In the realm of income tax, individuals often seek ways to optimize their financial portfolios while ensuring compliance with the law. Section 80GG of the Income Tax Act provides an avenue for taxpayers to claim deductions in respect of rent paid, offering relief to those who do not receive House Rent Allowance (HRA) as part of their salary. This blog aims to demystify Section 80GG, shedding light on its conditions, eligibility criteria, and the steps individuals can take to avail of this tax benefit.
Understanding Section 80GG
Section 80GG is a provision in the Income Tax Act that allows individuals to claim a deduction for the rent they pay for their accommodation. This deduction is particularly beneficial for those who do not receive HRA as part of their salary, either because they are self-employed or their employer does not provide this allowance.
Conditions for Claiming Deductions under Section 80GG
To avail of the benefits under Section 80GG, taxpayers must meet certain conditions:
- Individual Taxpayer: The deduction under Section 80GG is available only to individual taxpayers, including salaried individuals and self-employed individuals. Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs) and other types of entities are not eligible for this deduction.
- No HRA Received: To claim deductions under Section 80GG, the taxpayer must not receive HRA during any part of the financial year for which the deduction is being claimed. If an individual receives any amount under HRA, even for a part of the year, they are ineligible for deductions under Section 80GG.
- Self-Occupied Property: Taxpayers cannot claim deductions under Section 80GG if they own a residential property in the location where they are employed, carry on business, or have a self-employed profession. This restriction is in place to ensure that individuals genuinely in need of rented accommodation benefit from this provision.
- Rent Payment for Residential Accommodation: The taxpayer must be paying rent for a residential accommodation to be eligible for deductions under Section 80GG. Commercial or industrial property rents are not considered for this deduction.
- No Spouse Ownership: If the taxpayer's spouse owns a property at the place of the taxpayer's employment or business, the taxpayer is not eligible for deductions under Section 80GG.
Maximum Deduction Limit
The deduction under Section 80GG is the least of the following three amounts:
- Rent Paid Minus 10% of Total Income: The actual rent paid by the taxpayer, minus 10% of their total income, forms the first component of the deduction.
- 25% of Total Income: The second component is 25% of the taxpayer's total income for the financial year.
- Rs. 5,000 per Month: The third component is a fixed amount of Rs. 5,000 per month.
Eligibility for Deductions under Section 80GG
To better understand the eligibility criteria, let's consider an example:
Suppose Mr. A, a self-employed individual, pays a monthly rent of Rs. 15,000 for his accommodation. His total income for the financial year is Rs. 6,00,000. Now, let's calculate the eligible deduction under Section 80GG:
- Rent Paid Minus 10% of Total Income: Rs. 15,000 * 12 - (10% of Rs. 6,00,000) = Rs. 1,80,000 - Rs. 60,000 = Rs. 1,20,000
- 25% of Total Income: 25% of Rs. 6,00,000 = Rs. 1,50,000
- Rs. 5,000 per Month: Rs. 5,000 * 12 = Rs. 60,000
In this case, the eligible deduction under Section 80GG would be the least of the three amounts, which is Rs. 1,20,000.
Steps to Avail Deductions under Section 80GG
- Maintain Rent Receipts: To claim deductions under Section 80GG, it is essential to maintain rent receipts as proof of rent payment. These receipts should contain details such as the landlord's name, address, and the amount of rent paid.
- Submit Form 10BA: Taxpayers claiming deductions under Section 80GG need to submit Form 10BA along with their income tax return. This form provides details about the taxpayer's rented accommodation, the landlord's particulars, and the rent paid.
- Ensure Compliance with Conditions: It is crucial to ensure that all conditions for claiming deductions under Section 80GG are met. This includes not receiving HRA, not owning a residential property in the location of employment, and paying rent for residential accommodation.
- Keep Records of Total Income: Taxpayers should maintain accurate records of their total income for the financial year. This includes income from all sources, such as salary, business income, and other forms of earnings.
Calculate Eligible Deduction:
Use the formula specified under Section 80GG to calculate the eligible deduction. Compare the three components (rent paid minus 10% of total income, 25% of total income, and Rs. 5,000 per month) and claim the least amount.
*Tax benefits are as per the Income Tax Act, 1961, and are subject to any amendments made thereto from time to time’
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