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How to Get Maximum Home Loan Tax Benefit_WC

6 min 17 Mar 2023
Maximize Home Loan Tax Benefit in India
Highlights
  • Ways to Maximise House Loan Tax Gains
  • Ready Reckoner of Housing Loan Tax Advantages
  • Additional Pointers for Claiming Tax Benefits on a Home Loan

As a mandatory responsibility of every Indian citizen, paying income tax grants us considerable tax deductions on employment benefits, standard allowances, Home Loans, other credit instruments and financial investments that effectively lower our tax liabilities. For example, a house loan offers significant benefits not just in terms of tax relief but also in availing housing finance at a reasonable cost of credit, provided you obtain competitive Home Loan interest rates. With the right Home Loan eligibility, you can expect favourable terms which will further fetch you optimal tax benefits on a Home Loan.  

Ways to Maximise House Loan Tax Gains

The maximum benefit of Home Loans that can be claimed as deductions in India for 2023 are: 

Section   Maximum Amount  Applicable On 
Section 24  Rs.2 lakh  Interest repayment 
Section 80 C  Rs.1.5 lakh  Principal repayment 
Section 80 EEA  Rs.1.5 lakh  Interest repayment 

Borrowers can enjoy significant deductions on both the interest and principal components, under different sections of the Income Tax Act, as enunciated below: 

1.Section 24: Income Tax Benefit on Interest

Section 24 of the ITA makes provisions for tax benefits on loan interest repayment. One can claim deductions on Income from House Property on the interest paid if the loan is secured for the purchase, construction, repair, renewal or reconstruction of a property.  

The maximum tax deduction allowed under Section 24 for a self-occupied property is limited to Rs.2 lakh. House owners who may not reside in the property, due to employment or business elsewhere, can claim this tax relief as well.  

In such cases, the loan interest is deductible on an accrual basis. One can claim these concessions annually even if no payment is made during the year, unlike Section 80 C which permits exemptions only on payment basis. However, if the property is not acquired or constructed within five years of securing the loan, the interest benefit drops from Rs.2 lakh to just Rs.30,000.  

2.Section 80 EEA: Interest Benefit for First-Time Home Buyers

First-time homeowners can enjoy additional interest deductions under Section 80 EEA, which is over and above the exemptions permitted under Sections 24 and 80 C of Rs.2 lakh and Rs.1.5 lakh respectively.  

Section 80 EEA rebates apply only under the following circumstances: 

  • If the stamp duty value of the property that you buy is less than Rs.45 lakh 

  • The loan should be availed between 1st April 2019 and 31st March 2022

3.Section 80 C: Tax Benefit on Home Loan Principal Amount

The maximum tax deduction allowed under Section 80 C for principal repayment of your home loan is Rs.1.5 lakh. This is the net exemption and also includes rebates incurred through PPF accounts, tax saving funds, equity mutual funds, National Savings Certificate, Senior Citizens Saving Scheme, etc. The benefits are available on payment basis regardless of the year in which the payment was affected. Also, you are entitled to concessions on stamp duty and registration fees even if you have not secured a housing loan. 

Read Also: How Much Tax Can be Saved Under Sections 80C, 80D, and 80G?

4.Exemptions Allowed Post Construction

Tax deductions under Section 80 C are applicable only after completion of property construction and issuance of a Completion Certificate. One cannot claim the benefits while the house is still under construction. In the event that you do buy a house during the early construction stage to save up on costs, it must be noted that GST is levied on under-construction properties but not on the ones that are already complete.  

5.Reversed Benefits If Property Sold Within 5 Years

Section 80 C states that if you sell a property on which tax concessions have been availed, within five years of taking possession, then the home loan tax benefits stand reversed. The aggregate amount claimed over the previous years will be considered as your income in the year of sale and, as such, liable to be taxed.  

6.Deductions for Non-Self Occupied Property

If you own a property where you don’t reside, the interest paid qualifies for deductions on Income from house property against the rental earnings. It is also possible that the interest paid is more than the rent earned which will then be marked as a loss from house property. As per ITA provisions, this loss can be offset through income from any other head in the same fiscal year. The maximum amount that can be offset in this manner is Rs.2 lakh and any remaining sum may be carried ahead for the next 8 years. 

