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Photo: iStock

Apportioning of deduction benefit for filing ITR is based on financial ownership of house

However, this deduction benefit under Sections 80C and 24 will not be available under the new tax regime

I have jointly purchased a flat with my wife. When filing returns, can we both claim deductions for the principal and interest repayment?

—Ayan Kumar Dey

For apportioning the deduction under Section 80C of the Income-tax Act, 1961, for principal repayment and under Section 24 for interest on home loan, the financial ownership and not just the legal ownership of the property is considered. The deduction under Sections 80C and 24 should be apportioned between the financial owners in the ratio of the funding done towards the property by each. In your case, the deduction would be accordingly computed in both your and your wife’s hands, in the ratio of your respective funding.

However, in the event of you or your wife opting for the new taxation regime introduced by The Finance Act, 2020, with effect from 1 April 2020, the deduction under Sections 80C and 24 for interest on loan taken for self-occupied property will not be available.

All my Provident Fund (PF) accounts are under one universal account number (UAN) since FY13. I changed my job in November 2014, but transferred PF in July 2019. As per the 2016 notification by the labour ministry and the Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO), interest is paid on inoperative accounts. But EPFO did not transfer interest for 2018-19 and three months until the date of transfer. When asked, they said that my account was inoperative and interest was credited only up to November 2017. Am I eligible to get the interest on my PF account or not?

—Rupesh Mohanty

It is assumed that you are an Indian citizen and have not attained 58 years of age.

As per the notification dated 11 November 2016, the provisions of the Indian PF law were amended, and as per the said amendment, a PF account becomes inoperative and does not earn interest, where an employee retires from service after attaining the age of 55 years or migrates abroad permanently or dies, and does not apply for withdrawal of his accumulated balance within 36 months. Until such time, interest will continue to accrue on the PF balances. However, no interest will accrue once the account becomes inoperative. In the absence of an express retrospective clause, the said amendment should be considered as prospective in nature.

As per the amended provision, your PF account should be considered operative as on 11 November 2016 and your PF account should never have been an inoperative account. Accordingly, in your case, based on the above premise, you should be eligible to receive interest up to July 2019 (until the funds were transferred).

Parizad Sirwalla is partner and head, global mobility services, tax, KPMG in India. Queries and views at mintmoney@livemint.com

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