Income Tax Exemption for Interest on higher education loan
Mr.B VENKATESAN, a GConnect member sought certain clarification on income tax exemption available for the interest on higher education loan. This prompted us to present this brief on exemption under Section 80E.
If you have taken education loan to support higher studies of yourself, your spouse, or Children this article may be useful to you on claiming income tax exemption under Section 80E of Income Tax Act. Till 2006-07 exemption was available only for Interest on loan taken and repaid by the assessee for his own studies. This benefit has been extended now to higher studies of one’s spouse and children.
Now let’s see the features and conditions of Section 80E.
- Deduction available to Individual. HUF or other type of Assessees are not eligible.
- Deduction amount: – The amount of interest paid is eligible for deduction and moreover there is no cap on the amount to be deducted. You can deduct the entire interest amount from your taxable income. However there is no benefit available on the repayment of principal amount of the loan.
- Deduction available if Interest is been paid during the previous year and was paid out of income chargeable to tax which means if repayment is made from income not chargeable to tax than deduction will not available.
- Interest should have been paid on loan taken by him from any financial institution or any approved charitable institution for the purpose of pursuing his higher education. Interest on Loan taken from relatives or friends will not be eligible for deduction under section 80E.
- Approved charitable institution means an institution specified in, or, as the case may be, an institution established for charitable purposes and [approved by the prescribed authority] under clause (23C) of section 10 or an institution referred to in clause (a) of sub-section (2) of section 80G;
- Financial institution means a banking company to which the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (10 of 1949) applies (including any bank or banking institution referred to in section 51 of that Act); or any other financial institution which the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify in this behalf;
- Higher studies means full-time studies for any graduate or post-graduate course in engineering, medicine, management or for post-graduate course in applied sciences or pure sciences including mathematics and statistics;
- Income tax department has added (W.e.f. A.Y. 2010-11) additional fields of studies (including vocational studies) pursued after passing the Senior Secondary Examination or its equivalent from any school, Board or University recognised by the Central or State Government will also be covered under deduction in respect of interest paid on loan taken for higher education.
- Interest should have been paid for the loan taken for the purpose of pursuing his higher education or of the spouse and children. From A.Y. 2010-11 Relative also includes student for whom the individual is the legal guardian.
- Deduction period: – Deduction shall be allowed in computing the total income in respect of the initial assessment year and seven assessment years immediately succeeding the initial assessment year or until the interest is paid by the assessee in full, whichever is earlier. Initial assessment year means the assessment year relevant to the previous year, in which the assessee starts paying the interest on the loan.
- The tax benefits on education loan are only valid once you start the repayment and moreover they are only available up to eight years. For instance if your loan tenure exceeds eight years, you cannot claim for deductions beyond eight years.
- Hence it is better that the education loan is repaid within eight years. Unless if the loan amount is very high and it is difficult to afford a high amount of equated monthly installment (EMI), one should not opt foreducation loan with longer tenure.
- Loan should be in the name of Individual: – Deductions on education loan can only be claimed if the loan has been taken in your own name. If your parents, spouse or sibling has taken the loan for your studies, then you are not entitled to get tax benefit.
- The loan includes not only tuition or college fees but also other incidental expenses for pursuing such studies like hostel charges, transport charges etc.
- There is no condition that the course should be in India.
If intend to calculate your income tax for the year 2009-10 (A.year 2010-11) Check this GConnect Online Income tax software