Section 10 of Income Tax Act – Know About Allowance & Deductions

6 mins read
by Angel One
The article explores Income Tax Act Section 10, detailing tax reduction via exemptions such as HRA, LTA, and pension benefits. It guides you regarding eligibility and precise disclosure in tax returns

Tax laws might appear complex, but getting familiar with Section 10 of the Income Tax Act can help you comprehend the exemptions and deductions to optimise your annual tax obligations, and pay them promptly and accurately. Understanding Section 10 of the Income Tax Act is also important if you wish to reduce your taxable income. This article is a helpful tool for taxpayers, providing a wide range of exemptions that they can avail. 

So then, what exactly is Section 10 of Income Tax? Read on to find out more about it.

What is Section 10 of the Income Tax Act?

Section 10 includes an extensive list of tax-exempt sources of income. These exemptions apply to many aspects of your financial life, including allowances like House Rent Allowance (HRA) and perks like pension income. Section 10 intends to reduce the tax burden on individuals by exempting specific sources of income.

Whether you are a salaried employee or a retiree, Section 10 has something for you. It provides relief in a variety of situations, ensuring that taxpayers receive exemptions customised to their specific needs. Section 10 includes a variety of exemptions intended to reduce your financial obligations ranging from travel discounts to educational grants.

Read More About Income Tax Guidelines

Understanding Exemptions Under Section 10 in Income Tax

Let’s take a deeper look at several important exemptions under Section 10 and how they can assist you:

House Rent Allowance (HRA) – Section 10(13A)

If your employer provides you with a House Rent Allowance (HRA) to offset your housing costs, you may be eligible for tax deductions under Section 10(13A). The amount exempted is determined by several criteria, including the actual HRA received, rent paid, and city of residence. For example, if you live in a metropolitan area such as Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, or Chennai, the exemption is calculated differently than in other parts of India.

Leave Travel Allowance (LTA) – Section 10(5)

Section 10(5) allows you to claim exemptions for domestic travel expenditures incurred during your leave. However, it is important to note that only the actual amount spent on travel is tax-free, not any connected costs such as stay or sightseeing.

Also Read More About Leave Travel Allowance (LTA)

Pension Exemption – Section 10(10A) and Section 10(10D)

Pension benefits also come with tax benefits under Sections 10(10A) and 10(10D), which benefit both government and non-government employees. Government employees receive full tax exemption on lump-sum pension payouts, while non-government employees receive partial exemptions based on specific criteria. Additionally, proceeds from life insurance plans are free from taxes under Section 10(10D), subject to certain conditions.

Other Notable Exemptions

Aside from the above-mentioned exemptions, Section 10 provides relief in a variety of additional circumstances, including income from educational scholarships (Section 10(16)), earnings from educational institutions and hospitals (Section 10(23C)), and income of Scheduled Tribes in specific regions (Section 10(26)).

Understanding these exemptions will help you improve your tax planning and make use of the benefits provided under Section 10 of the Income Tax Act. To optimise your tax savings, you should become familiar with these exemptions and, if necessary, consult with a tax professional.

Claiming Exemptions Under Section 10

  • Identify eligible income sources: 

First, assess whether income sources are eligible for exemptions under Section 10. These might include House Rent Allowances (HRAs), Leave Travel Allowances (LTAs), pension benefits, gratuity, and more. Make sure you have proper paperwork for each earnings source, such as rent receipts or trip tickets.

  • Understand exemption criteria: 

Explore the detailed criteria that determines qualification for each sort of exemption. For example, HRA exemptions are determined by criteria such as the actual HRA received, rent paid, and city of residence. Familiarise yourself with these criteria so you can correctly assess your eligibility.

  • Calculate exemption amount: 

Once you’ve discovered suitable revenue sources and comprehended the exemption prerequisites, it’s time to do the numbers. Use Section 10’s relevant provisions to determine the exemption amount for each income source. This includes using the right formulae or percentages to determine the exempted portion of your income.

  • Disclose exemptions in tax return: 

When filling out your income tax return, make sure that you correctly document any exemptions claimed under Section 10. Provide specifics about each income source and the relevant exemption amount. Proper disclosure is critical for avoiding any inconsistencies during tax assessment.

  • Seek professional guidance if needed:

If you experience any problems or doubts while seeking exemptions, do not hesitate to seek expert help. Consulting a tax specialist or chartered accountant may provide guidance and ensure that you maximise your benefits while complying with tax regulations.

  • Maintain comprehensive documentation: 

Keep complete documentation of all applicable papers and receipts relating to your claimed exemptions. This includes rent receipts, airline tickets, pension statements, and any other supporting documentation. Comprehensive documentation supports your case and simplifies tax compliance.

  • Review and amend if necessary: 

Before submitting your tax return, carefully review your claimed exemptions. Check for accuracy and completeness, and correct any mistakes or discrepancies right away. To minimise any penalties or audit problems, errors should be addressed as soon as possible.

Exploring Maximum Exemption Limits under Section 10 in Income Tax

  1. Below 60 years: ₹2.50 lakhs

    • Individuals in this age group have a maximum exemption limit of ₹2.50 lakh.
    • The first ₹2.50 lakhs of income are not taxed under Section 10 of the Income Tax Act.
  2. 60 to 80 years: ₹3 lakhs

    • Individuals aged 60-80 can now claim a maximum exemption of ₹3 lakhs.
    • This higher ceiling gives further tax relief to seniors, allowing them to keep more of their income.
  3. 80 years and above: ₹5 lakhs

    • Individuals aged 80 and above have the maximum exemption limit of ₹5 lakhs.
    • This liberal limit demonstrates the government’s acknowledgement of the financial requirements of senior citizens.
    • Elderly people should carefully organise their finances to take advantage of this substantial tax benefit.
  4. Non-Resident Indians (NRIs): Varies

    • Non-resident Indians (NRIs) may have varying exemption limits according to their income.
    • NRI exemption limitations vary depending on their residency status and source of income.
    • To assess eligibility for tax exemptions, NRIs should contact a tax counsellor or refer to applicable tax treaties between India and their country of residence.

Understanding these exemption limits is critical for taxpayers of all ages and residence status in order to efficiently manage their tax obligations and optimise their savings. Consulting with a tax professional can give customised guidance on how to take advantage of these exemptions.


Section 10 of the Income Tax Act is an effective tool for people looking to reduce their tax burden. By becoming familiar with the exemptions and deductions offered, you may efficiently reduce your taxable income and improve your financial situation. Remember that compliance with tax regulations is critical to avoiding complications with tax authorities.


How can I claim exemptions under Section 10?

To claim Section 10 exemptions, accurately declare relevant income sources and comply with the applicable rules when filing your tax return. Seek expert advice for the best outcomes.

Is leave encashment exempted from income tax?

Except for government personnel, leave encashment is taxed as “income from salary.” However, certain exclusions may apply to private sector employees under Section 10(10AA), subject to conditions.

What are the restrictions on claiming exemptions under Section 10?

While Section 10 allows a variety of exemptions, following the established guidelines and principles is important for ensuring tax compliance. Failure to comply might result in penalties or legal implications.

Can I claim exemptions for income earned outside India under Section 10?

Exemptions under Section 10 apply to income generated in India. Income generated outside of India may be subject to different tax laws and treaties, requiring consultation with a tax specialist for guidance.

How do exemptions under Section 10 benefit taxpayers?

Exemptions under Section 10 considerably reduce taxable income, reducing the tax burden on individuals. Taxpayers can improve their financial planning and savings by making proper use of these provisions.