Ashwini Kumar Sharma | First Published: Wed, Jan 14 2015. 07 01 PM IST | Live Mint
You can claim tax benefit for both, but only if you fulfil the conditions
If you are living on rent and also servicing a home loan, you can take advantage of claiming tax exemption for both house rent allowance (HRA) and repayment of home loan. The equated monthly installment (EMI) against your home loan is a combination of principal repayment and interest on the outstanding loan. All three—HRA, principal repayment and interest payment—can be claimed as exemption under separate sections of the Income-tax Act. However, there are certain conditions that you need to fulfill before you can do so. Let’s have a look at these.
Exemptions and deductions
Income tax rules allow tax payers to claim exemption against some investments and expenses that the assessee has incurred out of her gross income. While exemption for HRA can be claimed under section 10(13A) of the Income-tax Act, principal repayment of home loan and interest on it can be claimed under sections 80C and 24b, respectively.
HRA can be claimed as lowest of actual HRA received from the employer or 50% of the salary for employees living in metro cities (40% for those residing in cities other than metro) or actual rent paid minus 10% of salary (basic + dearness allowance + turnover based commission).
Principal repayment exemption can be claimed up to the threshold limit under section 80C, which is Rs.1.5 lakh, or the actual principal repaid, whichever is less.
Similarly, interest repayment can be claimed up to the threshold limit under section 24b, which is Rs. 2 lakh (if the house is self-occupied) or actual interest paid on home loan, whichever is lesser. In case the house you own is rented out, you can claim the entire interest you pay on the home loan as deduction.
What are the requisites?
You can claim HRA exemption if you are living on rent, whereas you claim deduction for repayment of home loan. You can claim tax benefit for both, but only if you fulfil the conditions.
Let’s say you have bought a house by taking a home loan and you also live in it. In this case, you will not be able to claim HRA, but will be able to claim tax benefits on both the principal and interest.
If you have bought a house with the help of a home loan and live in another house on rent, you can claim tax benefit for both. But if the house you bought and the house you live in are in the same city, you should have a genuine reason for not living in the house that you own. The reasons could be that the house you own is too far from your workplace, or the commute is very difficult.
You may need to provide these explanations to your employer, or the income tax authority in case there is a scrutiny of the details that you have provided.
Source : http://goo.gl/KGBqc3