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 would be dividing the Repayment of Home Loan into 2 components:-
- Repayment of the Principal Amount
- 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.
- Recommended Read: Efiling your Income Tax Return online for Free through Govt Website
The Sections under which Tax Benefit on Home Loan can be claimed are explained 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 80C of the Income Tax Act. The maximum tax deduction allowed under Section 80C is Rs. 1,00,000 only. This tax deduction of Rs. 1,00,000 is the total of the deduction allowed under Section 80C and includes amount invested in PPF Account, Tax Saving Fixed Deposits, Equity Oriented Mutual funds 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 & 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 are here also requested to note 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.
- Recommended Read: Service Tax on Under Construction Property
However, Section 80C(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. 1,50,000. However, 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. 1,50,000 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 Lakhs 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 even take loan for this amount 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,
- If Loan is taken for purpose of Repair/ Renewal/ Reconstruction: No Tax Deduction allowed for Interest paid before Completion
- 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 instalments for 5 successive Financial Years starting from the year in which the construction has been completed.
For eg: Mr. A purchases a House in New 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. (Easy amounts have been taken in this example for simplification purposes)
- Interest paid for outstanding amount is not allowed as Tax Deduction (Shew Kissan Bhatter v. CIT (1973) 89 ITR 61(SC)
- 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
- Taxpayer cannot claim any deduction for Commission Paid for arranging the Loan
- Tax deduction is allowed under Head Income from House Property, and if there is no income from House Property, a loss under house property would be shown which would be allowed to be set-off against income from various other heads.
- 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 hereunder:-
|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. 1,50,000Non Self Occupied Property: No Limit||Rs. 1,00,000|
|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 buyers provided that:-
- The Loan is sanctioned between 1st April 2013 and 31st March 2014
- The Amount of Loan sanctioned for the acquisition of Residential House Property does not exceed Rs. 25,00,000
- The Value of the Residential House Property does not exceed Rs. 40,00,000
- The Assessee does not own any House Property on the date of sanction of Loan
- This deduction under Section 80EE is only available for Financial Year 2013-14
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:-
Quantum of Deduction (Rs.)
Self Occupied Property
Non-Self Occupied Property
- 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.
- 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. (Recommended Read: Income Tax Slab Rates)