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How to Calculate HRA in a Metro City?


HRA (House Rent Allowance) 

How is HRA calculated?

In India, House Rent Allowance (HRA) calculation is based on certain factors. The HRA amount is determined by considering the employee’s salary, the actual rent paid, and the city where the employee resides. The HRA calculation takes into account the lowest of the following three amounts: 1) 50% of the basic salary for employees residing in metro cities or 40% for those in non-metro cities, 2) the actual rent paid minus 10% of the basic salary, and 3) the excess of rent paid over 10% of the basic salary. The final HRA amount is then included as part of the employee’s salary, subject to certain tax exemptions and limits.

Factors Affecting HRA Calculation 

  • Basic salary 

The basic salary is a crucial factor affecting HRA calculation in India. The HRA amount is typically calculated as a percentage of the basic salary, with different percentages for employees in metro and non-metro cities. The basic salary plays a role in determining the maximum HRA exemption and is used in the formula to calculate the HRA eligibility based on actual rent paid.

  • Location (Metro City) 

The location, specifically whether it is a metro city or a non-metro city, is a factor that affects the calculation of House Rent Allowance (HRA) in India. Employees residing in metro cities are eligible for a higher percentage of their basic salary as HRA compared to those residing in non-metro cities.

  • Rent paid for accommodation 

Rent paid for accommodation is a significant factor affecting HRA calculation in India. The actual rent the employee pays is considered while determining the HRA amount. The HRA calculation involves comparing the actual rent paid to a percentage of the employee’s salary, and the lower of the two is considered for HRA calculation.

  • HRA percentage as per company policy

The HRA percentage as per the company policy, is a factor affecting HRA calculation in India. The percentage determined by the company determines the portion of the employee’s salary that is considered for HRA calculation, influencing the final HRA amount received by the employee.

HRA Calculation in a Metro City 

  • HRA rules and regulations for metro cities

In India, the rules and regulations for House Rent Allowance (HRA) in metro cities are governed by the Income Tax Act. As per the current regulations, the HRA calculation is based on the following factors:

  • Salary Component: The HRA amount is determined based on the employee’s salary percentage. It is typically 50% of the basic salary for employees residing in metro cities.
  • Actual Rent Paid: The actual rent the employee pays is considered for HRA calculation.
  • City Classification: Metro cities are classified separately from non-metro cities, and different HRA percentages are applicable. The metro cities include Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata.
  • Exemptions and Limits: The HRA received by an employee is eligible for tax exemptions under specific conditions. The exemption is the least of the following: a) the actual HRA received, b) 50% of the basic salary for metro cities, or c) the actual rent paid minus 10% of the basic salary. 
  • Different categories of metro cities 

In India, metro cities are categorised into different categories for the calculation of House Rent Allowance (HRA). These categories are based on the population and economic significance of the cities. The classification of metro cities for HRA calculation purposes may vary depending on the specific guidelines or policies set by the employer or the government. However, as a general reference, the following cities are commonly considered as metro cities:

  • Delhi (including New Delhi and the National Capital Region)
  • Mumbai (including Mumbai Metropolitan Region)
  • Kolkata (including Howrah)
  • Chennai
  • Bengaluru (including Greater Bengaluru)
  • Hyderabad (including Secunderabad)
  • Ahmedabad
  • Pune
  • HRA exemptions and limits for metro cities

For metro cities in India, the exemptions and limits for House Rent Allowance (HRA) are determined based on the provisions of the Income Tax Act. The HRA received by an employee is eligible for tax exemptions subject to certain conditions. The least of the following three amounts is considered for exemption: 

  1. the actual HRA received, 
  2. 50% of the employee’s basic salary if residing in metro cities, or 
  3. the actual rent paid minus 10% of the basic salary. 

The remaining HRA amount, if any, is taxable. It’s important to note that the specific exemption and limit amounts may vary based on the individual’s salary and the city of residence.

Steps to Calculate HRA in a Metro City 

  • Determine your basic salary 

As a first step, determine your basic salary, which forms one of the major components of the total CTC earned. It is important to know your basic salary for the computation of HRA.

  • Find out the HRA percentage provided by your company 

As a second step now, you have to find out the HRA component provided by your company as a part of your CTC. This will help you understand the HRA component earned or received by you. This can change from company to company and from individual to individual.

  • Calculate the actual rent paid for accommodation 

Once you know your CTC’s basic salary and HRA component percentage, you have to compute the actual rent you paid during the financial year. For example, the HRA component of your salary is INR 30,000 per month, which will amount to INR 3,60,000 (INR 30,000 x 12 months) for a financial year.

However, the monthly rent for your current rented house is only INR 25,000, totalling INR 3,00,000 during the year.

  • Calculate the HRA amount as per the formula 

To calculate the House Rent Allowance (HRA), you can use the following formula:

HRA = Actual rent paid – (10% of basic salary) + (50% of basic salary) * (City category factor)

Here’s how each component of the formula is calculated:

  • Actual rent paid: This is the monthly rent you pay for your accommodation.
  • 10% of basic salary: This represents 10% of your basic salary, typically the minimum amount exempted from taxes.
  • 50% of basic salary: This represents 50% of your basic salary, the maximum amount of HRA that can be claimed for tax benefits.
  • City category factor: This factor depends on the category of the city where you reside. It determines the percentage of the basic salary that can be considered for calculating HRA. The factors are as follows:
  1. Metro cities: 50% of the basic salary
  2. Non-metro cities: 40% of the basic salary
  3. Rural areas: 40% of the basic salary
  • Compare the calculated HRA with exemptions and limits

Finally, compare the calculated HRA with the exemption and limits.

Tips and Important Considerations 

A. Keep proper documentation for rent paid 

Proper documentation of rent paid is essential to calculate House Rent Allowance (HRA) accurately. Keep rent receipts, lease agreements, and other relevant records organized to substantiate your HRA claim during tax filing. Proper documentation ensures compliance and avoids discrepancies.

B. Understanding tax implications of HRA 

The tax implications of House Rent Allowance (HRA) involve claiming deductions on rent paid. Employees can avail of tax benefits on HRA by providing rent receipts and meeting specific conditions outlined by the Income Tax Act. The HRA received, actual rent paid, and city of residence are key factors determining the HRA’s taxable portion.

C. Consult a tax professional for accurate calculations

For precise House Rent Allowance (HRA) calculations and to ensure adherence to tax regulations, it’s recommended to consult a qualified tax professional. Their expertise will help you navigate the complexities of HRA claims, ensuring accurate and compliant calculations in line with applicable tax laws.


In conclusion, an Online HRA calculator is a valuable tool that simplifies determining House Rent Allowance benefits. By considering factors like HRA received, actual rent paid, and the city of residence, this calculator provides a clear estimate of HRA’s taxable and non-taxable portions. However, seeking guidance from a tax professional is recommended for precise calculations and ensuring adherence to tax laws. An HRA calculator with expert advice can help individuals optimize their tax benefits while complying with regulatory requirements.

Accurate online HRA calculators are important as they provide individuals with reliable estimates for their House Rent Allowance claims, ensuring proper tax planning and compliance with tax regulations. Ready to simplify your House Rent Allowance (HRA) calculations? 

Visit Kanakkupillai and utilize our accurate online HRA calculatorYou can estimate your HRA benefits with just a few clicks, ensuring proper tax planning and compliance. Our user-friendly tool provides reliable results, helping you make informed financial decisions.  Experience our HRA calculator’s convenience and accuracy today–try it and optimize your HRA claims by clicking on Kanakkupillai!



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