from the house, provided such transaction should be genuine & not with an intention to evade tax.

 

Can I avail tax benefit of HRA if I am living in the house of my spouse?

As no commercial transactions can occur between Husband & wife, so tax benefits of such cannot be availed.

 

 Can I avail tax benefit of HRA if I have a house ready for occupation but cannot reside in it?

In this case, the Income Tax Act permits the individual to claim HRA and home loan benefits which includes both principal and interest repaid on the home loan, if you are residing in a rented apartment in the same city where your house is located for genuine purpose.

But, if your house is vacant then you still have to pay notional rent income. 

Here there are two possibilities:

1 –  Your own house remains unoccupied while you stay in any other accommodation due to employment/business/profession reasons 
You may stay at a place – it may be a different city or a different location within the same city – different from the place where your own house is situated.
a. Rented accommodation i.e., you’re paying rent
In this case, you can claim HRA tax exemption while your house will also be treated as self occupied house property for purpose of income tax and you’ll get all the housing loan tax benefits i.e., both interest deduction u/s 24(b) and principal repayment under section 80C. 

b. Non-rented accommodation i.e., you’re not paying rent As the rent is not being paid, the question of HRA tax exemption does not arise. However, your house will be treated as self-occupied and you’ll get the housing loan tax concessions (i.e., interest deduction under section 24 and deduction for principal repayment under section 80C).
2- Your house remains unoccupied while you stay in any other accommodation due to any other reason whatsoever (other than professional/employment/business reasons)
a. Rented accommodation i.e., you’re paying rent 
In such a case, although you’ll be entitled for HRA deduction, your own house loses the status of self-occupied property and will be treated as deemed to be let out, and thus its notional rental income will be taxable in your hands.

b. Non-rented accommodation i.e., you’re not paying rent 
For instance, for your personal convenience you live with your parents in their house while your house remains unoccupied. Here, if you don’t pay any rent, you’re not entitled for HRA deduction.

Further, your own house won’t be treated as self-occupied for tax purposes.In other words, your own house will be treated as deemed to be let out and its notional rental income will be taxable in your hands.

However, irrespective of tax status of house i.e., whether self-occupied/deemed to be let-out/let-out, you’ll continue to get the interest deduction on home loan under section 24(b) and deduction for principal repayment under section 80C.

 

In a nutshell, if you’ve a house, either stay in it or rent it out. Don’t leave it vacant. In case you have to leave it vacant, it should be only for employment/business/professional reasons. Even in such a case you should be either living in a different city or at different place within the same city, and not in the immediate vicinity of your house (i.e., the location where you stay should be at a considerable distance from your own house). Otherwise, notional rental income of your house (even if it is the only house you own) becomes taxable in your hands although you continue to get the interest deduction on housing loan u/s 24(b) and deduction for principal repayment of loan u/s 80C.

Furthermore, as regards the HRA, you will be getting the tax exemption under section 10(13A) so long as you are staying in a rented accommodation and actually making the rent payment, irrespective of whether you are having your own house(s) or not.

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22 thoughts on “HRA (House Rent Allowance) FAQs

  1. Pls share the format of declaration to be taken from landlord who does not have PAN. or it is Form no 60 only

  2. Can I avail tax benefit for both HRA and home loan, but my home is under construction. And my company CA is saying that after home possession you will get tax benefit on home loan. is it true?

  3. My wife and I live in a rented accommodation in New Delhi. The lease agreement is in my name. Both of us want to claim tax benefits on the rent, each one of us showing half the amount of rent. Is it acceptable? Can the owner issue rent receipts with half the rent against each one of us?

    • Yes, Why not? If both of them are paying rent and landlord issues either two separate rent receipts or only one receipt specifying the amount or proportion paid by each, then both husband and wife are entitled for HRA exemption according to the amount of rent paid.

  4. I have been provided accomodation by the company in thier township and my company is deducting 5% of my basic salary towards rent for the accomodation.

    my parents are living in other city and I am paying rent for that house. Can I claim HRA rebate. if yes then under which clause this is allowed.

