For salaried individuals, one of the most common exemption sought is house rent allowance (HRA).
If living in a rented house, taxpayers are required to submit rent receipt from landlords to claim the exemption. In 2012-13, an assessee paying rent less than Rs 15,000 per month did not have to submit Permanent Account Number (PAN) details of the landlord along with the rent receipt for claiming exemption.
However, the income tax department, in its drive to tighten the leash on tax evaders, last month amended the rule. So, now, instead of Rs 15,000 per month, assessees paying a rent of Rs 8,333 a month or Rs 1 lakh yearly will have to submit the PAN of their landlords along with the rent receipts.
This seemingly-small change may prove to be a challenge for a much larger number of assessees as in many cases, landlords may be unwilling to give out the PAN details.
If the landlord does not have a PAN, the assessee has to submit a declaration to this effect along with name and address of the landlord.