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
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.)