In case of a home loan taken for a self-occupied property, the principal amount repaid up to Rs 1 lakh qualifies for deduction under Section 80C, while up to Rs 1.5 lakh of is taxdeductible under Section 24.
However, in case of a home loan for the second property, only interest payment is eligible for deduction. No tax benefit is available on the principal repayment on the second loan. The good part is that there is no limit on the deduction for interest payment on the second loan .
However the interest expense needed to be netted off against rental income on the property and only the balance left is eligible as loss under house property. Even if the second house is lying vacant, the Income Tax Department will consider that it has a rental value. The notional or deemed income will be added to your taxable income.
Set off & carry Forward
The current year's loss will first be set off against any other income from property.
It can also be set off against other incomes, such as that from salary, business or profession and capital gains, earned in the current year.
If your balance continues to be in the red, you can carry forward the loss for up to eight years. However, the amount that is carried forward is only allowed to be set off against the income that is earned from a house.
If you own several houses, you can choose one as your primary residence. The income from this property will be treated as nil and exempt from tax, even if you have actually rented it out. It is for this house that the limit of Rs 1.5 lakh applies for deduction on .
The entire interest on the loan taken for the other house, the income from which is taxable, can be deducted from your income. This applies to any number of nonexempt houses that you may own.
So, to maximise your savings, consider the house with the highest loan as the non-exempt one. However, make sure that the interest payment on this loan is higher than the principal-cum-interest payment on the other loan.
Taxation in case of sale
If any of the houses is sold after three years, the profit will be taxable as long-term capital gains. However, there are beneficial provisions under which this gain is exempt from tax. So if you invest the money to construct a house within three years or buy another house within two years, your income will be tax-exempt.
However, the exemption is reversed and the amount taxed as capital gain if the new property is sold within three years of being constructed/purchased.
This will be considered a short-term gain and taxed according to your slab rates. You can also save tax if you invest the profit in a special bank account under the capital gain account scheme. A similar exemption is available for investments of up to Rs 50 lakh in bonds, which are redeemable after three years. This investment should be made within six months of the sale.