The House Rent Allowance (HRA) is a significant component of the salary for many individuals in India. It provides tax benefits to individuals who live in rented accommodations. In this blog, we will provide a step-by-step guide to help you understand and claim the HRA exemption when submitting your Indian tax return.
Understanding HRA Exemption :
The HRA exemption allows individuals to claim a deduction on the House Rent Allowance received as part of their salary. To avail of this exemption, individuals must fulfill specific criteria and provide supporting documents to prove their rental expenses. The HRA exemption is calculated based on factors such as actual rent paid, HRA received, and salary structure.
Steps to Claim HRA Exemption :
Determine Eligibility: To claim HRA exemption, you must be a salaried individual receiving HRA as part of your salary package. Self-employed individuals or those not receiving HRA are not eligible for this exemption.
Calculate Exempt HRA Amount: The HRA exemption is the lowest of the following three calculations:
a. Actual HRA received from your employer.
b. 50% of your basic salary (for individuals residing in metro cities) or 40% of your basic salary (for individuals residing in non-metro cities).
c. Actual rent paid minus 10% of your basic salary.
Maintain Rent Receipts: It is essential to maintain rent receipts as proof of your rental expenses. Ensure that your landlord provides a rent receipt with details such as the landlord’s name, address, rent amount, and signature.
Obtain PAN of Landlord: If the annual rent paid exceeds Rs. 1 lakh, you must provide the Permanent Account Number (PAN) of your landlord when claiming the HRA exemption. Ensure you request the PAN from your landlord and retain a copy for future reference.
Form 10BA: If your annual rent does not exceed Rs. 1 lakh and you are not required to provide your landlord’s PAN, you need to file Form 10BA. This form declares that you do not need to submit your landlord’s PAN due to the annual rent being below the specified threshold.
Include HRA Details in Tax Return: When filing your Indian tax return, include the HRA exemption details in the appropriate section. Provide accurate information regarding the amount of exempt HRA, your employer’s name and address, and other relevant details as required by the tax authorities.
Retain Supporting Documents: Keep all relevant documents, including rent receipts, Form 10BA (if applicable), PAN of landlord (if applicable), and salary slips as supporting evidence. These documents may be required for verification purposes in the future.
Claiming the HRA exemption in your Indian tax return can help reduce your tax liability significantly. By understanding the eligibility criteria, calculating the exempt amount, maintaining rent receipts, and including accurate details in your tax return, you can confidently claim the HRA exemption and avail the tax benefits associated with it.