Annual Value (Section 23)
The Annual Value of a house property is the inherent capacity of the property to earn income and it has been defined as the amount for which the property may reasonably be expected to be let out from year to year. It is not necessary that the property should actually be let out. It is also not necessary that the reasonable return from property should be equal to the actual rent realized when the property is, in fact, let out.
Computation of annual value: Computation of Annual Value for the determination of Income from House property requires three steps.
Ø STEP 1 Determine the Gross Annual Value(GAV)
Ø STEP 2 Determine the value of Municipal taxes
Ø STEP 3 Compute the Net Annual Value
STEP 1- Determine the Gross Annual Value (GAV):
Calculation of GAV based on the following factors:
1) Fair Rental Value (FRV): The amount of rent which a similar property (similar to the house property the GAV of which is to be determined) in the same locality would fetch.
2) Municipal Rental Value (MRV): The value of the house property under consideration as determined by the Municipal authorities for the purpose of levying Municipal taxes.
3) Standard Rental Value (SRV): The maximum amount of rent which a person can recover from his tenant, legally, as determined by the Rent Control Act.
4) Expected Rental Value (ERV): The Fair rent or Municipal value, whichever is higher, subject to the Standard rent.
5) Unrealised rent: The amount of rent which is not capable of being realised. The amount of Unrealised rent shall not be included in the actual amount of rent receivable from the house property if all the following for conditions are satisfied:
a) Tenancy is in good-faith.
b) The defaulting tenant has vacated or steps must have been taken to vacate such tenant.
c) The defaulting tenant doesn't continue to occupy any other property of the assessee.
d) Assessee has taken all the reasonable steps to proceed against the defaulting tenant legally or he must satisfy the assessing officer that if such steps are taken, it will be of no use.
6) Actual rent receivable (ARR): The amount of rent which is equal to the difference between the Rent receivable and the unrealised rent.
7) Unoccupied property: The House property which cannot be occupied by its owner by reason of his employment, business or profession being in some other place and he resides at that place in a property not owned by him.
It should be noted that the procedure for determination of Gross Annual Value is not same in all the cases. It varies according to the given situation. Various situations and the respective procedures for computation of GAV are given below:
1) Property is let out throughout the previous year (Section 23(1) (a)/ (b)): GAV = ERV or ARR, whichever is higher.
2) Let out property is vacant for a part of the year (Section 23(1) (c)): If the ARR < ERV only because the property was vacant for a part of the year, GAV = ERV. If the ARR < ERV for any other reason, GAV = ERV. If the ARR > ERV even though it was vacant for a part of the year, GAV = ARR. In all the cases, ARR is computed for the let out period only and the ERV is for whole year as usual.
3) Self-occupied or Unoccupied property (Section 23(2)): GAV = Nil
4) Let out for a part of the year and self-occupied for a part of the year (Section 23(3)): GAV = Higher of ERV (calculated for the whole year) and ARR (calculated for let out period only)
5) Deemed to be let out property (Section 23(4)): This case arises when the assessee has more than one Self-occupied properties in a previous year. In such case, only one of such properties is treated as self-occupied and the remaining shall be treated as Deemed to be let out properties. Here, GAV = ERV.
6) A portion of the property is let out and the remaining portion is self-occupied: GAV is calculated separately for self-occupied part and the let out part. The values of FR, MV, SR and Municipal taxes are apportioned on the given basis.
Thus, there is a scope for charging tax on Notional rent too. This happens when the GAV determined according to the above steps is the ERV.
Now that the Gross Annual Value of the house property is determined, the next step is to determine the value of Municipal taxes paid that is deductible from the Gross Annual Value.
STEP 2 - Determine the value of Municipal taxes:
The municipal tax or the property tax paid is allowed as deduction from the Gross Annual Value if the following two conditions are satisfied.
(a) The property is let out during the whole or any part of the previous year,
(b) The Municipal taxes must be borne by the landlord. If the Municipal taxes or any part thereof are borne by the tenant, it will not be allowed.
(c) The Municipal taxes must be paid during the year. Where the municipal taxes become due but have not been actually paid, it will not be allowed.
STEP 3 - Compute the Net Annual Value:
Gross Annual Value ++++++
Less: Municipal Taxes ++++++
Net Annual Value ++++++