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Sunday, 7 September 2014

Tax Benefits for Home Loan in India


Tax Benefits for Home Loan under Section 24 & Section 80C of Income Tax Act in India

  • Income Tax Deduction for Interest allowed under Section 24 has been increased from Rs 1.5Lakh to Rs. 2 lakh for Self Occupied Property.

  • The Total Deduction allowed for Repayment of Interest has been increased from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 1.5 lakhs as the Maximum Deduction allowed under Section 80C has been increased from Rs 1 lakh to Rs. 1.5 lakh

The manner in which these deductions can be claimed is explained below:

A very important criterion to be kept in mind while taking a Home Loan is the Tax Benefit on Home Loan. To explain the Tax Benefit on Home Loan, we can divide the Repayment of Home Loan into 2 components:-

  1. Repayment of the Principal Amount
  2. Repayment of the Interest on Home Loan

As the repayment comprises of 2 different components, the tax benefit on home loan is governed by different sections of the Income Tax Act and these are claimed as tax deductions under different sections while filing the Income Tax Return.

The Sections under which Tax Benefit on Home Loan can be claimed are given below:

Section 80C: Tax benefit on Home Loan (Principal Amount)

The amount paid as Repayment of Principal Amount of Home Loan by an Individual/ HUF is allowed as tax deduction under Section 80 C of the Income Tax Act. The maximum tax deduction allowed under Section 80C is Rs. 1,00,000 only. This Limit Tax Deduction for repayment of Principal Amount has been increased from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 1.5 lakh in the Interim Budget 2014.

This tax deduction is the total of the deduction allowed under Section 80C and includes amount invested in PPF Account, Equity oriented mutual funds, NSC, Tax saving fixed deposits etc.

This tax deduction under Section 80C is available on payment basis irrespective of the year for which the payment has been made. The Amount paid as Stamp duty and Registration Fee is also allowed as tax deduction under Section 80C even if the Assessee has not taken Loan.

However, tax benefit of home loan under this section for repayment of principal part of the home loan is allowed only after the construction is complete and the completion certificate has been awarded. No deduction would be allowed under this section for repayment of principal for those years during which the property was under construction.

Moreover, in case you are planning to buy an under-construction property as it is priced at a lower price as compared to a fully completed property, you should know that Service Tax is also levied on Under Construction Property & the Finance Minister while announcing the Budget 2013 also changed the rates of Service Tax on under construction property. However, no Service Tax is levied on properties on which construction has been fully completed.

However, Section 80 C (5) also states that in case the assessee transfers the house property on which he has claimed tax deduction under Section 80C before the expiry of 5 years from the end of the Financial Year in which the possession has been obtained by him, then no deduction and tax benefit on home loan shall be allowed under Section 80C. The aggregate amount of tax deduction already claimed in respect of previous years shall be deemed to be the Income of the assessee of such year in which the property has been sold and the assessee shall be liable to pay tax on such income.

Tax benefit on Home Loan (Interest Amount)


Tax Benefit on Home Loan for payment of Interest on Home Loan can be claimed as Deduction under Section 24 as well as under the newly inserted section 80EE (Inserted in the Budget 2013, to be applicable from 1st April 2013)

Section 24: Income Tax Benefit on Interest on Home Loan


Tax Benefit on Home Loan for payment of Interest is allowed as a deduction under Section 24 of the Income Tax Act. As per Section 24, the Income from House Property shall be reduced by the amount of Interest paid on home loan where the loan has been taken for the purpose of Purchase/ Construction/ Repair/ Renewal/ Reconstruction of a Residential House Property.

The maximum tax deduction allowed under Section 24 of a self-occupied property is subject to a maximum limit of Rs. 1.5 lakh. This limit has now been increased to Rs. 2 lakh in the Interim Budget 2014 announced. 

In case the property for which the Home Loan has been taken is not self-occupied, no maximum limit has been prescribed in this case and the taxpayer can take tax deduction of the whole interest amount under Section 24.

Please Note: In case a property has not been self-occupied by the owner by reason of the fact owing to his employment, business or profession carried on at any other place, he has to reside at that other place not belonging to him, then the amount of tax deduction allowed under Section 24 shall be Rs. 1.5 / 2 lakh only.

It is also important to note that this tax deduction of Interest on Home Loan under Section 24 is deductible on payable basis, i.e. on accrual basis. Hence, deduction under Section 24 should be claimed on yearly basis even if no payment has been made during the year as compared to Section 80C which allows for deduction only on payment basis.

Moreover, if the property is not acquired/constructed completed within 3 years from the end of financial year in which the loan was taken, the interest benefit in this case would be reduced from Rs. 1.5/2 Lakh to Rs 30 thousand only.

Income Tax treatment of Pre-Construction Interest


In many cases, amount is paid for the purchase of property even before the construction is completed. Some home buyers, purchase properties on loan before the completion of construction and start paying EMI to the Bank.

