Section 10(13A)

House rent allowance

Salary includes dearness pay - For the purposes of calculating the house rent allowance that would be exempt under rule 2A, the term ‘salary’ includes ‘dearness pay’ also—Circular : No. 90 [F. No. 275/79/72-ITJ], dated 26-6-1972.

Expenditure must have been actually incurred - It is necessary for granting the exemption under section 10(13A) that the employee should have actually incurred the expenditure on rent. For purposes of deduction of tax, therefore, the disbursing officer should ensure that the employee concerned has in fact incurred the expenditure on rent. The payment of rent should be verified through rent receipts in the cases of all employees—Letter : F. No. 12/19/64-IT(A-I), dated 2-1-1967.

Living in own house or in any house rent-free - House rent allowance paid to a person, who is living in his own house or in a house for which he does not actually pay any rent, is not exempt from tax in any circumstances—Letter : F. No. 12/19/64-IT(A-I), dated 2-1-1967.

Production of rent receipts - Only the expenditure actually incurred on payment of rent in respect of residential accommodation occupied by the assessee subject to the limits laid down in rule 2A, qualifies for exemption from income-tax. Thus, house rent allowance granted to an employee who is residing in a house/flat owned by him is not exempt from income-tax. The disbursing authorities should satisfy themselves in this regard by insisting on production of evidence of actual payment of rent before excluding the house rent allowance or any portion thereof from the total income of the employee. Though incurring actual expenditure on payment of rent is a pre-requisite for claiming deduction under section 10(13A), it has been decided as an administrative measure that salaried employees drawing house rent allowance upto Rs. 3,000 per month will be exempted from production of rent receipt. It may, however, be noted that this concession is only for the purpose of tax deduction at source, and, in the regular assessment of the employee, the Assessing Officer will be free to make such enquiry as he deems fit for the purpose of satisfying himself that the employee has incurred actual expenditure on payment of rent - Circular : No. 9/2003, dated 18-11-2003/[Para 5.2-(9)].