you claim HRA (house rent allowance) even if the landlord is not providing you his PAN.
If the annual rent paid by the employee exceeds Rs 1 lakh per annum, it is mandatory for the employee to report PAN of the landlord to the employer. The tax law also says that in case the landlord does not have a PAN, a declaration to this effect from the landlord along with the name and address should be filed by the employee. Can you claim HRA (house rent allowance) if the landlord is not providing you his/her PAN?
Tax experts say that an employee can still claim tax benefits under HRA in his/her tax return. "The requirement for furnishing PAN of landlord is only to one's employer only. However, once a person is to file his/her income tax return, there is no requirement to furnish the PAN of landlord," says Sandeep Sehgal, director of tax and regulatory at Ashok Maheshwary & Associates LLP.
Even if the company may not allow HRA exemption to the employee, due to non-availability of PAN or a declaration by the landlord of not having PAN, still the employee has the option to claim so while filing his/her income tax return, he says.
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The last date for filing income tax return for financial year 2016-17 is July 31.
Mr Sehgal however says that it could attract scrutiny from tax authorities. "The tax authorities can examine the cases to verify the genuineness of the claim made by the employee," he says.
To substantiate the claim, the employee needs to keep a record of the rent agreement/lease deed, rent receipts, intimation to the society for the occupancy, etc, says Mr Sehgal. Also, it is advisable to ensure that the payments are made through bank as cash transactions may not be considered genuine, he adds.