House Rent Allowance (HRA) is the allowance provided by an employer to their employee as a compensation for house rental expenses paid by the employee. It forms part of the salary paid by the employer to their employee.
The exemption on HRA is calculated as per 2A of Income Tax Rules. As per Rule 2A, the least of the following is exempted from salary under Section 10(13A) and does not form part of the taxable income.
If the payment of rental expenses is more than ₹ 1,00,000/- annually, then it is mandatory for the employee to provide the PAN number of the landlord while filing income tax returns.
Let us understand the HRA component that would be exempt from income tax through an example
Mr X, employed in Mumbai, has taken up an accommodation on rent for which he pays a monthly rent of ₹25,000. He receives a Basic Salary of ₹45,000 monthly along with DA of ₹7,000 monthly which forms a part of the salary. He also receives HRA of ₹ 1 lakh from his employer during the year.
|1||Actual HRA received||₹ 1,00,000|
|2||50% of [(45,000+7,000)*12]||₹ 3,12,000|
|3||Actual rent ₹ 3,00,000 minus 10% of [(45,000+7,000)*12]||₹ 2,37,600|
|4||HRA deduction = Least of 1, 2, 3||₹1,00,000|
Hence, ₹ 1,00,000 would be exempt from salary u/s 10(13A).
Also, if the employee is paying rental expenses but does not receive HRA allowance as a part of salary from the employer or if the person is paying rental expenses but does not have salary income, the benefit of paying rental expense can still be claimed under Section 80GG of the Act.