HT Estates - - HTESTATES - Harsh Roongta

I have an an­ces­tral prop­erty (from my fa­ther’s side) reg­is­tered in my name. Though it’s rented, I show it as my place of res­i­dence in all of­fi­cial doc­u­ments. I have also pur­chased a sec­ond prop­erty via a home loan and in­tend get­ting yet an­other one soon. I want to know the im­pli­ca­tions of this on my in­come tax (in­come from house prop­erty) now and af­ter ac­qui­si­tion of a third prop­erty. Also, I have mis­placed the reg­is­tra­tion copy of my first prop­erty. Can I get an ad­di­tional copy from the lo­cal reg­is­tra­tion of­fice or will I have to sub­mit ad­di­tional legal doc­u­ments?

— Rakesh Baweja There is no re­stric­tion on the num­ber of prop­er­ties in re­spect of which a per­son can avail in­come tax benefits. How­ever, in case a per­son owns more than one prop­erty and it is ei­ther oc­cu­pied by him or his rel­a­tives, the per­son gets the op­tion to treat one of the prop­er­ties as self-oc­cu­pied. Once the op­tion to treat a par­tic­u­lar prop­erty as self-oc­cu­pied is taken, the other prop­erty will be deemed to have been let out and a no­tional in­come equiv­a­lent to the rent ex­pect- ed to be re­alised. The ac­tual rent on such prop­erty will be treated as rental in­come in re­spect of the other prop­erty.

The an­nual value of the self-oc­cu­pied prop­erty is taken at nil and a per­son is en­ti­tled to claim in­ter­est pay­ment for loan taken to ac­quire that prop­erty of up to a limit of ₹ 2 lakh. You can also claim in­come tax ben­e­fit to­wards re­pay­ment of hous­ing loan on both prop­er­ties put to­gether within the over­all limit of ₹ 150,000 un­der Sec­tion 80 C.

All tax­able in­come of the sec­ond and the third prop­erty will be ar­rived at by de­duct­ing ac­tual in­ter­est payable in re­spect of such prop­erty with­out any limit from the no­tional/ac­tual rent taken above as well as 30% stan­dard de­duc­tion.

You will be able to claim tax de­duc­tion benefits un­der Sec­tion 80C in re­spect of the stamp duty paid in re­spect of the third prop­erty also within the over­all limit of ₹ 150,000. This ben­e­fit is avail­able dur­ing the year in which you pay the stamp duty.

As far as lost doc­u­ments are con­cerned, you will have to reap­ply for those doc­u­ments. How­ever, this is a cum­ber­some, time-con­sum­ing and costly af­fair. You are un­likely to need them for in­come tax pur­poses but will re­quire them if you in­tend sell­ing the prop­erty. I have a home loan ac­count with a bank. In 2012, the sanc­tion in­ter­est rate was 11.50% (BR 11.25+0.25). But in the very next year (2013) the rate got re­vised to 10.50% (BR 10.25+0.25). How­ever, I got no benefits, post the re­vi­sion. I want to know whether the bank is bound to im­ple­ment the re­vised in­ter­est rate for ex­ist­ing cus­tomers?

— Nan­dini Das If the bank has re­duced the base rate, it will have to re­duce the in­ter­est rate ap­pli­ca­ble to you as well. But please check whether the in­ter­est ben­e­fit has al­ready been given to you even though the EMI has re­mained the same.

The best way to as­cer­tain the ef­fec­tive rate of in­ter­est is to ask for amor­ti­sa­tion sched­ule (break-up of each in­stall­ments into prin­ci­pal and in­ter­est com­po­nent) on your home loan. There are pos­si­bili- ties that the bank may have kept your EMI the same and re­duced the ten­ure of the loan. You can ap­proach the branch manager of the bank from where you have taken the loan and ask them for the clar­i­fi­ca­tion. If the bank has failed to pass on the benefits of lower in­ter­est rate, you are not sat­is­fied with the re­sponse, you can ad­dress your griev­ance to the nodal of­fi­cer of the bank.

If you are still not sat­is­fied with the re­sponse from the bank or do not get any re­sponse within four weeks, you should file a com­plaint. with the bank­ing om­buds­man on the RBI web­site.

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