SECTION 10(5)l l PASSAGE MONEY AND
LEAVE TRAVEL CONCESSION

55. Criteria for determining “home district” for the purpose of exemption under clause (5)

1. Section 10(5) provides that in the case of an individual being a citizen of India, travel concession or assistance received by or due to an individual from the employer for himself, his spouse and children in connection with his proceeding on leave or on retirement or on termination of service to his “home district” is exempt from income-tax, subject to fulfilment of the conditions laid down in the said section.

2. The words “home district” have not been defined either in the Income-tax Act, or the Income-tax Rules. A question has, therefore, been considered as to how to fix “home district” for the purpose of section 10(5). The following criteria are laid down for determining “home district” for the purpose of section 10(5):

    i.  the place declared by the assessee is one which requires his physical presence at intervals for discharging various domestic or social obligations and if so, after his entry into service, he had been visiting that place frequently; or

   ii.  the assessee owns residential property in the place or is a member of the joint family having such a property there; or

  iii.  his near relations are resident in that place; or

  iv.  prior to his entry into service, he had been living there for some years.

3. If any of the above conditions is satisfied, the assessee may be allowed to claim a particular place as his “home district”, once an assessee has exercised his option in respect of “home district”, he will not be ordinarily allowed to change the same.

Circular : No. 211 [F. No. 184/29/76-IT(A-I)], dated 26-2-1977.

56. How exemption is to be allowed qua value of leave travel concession where employee is entitled to more than one LTC in a block of 4 years

1. Section 10(5) provides for grant of exemption from income-tax to the value of leave travel concession granted by an employer to an employee. In regard to assessment for the assessment years 1971-72 and onwards this concession is dealt with in section 10(5)(ii) which spells out two situations, the first is where an employee receives travel concession or assistance from his employer for himself and his family in connection with his proceeding on leave to any place in India. The second is where an employee receives travel concession or assistance from his employer or former employer for himself and his family in connection with his proceeding to any place in India after retirement from service or after the termination of his service. A proviso to this sub-clause spells out that the amount exempted under either of these situations shall not, except in the case of circumstances prescribed by rule 2B of the Income-tax Rules, exceed the value of the travel concession or assistance which would have been received by or due to the individual in connection with his proceeding to his home district in India on leave or, as the case may be, after retirement from service or on the termination of his service. Under rule 2B the following cases are specified as being exceptions to the ceiling laid down in the aforementioned proviso :

   a.  where the individual is entitled to such travel concession or assistance once in a block of four calendar years commencing from the calendar year 1974, the value of such travel concession or assistance availed of in each such block;

   b.  where the individual is entitled to such travel concession or assistance more than once in any such block of four calendar years, the value of the travel concession or assistance first availed of by him in each such block;

   c.  where such travel concession or assistance is not availed of by the individual during any such block of four calendar years, the value of the travel concession or assistance, if any first availed of by the individual during the first calendar year of the immediately succeeding block of four calendar years.

2. It has been represented that Income-tax Officers are interpreting section 10(5), read with rule 2B, to allow exemption in respect of leave travel concession for visiting any place in India other than the home town once in a block of four years and if more than one leave travel concession is allowed to an employee in this block, no exemption under section 10(5) in respect of the second concession is allowed. The Board have examined the matter. Under section 10(5), read with rule 2B, the value of leave travel concession is exempt completely in a block of four years. However, if the employee is entitled to more than one leave travel concession in a block of four years, then full exemption is to be given for the first concession under rule 2B and subsequent concession in the same block is limited to an amount that would have been admissible had the employee visited his home town. It is only the excess of the concession over the fare to the home town that has to be treated as perquisite and taxed as part of salary income in respect of the second leave travel concession for going to any place in India in the same block of four years.

Circular : No. 413 [F. No. 194/9/79-IT(A-I)], dated 4-3-1985.