Employees generally receive a house rent allowance (HRA) from their employers. This is a part of the salary package, in accordance with the terms and conditions of employment. HRA is given to meet the cost of a rented house taken by the employee for his stay.The Income Tax Act allows for deduction in respect of the HRA paid to employees. The exemption on HRA is covered under Section 10(13A) of the Income Tax Act and Rule 2A of the Income Tax Rules. It is to be noted that the entire HRA is not deductible. HRA is an allowance and is subject to income tax.
An employee can claim exemption on his HRA under the Income Tax Act if he stays in a rented house and is in receipt of HRA from his employer. In order to claim the deduction, an employee must actually pay rent for the house which he occupies.
The rented premises must not be owned by him. In case one stays in an own house, nothing is deductible and the entire amount of HRA received is subject to tax. As long as the rented house is not owned by the assessee, the exemption of HRA will be available up to the the minimum of the following three options:
- Actual house rent allowance received from your employer
- Actual house rent paid by you minus 10% of your basic salary
- 50% of your basic salary if you live in a metro or 40% of your basic salary if you live in a non-metro
This minimum of above is allowed as income tax exemption on house rent allowance.
Salary here means basic salary which includes dearness allowance if the terms of employment provide for it, and commission based on a fixed percentage of turnover achieved by the employee. The deduction will be available only for the period during which the rented house is occupied by the employee and not for any period after that.
Meaning of Salary for calculation the exemption of HRA
- Salary means (Basic + D.A + Commission based on fixed percentage on turnover).
- Salary is to be taken on due basis in respect of the period during which the period accommodation is occupied by the employee in the previous year.
Examples for calculation of exemption/deduction of HRA
X has received following amount during the previous year.
- Basic Salary – Rs. (5000*12) – Rs. 60,000/-
- Dearness Allowance (D.A) – Rs. (1000*12) – Rs. 12000/-
- House Rent Allowance (H.R.A.) – Rs. (2000*12) – Rs. 24000/-
- Actual Rent Paid – Rs.(2000*12) – Rs. 24000/-
The minimum of the following amount shall be exempt
- Actual HRA received (2000*12) – Rs. 24000/-
- Rent Paid in excess of 10% of salary ( 24000-7200) – Rs. 16800
- 40% of Salary – Rs. 28800/-
Therefore, Rs. 16800 shall be exempt and the balance Rs. 7200 shall be included in gross salary.
2. Conveyance Allowance:
A conveyance allowance refers to an amount of money reimbursed to someone for the operation of a vehicle or the riding of a vehicle. The allowance is typically a designated amount or percentage of total transportation expenses that is referenced in a country’s tax laws or code. Organizations and private or public businesses may also offer a conveyance allowance in addition to reimbursing employees or members for transportation expenses. In this instance, the conveyance allowance may identify an unusual transport occurrence that may not be covered by a designated travel expense report such as travel to a specific job site that requires a daily bus or taxi ride.
Gratuity is a part of salary that is received by an employee from his/her employer in gratitude for the services offered by the employee in the company. Gratuity is a defined benefit plan and is one of the many retirement benefits offered by the employer to the employee upon leaving his job. An employee may leave his job for various reasons, such as – retirement/superannuation, for a better job elsewhere, on being retrenched or by way of voluntary retirement.
4. Flexi Basket:
Flexi basket salary salary can be either a benefit or allowance.
If its an allowance like petrol allowance, mobile allowance etc. then you need not show any proofs for it and the same will be paid out along with your basic salary. These allowances might be also tax free so giving you additional benefits.
On the other hand, if its a benefit like mobile benefit or petrol benefit, then you indeed need to show proofs of expenditure before you can reimburse them. In such a case, your salary will reduce drastically.
Please ask your HR to clarify what type of component is this.
Sources: Various addresses on internet.