Claim benefits of the deduction for a home loan and HRA

In a case where you are paying rent for your residential accommodation and receiving a house rent allowance (HRA), you can avail a deduction from your salary income. Also, in a case where you own the residential accommodation, you can claim a deduction for the interest paid and principal repayments of the home loan. 

Taxpayers would like to know whether they can claim the benefit of house rent allowance as well as deductions for home loan payments. There appears no prohibition on claiming both the deductions at the same time.

In conversation with Livemint, Mr Sandeep Sehgal, director of tax and regulatory at Ashok Maheshwary & Associates said: “The allowability will depend on the case-to-case basis“. Individuals claiming both the benefits must provide the reasons for not staying in the house owned by them.

Some of the common cases where tax authorities could allow the claim of both HRA and home loan include:

  1. The person is employed in a different place and paying rent at such a place. But the family is residing in the accommodation taken on a home loan.
  2. The accommodation owned by an individual is smaller in size. Hence, the individual pays rent for a bigger accommodation to meet the family’s requirements.
  3. An individual has bought a house but unable to shift due to the family’s requirements of school or employment in the nearby vicinity.

Also Read: Tax Query: Income tax, LTCG and HRA exemption

In a case where you have let out the house owned by you, you have to offer the rental income and claim deduction of the interest paid on home loan from such income. In this case, you can also claim the deduction for HRA for the rented accommodation occupied by you.

The latest Budget of 2019 has given further benefits for affordable housing. An additional interest deduction on a home loan is available to the extent of Rs 1.5 lakh for a first-time buyer of a house. The key conditions are that the stamp value of the house should not exceed Rs 45 lakh, and the loan granted between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020. 

Similarly, the Union Budget (interim) 2019 had allowed the benefit of declaring two self-occupied properties to individuals.

For any clarifications/feedback on the topic, please contact the writer at sweta.dugar@cleartax.in

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