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Income Tax (IT) deduction of House Rent Allowance (HRA).

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House Rent Allowance or HRA is an allowance given by the employer to the employee for taking care of his rental or accommodation expenses. Note that your employer can choose to offer you HRA in your salary package irrespective of whether you live in a rented accommodation or in your own house. While most of us receive HRA, very few understand how the income tax department treats it. An understanding of the same will enable us to use it efficiently. House rent allowance exemption is dependant on a simple calculation but let us first look at the pre-conditions of who is eligible for HRA exemption.

Eligibility for House Rent Allowance (HRA) exemption

To be eligible for HRA exemption, you must first receive HRA in your salary and live in a rented accommodation for which you pay the rent. So if you live in a house you own, you will not be eligible for HRA exemption.

To claim HRA exemption:

  • you should receive HRA from your employer in your salary
  • you should live in a rental accommodation for which you pay the rent
  • your rent should be more than 10% of your salary

Calculation of House Rent Allowance (HRA) exemption

The actual HRA that is exempt from tax is the lowest of the three :

  1. Actual HRA received from employer
  2. 50% of salary in case of metros or 40% in case of non-metros
  3. Actual rent paid minus 10% of salary.

Definition of salary : In the context of tax exemption for House Rent Allowance, salary is defined as sum total of  basic, dearness allowance and a percentage of commissions of turnover achieved by employee.

House Rent Allowance

Example of House Rent Allowance (HRA) calculation

If X earns Rs 6,000/- basic salary per month and the dearness allowance is 80% of basic, let us try and find out what will be the taxable HRA if  X is staying in say, Delhi and his employer is paying an HRA of Rs 2,500 per month while he pays a rent of Rs 3,000 per month.

Let us calculate the salary first.

Salary = (6000*12) + (0.80*6000*12) = 1,29,600 Rs per annum.

Now let us get the three values as mentioned in the calculation above.

  1. Actual HRA received = 2500 * 12 = Rs 30,000.
  2. Since X is based in Delhi, we will take 50% of his salary, which comes to 1,29,600/2 = Rs 64,800/-
  3. Actual rent paid = 3,000 * 12 = Rs 36,000/- and 10% of salary is = 0.10 * 1,29,600 = 12,960/- Rs. The difference comes to 36,000 – 12, 960 = 23,040/- Rs

The minimum of these is Rs 23,040. So Rs 23,040 of HRA is exempt from tax. The rest, which is 30,000 – 23,040 = Rs 6,960 is taxed.

Other considerations of House Rent Allowance

# If you stay in a house which belongs to your parents and you pay rent to them, then you can claim HRA. However,  the income that your parents earn will need to be shown as salary in their income tax returns.

# Rent receipts need to be produced as proof to your employer to show that you are indeed paying rent and to claim HRA.

# If you own a home and have a home loan on it, you can still avail of the HRA benefits along with the home loan tax benefits. It does not matter where your house is located, both the home loan income tax benefits and the house rent allowance benefits can be availed simultaneously. If your home is in the same city as you are rented in, you can justify why you have chosen to stay on rent and still claim the HRA exemption.


  1. PG

    September 1, 2010

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    Do I have to show rent receipts necessarily to my company to avail HRA ?

    • TheWealthWisher

      September 1, 2010

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      Many companies will demand the rent receipts while some may just be ok with the lease and license agreement. It depends on companies to companies.

  2. aditya

    September 1, 2010

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    GOod one . Please cover the LTC stuff also esp the need to flourish ticket details to claim the allowance etc.


    • TheWealthWisher

      September 1, 2010

      Post a Reply

      I think you mean LTA, I will do that Aditya in a future article.

  3. Amol

    September 9, 2010

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    Good one this. Very informative. I have never calculated HRA and asume my company does it correctly.

  4. RaviShankarKota

    January 31, 2011

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    Hi Radhey,
    I am a bachelor living in a room but I did not receive any receipts for the amount I pay as rent for the owner.
    What shall i do?

    • TheWealthWisher

      February 2, 2011

      Post a Reply

      @RaviShankarKota, Ask your HR if a simple letter from you will do. Many organizations are flexible in what they want though they ask for a Leave and License Agreement and rent receipts for each month.
      If it does not fly with your HR there is no option but to seek the receipts from your owner.

  5. Sahar

    October 13, 2011

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    My current comapany offers Basic=53000, HRA=18000, Allowance=0.

    I have an offer where company is giving Basic=15000, HRA=72000, Other Allowances=8000.

    These two offers are drastically different. I have never seen such a high HRA in my life.

    Question 1. Why does company give such a Big HRA and so less Basic
    Question 2. Does the company get any extra benefits for giving such a high HRA. Is there any benefit to the employee.
    Question 3. If i accept the new offer how do i get tax benefit.

  6. Justify

    November 6, 2012

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    Obviously high basic is always desirable as many statutory benefits and deductions are tied to it. High basic means higher contribution to epf ( employee provident fund) , employee gratuity and other employee benefits that may be tied to the basic. Like the pension scheme if the company offers that. However by giving such a low basic the company is avoiding the other costs elf, pension, gratuity which is also part of the compensation. There is also a pitfall of high HRA. Say this HRA is offered to you in a metro and a couple of months down the line you are transferred to a non metro your HRA will automatically drop. How ever basic cannot be altered. Pls look into such issues while firming up the offer that you have recieved

  7. Ramya

    May 24, 2013

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    My husband is working in mumbai, stays in a rented flat in mumbai. Me and my son live in bangalore in a rented flat.

    We also have a own house in coimbatore where my in-laws live and he’s getting exemption on interest paid for such housing loan.

    Can my husband claim HRA for the rent paid in both the places(Mumbai & Bangalore), also exemption for the interest paid on loan.

    Thanks & Regards,

  8. Mr. Vishal Patel

    December 6, 2014

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    I am a deductor, when i asked for L.L agreement, they dined me the agreement and said they are giving the PAN of landlord and receipts, but i believe some are just claiming HRA for saving tax and/or claiming both HRA and hsg loan for the same flat.
    My question is “Is there a sec under which i can ask them the said document?”
    and “also my role in verification of documents”

  9. Deepesh

    May 6, 2015

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    I see your responses here which are really a great help to the people in doubts. I have the following query and would appreciate if you could help me.

    1. I have an under construction Flat in Noida and for that I am paying EMI and also claiming it to save the income tax.
    2. I am living in Pune on Rent so claiming HRA as well.
    3. Now I have booked another flat in Pune and yet to apply for the home loan. This flat will be completed in October, 2015.

    So I just want to know how can I claim the Tax saving on both the Under Construction Flats and also the HRA as I am still living on Rent.

    Thanks !!!


    April 29, 2016

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    I have 1ST home loan from 2011 as joint with my wife and getting the benefit Interest and Principal.
    I am staying currently in that house.
    I am planning to take another home loan within 30Lkahs to 40 Lakhs.
    here are my questions…
    1. what are advantages if I take second home loan as joint loan similar to 1st home loan(50:50)?
    in this case whenever my wife is not working I can get 100% interest on home loan by submitting the declaration from her.
    2. or if I take second home loan on MY wife(100%) only, is there any benefits to me towards home loan interest on second home loan to claim.
    3. I heard wealth tax need to be paid every year 1% on Loan amount or Home net asset value if we go for second home loan.
    4. if second home loan is in NOn metro city where my rental value is very less per year(like 60k per year in Telangana) in that case how about my savings towards the same. is there any stand rent value need to taken based on city, where can I get these values.
    Kindly brief me with scenarios to help me understand better on the same.

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