In such cases, Section 24 very specifically states that Tax Deduction for payment of Interest shall not be allowed before the construction is complete. In such cases,

  1. If Loan is taken for purpose of Repair/ Renewal/ Reconstruction: No Tax Deduction allowed for Interest paid before Completion
  2. If Loan is taken for the purpose of Purchase/ Construction: The Interest that has been paid before the completion of construction should be aggregated and the whole aggregated amount shall be allowed as tax deduction in 5 equal installments for 5 successive Financial Years starting from the year in which the construction has been completed.

For eg: Mr. X purchases a House in Delhi in 2009 and took a loan of Rs. 10,00,000 from a Bank paying Interest @ 10% p.a. The Construction was completed in April 2011.

Now, As per Section 24 of the Income Tax Act, tax deduction for payment of Interest would only be allowed from financial year 2011-12 onwards.  However, the interest paid on Home loan before the completion of Construction (i.e. Rs. 2,00,000) would be allowed as tax deduction for the next 5 Financial years @ 40,000 p.a. commencing from Financial Year 2011-12 onwards.

Important Points:-

  1. Interest paid for outstanding amount is not allowed as Tax Deduction (Shew Kissan Bhatter v. CIT (1973) 89 ITR 61(SC)
  2. This tax deduction shall be available only if the construction is completed within 3 years from the end of the financial year in which the capital is borrowed
  3. Taxpayer cannot claim any deduction for Commission Paid for arranging the Loan.
  4. If the taxpayer is not earning any income from house property, but is paying Municipal Taxes and Int on Home Loan, this would lead to Loss under head Income from House Property. This loss arising under head Income from House Property is allowed to be set-off against income from various other heads in the same Financial Year.
  5. In case the loss cannot be set-off against income from other sources in the same financial year, the loss can be carried forward to future years and set-off against income arising from House Property for the next 8 financial years.
  6. Tax Benefits of Interest on Home Loan can be claimed only by the person who has acquired or constructed the property with the Borrowed Funds. It is not available to the Successor of the Property.

For the purpose of simplicity and easy understanding, a comparison of Tax Benefit on Home Loan under Section 24 and Section 80C has been made here under:-
   
Particulars
Section 24
Section 80C
Tax Deduction allowed for
Interest
Principal
Basis of Tax Deduction
Accrual basis
Paid basis
Quantum of Tax Deduction allowed
Self Occupied Property:
Rs. 2,00,000
Non Self Occupied Property: No Limit
Rs. 1,50,000
Purpose of Loan
Purchase/ Construction/ Repair/ Renewal/ Reconstruction of a Residential House Property.
Purchase / Construction of a new House Property
Eligibility for claiming Tax deduction
Purchase/ Construction should be completed within 3 years
Nil
Restriction on Sale of Property
Nil
Tax Deduction claimed would be reversed if Property sold within 5 years
 
         
Section 80EE: Income Tax Benefit on Interest on Home Loan (First Time Buyers)

P. Chidambaram while announcing his Budget 2013 Speech inserted a new section in the Income Tax Act which provides  additional tax deduction of Rs. 1,00,000 to first time home buyer in respect of Interest on Home Loan provided that:-

  1. The Loan is sanctioned between 1st April 2013 and 31st March 2014
  2. The Amount of Loan sanctioned for the acquisition of Residential House Property does not exceed Rs. 25,00,000
  3. The Value of the Residential House Property does not exceed Rs. 40,00,000
  4. The Assessee does not own any House Property on the date of sanction of Loan
  5. This deduction under Section 80EE is only available for Financial Year 2013-14

The Deduction under Section 80EE shall not exceed Rs. 1 lakh and shall only be allowed for Financial Year 2013-14. However, in case where the interest payable in Financial Year 2013-14 is less than Rs. 1 lakh, the balance amount shall be allowed as deduction in Financial year 2014-15.

In other words, in case the taxpayer has only been able to claim Rs. 40,000 as deduction whereas he was allowed a deduction of Rs. 1,00,000, the balance deduction of Rs. 60,000 which the taxpayer was not able to claim in the financial year 2013-14 can be claimed in the financial year 2014-15.

The Budget 2013 also brought in another amendment relating to real estate and as per the new amendment, TDS on Property would be liable to be deducted @ 1%.

  • Recommended Read:   TDS on Property @ 1%.

The above 3 Sections relating to Tax Benefits on Home Loans have been summarised as under:-

Particulars
Quantum of Deduction (Rs.)
Self Occupied Property
Non-Self Occupied Property
Section 24
2,00,000
No Limit
Section 80C
1,50,000
1,50,000
Section 80EE
1,00,000
1,00,000

Please Note:-

  1. The above tax deductions are per person and not per Property. So in case you’ve purchased a property jointly and have taken a joint home loan, each person repaying the amount would be eligible to claim whole deduction separately.
  2. If you are living in a rented premise and are taking tax benefit of HRA allowance, even then you can claim Tax benefit on home loan under Section 24, Section 80EE & Section 80C.

For claiming the above tax deductions, you would be required to furnish the statement provided by the lender clearly indicating the amount payable and paid towards Interest and Principal. After claiming the above deductions of Tax Benefit on Home Loan, the balance Income of an Individual would be taxed as per the Income Tax Slab Rates.

 

 

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