Query – 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.Pandaemail@example.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.