The maximum relief on loan interest for a self-occupied property is Rs.2 lakh and anything beyond that will lapse and cannot be considered for exemption. Contrarily, for a non-self-occupied property, while the loss under the head House Property should not exceed Rs.2 lakh, one can ensure benefits on a bigger sum, if necessary.   

7.Income Tax Treatment of Pre-Construction Interest

Section 24 stipulates that tax deductions on interest payments are not allowed before completion of house construction. Nevertheless, it may so happen that individuals might have purchased a property during the pre-construction phase with the borrowed funds and are also repaying the EMIs.  

Additional Read: Income Tax Act: Section 24

In such a scenario, if the loan is taken for the purpose of repair, renewal or reconstruction of property, no tax relief can be claimed before completion. Further, if the loan is obtained for property purchase or construction, the interest paid during the construction stage should be aggregated and claimed as tax relief in five equal instalments for five successive financial years, beginning from the year of building completion.  

Several other factors must also be considered such as:  

  • You cannot claim tax rebates on interest paid for any outstanding amount.  

  • Commission paid for a loan cannot be considered for benefits. 

  • If you pay municipal taxes and interest on a Home Loan but don’t earn any income from the property, it will be considered as losses under Income from House Property. 

  • Only the persons who have availed Home Loans for the acquisition/construction of a property are entitled to tax relief, and not the successor of the property. 

Read Also: Top 5 Ways to Avail of Tax Benefits on Home Loans 

Ready Reckoner of Housing Loan Tax Advantages

Tabulated below is a comparison of the tax benefits on a Home Loan under Sections 24 and 80 C for easy reference: 

Particulars  Section 24  Section 80 C 
Deduction allowed on   Interest paid  Principal repayment 
Property type  Any real estate property  Residential house 
Tax exemption basis    Accrual basis  Paid basis 
Quantum of benefit    Self-occupied house: Rs.2 lakh; Non self-occupied property: no limit  Rs.1.5 lakh 
Purpose of availing loan Purchase, construction, repair, renewal or reconstruction of residential house   Purchase or construction of a new house property 
Eligibility to claim tax relief  Acquisition or construction should be completed within 5 years  Nil  
Restriction on selling property  Nil   Reversal of tax rebates claimed if the property is sold within 5 years of receiving possession 

Additional Pointers for Claiming Tax Benefits on a Home Loan

  • The tax deductions mentioned above are based on a per person basis and not on per property basis. Thus, in case you buy a house jointly and also avail of a housing loan, both borrowers are entitled to claim the applicable exemptions separately. When combined, this will double your tax benefits. Access an online home loan EMI calculator to assess the loan liability before you service it. 

  • If you reside in a rented apartment and obtain tax benefits on House Rent Allowance (HRA), you can still claim concessions on your house loan under Sections 24, 80 EEA and 80 C.  

  • There are two income tax regimes under which taxpayers can file their returns. In case you opt for the new slab rates in accordance with the 2020 budget, you cannot avail of these deductions.  

Summing Up

House loans offer immense tax benefits to borroweRs.One can claim these concessions at the time of filing income tax returns for the current fiscal year. But first and foremost, individuals who wish to claim the exemptions must furnish a Home Loan certificate provided by their lender, clearly indicating the amount payable and paid towards the loan interest and principal. Once you claim the applicable tax benefits on your Home Loan, the balance income will be taxed as per the existing income tax slab rates. To make this task even easier, use an income tax calculator to facilitate a quicker and more efficient tax planning process.  

Blog-Intro-Disclaimer

DISCLAIMER:

While care is taken to update the information, products, and services included in or available on our website and related platforms/websites, there may be inadvertent errors or delays in updating the information. The material contained in this website and on associated web pages, is for reference and general information purposes, and the details mentioned in the respective product/service document shall prevail in case of any inconsistency. Users should seek professional advice before acting on the basis of the information contained herein. Please take an informed decision with respect to any product or service after going through the relevant product/service document and applicable terms and conditions. Neither Bajaj Housing Finance Limited nor any of its agents/associates/affiliates shall be liable for any act or omission of the Users relying on the information contained on this website and on associated web pages. In case any inconsistencies are observed, please click on contact information.

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