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Taxability of Composite Rent, Unrealised Rent, and Arrears of Rent

by | May 2, 2024 | Income Tax | 0 comments

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Important Keyword: Arrears of Rent, Composite Rent, Income from salary, Income Tax, Unrealised Rent.

Taxability of Composite Rent, Unrealised Rent, and Arrears of Rent

House property encompasses both the physical structure of a building and the land it occupies, which can include surrounding areas like courtyards, compounds, or parking spaces. Any income derived from such property falls under the category of “Income from House Property” and is subject to taxation. This tax obligation applies to the legal owner of the property.

In this discussion, we will delve into the treatment of composite rent, arrears of rent, and the tax implications when previously unrealized rent is eventually collected.

Composite rent refers to a combined payment for both the use of the property and additional services or amenities provided. From a tax standpoint, it’s crucial to segregate the rental income attributable to the property itself versus any ancillary services. Only the portion of the rent directly related to the property’s use qualifies as rental income for taxation purposes.

Arrears of rent occur when a tenant falls behind on rental payments. Even if such payments are received in a subsequent financial year, they are still taxable in the year of receipt, regardless of when the rent was due. This ensures that all rental income is appropriately accounted for and taxed.

In cases where rent remains unpaid for a period, yet is eventually recovered, the tax treatment can be complex. If the unrealized rent pertains to a prior year, it must be included in the income of the year in which it is actually received. However, certain deductions may be available to mitigate the tax impact, such as deductions for municipal taxes paid or standard deductions.

Composite Rent

Meaning of composite rent

Composite rent refers to the total amount received by a landlord from a tenant, encompassing both the rent for the property itself and additional services or amenities provided with the property, such as lift access, gas, water, electricity, etc. When a landlord receives composite rent, it’s important to distinguish between the portion attributable to the property and the portion attributable to the services or amenities.

For instance, consider the scenario of renting out a fully furnished house that includes furniture and air conditioning. In such cases, the rent received should be divided appropriately between the rental value of the house and the value of the additional assets provided.

From a tax perspective, the portion of rent attributable to the house itself is treated as “Income from House Property” and is subject to taxation under that head. On the other hand, the portion of rent attributable to the additional facilities or amenities is considered as income from other sources and taxed accordingly.

When the composite rent consists of rent for both the building and other assets, such as furniture, the tax treatment depends on whether these rents are inseparable or separable. If the rents cannot be distinctly separated, then the income may be taxable as business income or income from other sources. However, if the rents can be clearly separated, with the rent for the building and the rent for the other assets identifiable separately, then the rent for the building is taxed as “Income from House Property,” while the rent for the other assets is taxed as “Income from Other Sources.”

Unrealised Rent

Meaning of unrealised rent

When considering the rent of a property from the previous year that the owner was unable to collect from the tenant, certain conditions must be met to deduct unrealized rent from rental income:

  1. The tenancy must be genuine.
  2. The defaulting tenant must have vacated the property or steps must have been taken to compel them to vacate.
  3. The defaulting tenant should not be occupying any other property owned by the landlord.
  4. The landlord must have taken all reasonable steps to initiate legal proceedings for rent recovery or demonstrate to the assessing officer that legal action would be futile.

Failure to meet these conditions disqualifies unrealized rent as a deduction from actual or potential rental income.

Tax treatment of unrealized rent:

  • Unrealized rent is considered “Income from House Property” in the fiscal year it is received or recovered. However, only the portion not previously included in the property’s annual value is taxable.
  • A 30% deduction is permissible on the taxable portion of unrealized rent.
  • Even if the property is not owned by the landlord in the year of unrealized rent recovery, it remains subject to taxation.

Arrears of Rent:

  • Any rent arrears not previously taxed are taxable under “Income from House Property” in the year they are received. After allowing a deduction of 30%, the remaining amount is taxable.
  • This applies regardless of whether the landlord owns the property in the year of receipt.

Determining Gross Annual Value:

  1. Estimate the reasonable expected rent of the property, which is the higher of its municipal value or fair rent.
  2. Calculate the actual rent received during the year, excluding rent from vacancy periods or unrealized rent.
  3. The gross annual value is the higher of the amounts computed in steps 1 or 2.

Annual Value of House Property

NAV unrealised rent

Manner of computation of income from house property in case of a Let-out property:

ParticularsAmount
Gross annual valueXXXX
Less: Municipal taxes paid during the yearXXXX
Net Annual Value (NAV)XXXX
Less: Deduction under section 24
Deduction under section 24(a) @ 30% of NAVXXXX
Interest on borrowed capital under section 24(b)XXXXXXXX
Income from house propertyXXXX

Read More: Section 24 of Income Tax Act: House Property Deduction

Web Stories: Section 24 of Income Tax Act: House Property Deduction

Official Income Tax Return filing website: https://incometaxindia.gov.in/

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