Cars are considered a luxury product in India and many people avail loans to purchase their dream cars. But did you know that you can avail car loan tax benefit?
Yes, you read that right. Much like the education and home loan, car loan benefits in income tax. While cars purchased for personal use may not have car loan tax exemption, if you are a self-employed professional or business owner using the car for business purposes, you can claim exemptions. Loans on personal use cars are not eligible for tax exemption as cars are considered luxury products.
However, if you are a businessman/ woman and have taken a loan to buy a car for your business, you can claim the interest you pay as business expenses. The interest you pay in a year towards your car loan can be deducted from your taxable income. Apart from the interest deduction from taxable income, you are also eligible to claim tax benefits on the depreciation of your vehicle.
How to claim car loan benefits in income tax
In simple terms, if you are a business or are self-employed and you take a loan to buy a car for your business, you are eligible for tax deductions. How does tax rebate on car loan work?
For example, you own a business and have taken a loan for a car for your business. For this, you take a loan of Rs15 lakh at 12% for a year. Now let us assume your total taxable income, from your business, is Rs 25 lakh. You can then deduct 12% of Rs 15 lakh (Rs1.8 lakh) from your taxable income while filing your tax returns.
So when you are claiming tax rebate on car loan, deduct the interest you have paid towards your car loan in that year from your taxable income. The interest paid can be added as a business expenditure.
There are other ways to save taxes on car purchase, even if you have not sought a loan to buy the car. You can do so by showing your car as a depreciating asset for your business. You can add the depreciation as a business expense, too. The upper limit for depreciation is set at 15 % in a year.
For salaried individuals buying car for personal use, there is no car loan tax benefit. However, self-employed individuals or businesses can claim tax deductions for loan on car used for business purposes. While availing these tax benefits be sure that the car is being used for legitimate business purposes.