  5. I work in B’lore hence living here and paying the rent, my parents stay in other town and my father has retired from his job so I’ve to pay their rent as well so now, can I claim the tax exemption for the rent paid for my parents?

  6. I’m paying house rent 12000/- and for IT proof I got rent receipts from my landlord where his Name, PAN number, address etc have been mentioned with his signature on that.
    Do I need to submit a copy of my landlord’s PAN card along with the said rent receipts?

    • yes, if the rent is above Rs.8333 per month. You need to submitt following documents.
      1.Signature of landlord on rent receipt
      2.Landlord’s PAN number mandatory
      3.Need to have 1 Rupee revenue stamp for Rent receipt.

      Is it necessary to affix Rs. 1 revenue stamp of rent receipt:
      In terms of Indian Stamp Act, any document for receipt of cash more than Rs. 500/- should bear a revenue stamp of Rs. 1/-. Thus if you are paying more than Rs. 500/- as rent in cash then rent receipt of employer should mandatorily bear an stamp of Rs. 1/-. However, if rent is through the cheque revenue stamp of Rs. 1/- need not be affixed on rent receipts.

  7. I was employed for only 6 months during this year. I left the job ( and didn’t take up a new job), but not the house. In this situation how will be HRA exemption calculated? Will they take into account the rent paid for the whole year?

  8. i am paying Two house rent 1. for me (channai) and one for 1 parents (Pondicherry) , can i claim both house rent in HRA.

  9. I work in chennai hence living here and paying the rent, my parents stay in other town so I’ve to pay their rent as well so now, can I claim the tax exemption for the rent paid for my parents?

  10. I have my own house. But my parents are living in rental house and I am paying the rent for them to the owner of that house. Please let me know whether it can be deductible as HRA exemption in my Return.

  11. I have not provided the rent receipts to my employer as I had been abroad during the time of submission and I want to claim HRA exemption when I file the return.
    How do I now submit the HRA evidence/proof?
    Do I enclose it with the ITR-V that I mail to CPC? However, I remember reading somewhere to not enclose the ITR-V with anything else..

  12. my department has not provided me the accommodation. the department has however managed an abandoned house to provide accommodation which is not owned by the department and on which department does not spend any thing. either for procurement or for maintenance. we do pay the licence fee to the owner of the abundant house, can i claim house rent allowance from my department.

  13. We both husband and wife are in govt job in the same organization in the same city.
    We are staying in rented accomodation (rent agreement in name of my wife) and I also have flat in the same city in my individual name (possession offered).
    Both of us are getting HRA.
    Is it possible that my wife make claim of HRA tax deduction and I take benefit of home loan(principal and interest) and I do not make claim of HRA tax deductions.

    What are other options available for tax saving for us.

    Plz help.

  14. Hi, I works from NCR and staying at own house, but my family stays in Bangalore in a rented house. Please let me know if I can avail HRA exemption for the rent I pays in Bagnalore

  15. What if the place/city of residence and place/city of working is different?
    In such a case for the purpose of HRA calculation, place of residence will be considered and not place of working. Suppose that you’re working in a factory or a company located in Sonepat (near New Delhi) while residing in New Delhi. So, for the purpose of HRA, your maximum entitlement for tax purpose will be 50% of the basic instead of 40% because for metros HRA tax entitlement is 50% and for non-metros it is 40%.

    For above case, but what if my parents with minor siblings living on rented flat in Mumbai, and I am working & stayin on Rent in Bangalore ?

    1. Can I claim both ?
    2. Can I claim for Mumbai, if I am paying rent online ?

  16. I’m servant of Govt up in uppcl i.e. Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited. I l’m living in Delhi with my husband and posted in Noida. Can I get hra from govt of up

  17. Sir,
    My company gives me 5000 Rupees as HRA and deducts 1200 per month as i m living in the accomodation provided by the company. Can i Claim deduction for the above said 1200 rupees per month as Tax Exemption

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