Query 1 – I am paying a house rent for Rs 14,000/- per month and additional Rs. 1,200/- towards maintenance for which receipt is being given to me every month. Will I get House Rent Allowance (HRA) exemption on Rs. 14,000/- or Rs 15,200/-. Please clarify. [N.K.Panda-niroj_p @ yahoo.com]
Reply by CA Naresh Jakhotia
HRA exemption is available towards rent payment. The question here is what type of payment could be considered as rent. Whether payment towards maintenance, electricity, additional amenities & facilities could be considered for HRA exemption?
Given the clear cut wordings of the section 10(13A) & without any precedent as of now stretching the meaning of “Rent”, I am of the view that exemption would be admissible only towards Rent payment and not payment done towards electricity, maintenance charges etc. If however, you make the lump-sum payment to the landlord towards rent who in turn makes the payment of maintenance charges or others, the exemption u/s 10(13A) could not be denied.
(Author is a CA in Practice from Nagpur and is Partner in M/s. SSRPN & Co.)