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Anand

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Everything You Need to Know About Leave Travel Allowance (LTA)


With the Financial Year winding to a close by end of March and Summary Vacations on the horizon in April-May, many of us are planning our vacations during the time when our kids don't have School. Many of us go on yearly outings with family but most people don’t know or don’t use their Leave Travel Allowance. In fact, many of us would have heard the term LTA at some point during their careers but don’t bother to use it (including me) because we fail to appreciate its use and tax benefits.

The purpose of this article is to help you understand what LTA is and how to use it to reduce your tax liability.

What is Leave Travel Allowance?

Leave Travel Allowance is an allowance that is usually paid as part of Salary (Annual CTC to be specific) by employers to their employees. The original idea behind the LTA component was to help the employee meet his travel expenses. However, of late it has become yet another component of the CTC and no one cares much about it except how much is paid out as LTA every year by the employer.

LTA is usually decided for a year and then paid out on a monthly basis. For ex: If your LTA is Rs. 12,000/- every year, you will get Rs. 1,000/- every month as LTA.

Many Employers club together the allowances like House Rent Allowance (HRA), LTA, Medical Allowance etc. and come up with a final number that is added to the CTC. The employee is given the flexibility to decide how much of the total Allowance is allocated to each of the individual components. As LTA isn’t that popular with people, most of them usually enter a small number there and fail to utilize it properly. In other cases, company's themselves decide the LTA based on the employee's designation/experience etc.

Does the LTA Have Tax Benefits?

Of Course YES. Do you think, I will be writing an entire article if it weren’t important?

How does LTA Affect My Tax Liability?

Let us say your annual Salary is Rs. 6,00,000/-

After all your deductions like House Rent, Medical bills, Section 80C Tax Savings etc., your Taxable Income is Rs. 3,50,000/-

Let us assume, your annual salary includes a Rs. 25,000/- LTA component and if you satisfy all the criteria laid down by the Tax Authorities to utilize the LTA Tax benefits, your Taxable Income will come down to Rs. 3,25,000/-

Effectively, the entire LTA component of your Salary became Tax Free!!!

However, Did you read the Sentence "If you satisfy all the criteria laid down by the Tax Authorities to utilize the LTA Tax benefits" that I just used above?

Yes, the Tax Benefits aren’t available to everyone. You need to satisfy the following conditions in order to be eligible to avail this tax benefit.


Condition No. 1: The Amount should be spent only on Self and Immediate Family Who is totally dependent on you

By Family we are talking about - Spouse, A Maximum of two children, Parents, Brothers & Sisters Who are not employed and are dependent on your income

Condition No. 2: The Travelling Group should Include the person who is going to claim LTA

If you are not travelling with your family, you cannot claim LTA for that trip. For ex If my wife, two children and parents went to Delhi from Chennai, and I stayed back at work, I cannot claim LTA on that trip.

Condition No. 3: The Amount Claimed should be for Travelling Expenses Only via the Primary Mode of Travel

By Travelling Expenses, we are talking about the expenses incurred for the actual travelling part like Train Tickets, Air Tickets, Bus Tickets etc. Supplementary Travel expenses like Auto Fare, Taxi Fare etc. are not covered. All other expenses like Food, Accommodation, Sightseeing etc. are not covered as well.

Condition No. 4: Foreign Travel is not eligible for LTA

All Trips and Travels within the country of India only are eligible for LTA Exemption under the Indian Tax Laws

Condition No. 5: Travel Expenses are Considered only for the Shortest Route Possible

LTA Exemption can be claimed only corresponding to the fare that will be incurred if you take the shortest possible route. If you are travelling from Chennai to Bangalore, the amount you can claim is for a train/bus/flight that goes directly from Chennai to Bangalore. If you go from Chennai -> Hyderabad -> Bangalore for some strange reason and try to claim the two-trip expenses, it will not be approved. You have to either submit expenses for the Chennai -> Hyderabad -> Chennai trip or book tickets in a direct trip from Chennai to Bangalore

Condition No. 6: You can claim LTA only Twice in a Block of Four Years

You could claim LTA exemption in respect of any two journeys in a block of four years. The current block is 2010 to 2013. Say for example, you claim LTA exemption in 2010, then you could claim just one more till 2013. Remember - You cannot Claim LTA Every year.

There is some confusion about whether LTA follows the financial year or the calendar year. LTA Year blocks are always based on calendar year. So, it goes from Jan 2010 to Dec 2013 for the current block. The claim can be done in the financial year that the travel actually happened. If you traveled between April to Dec 2013 you can claim it in the tax returns you will be filing in 2014 for the financial year Apr'13 to Mar'14.

Condition No. 7: If Husband and Wife both receive LTA, They cannot claim the same Trip

If Husband and Wife both receive LTA as part of their salary, both of them could claim LTA individually as the rules of LTA apply individually to each of them. So in a block of four years, each spouse can claim LTA twice. The only restriction is that both spouses cannot claim an LTA exemption for the same journey. In other words, LTA cannot be claimed twice for the same journey.

Condition No. 8: You must have been on earned/annual leave on the dates for which you are claiming the LTA. You cannot claim LTA for days when you were working. You must have applied for annual or earned or paid leave (whatever you may wanna call it) and got it approved in order to claim LTA. There is actually no limit on the minimum or maximum number of days you need to apply for leave to claim LTA. But, for easier claims/processing try to utilize at least 3 consecutive days of annual leave for LTA purposes.

As you can see, though LTA can be pretty useful in reducing your tax liability twice in a block of four years, it isn’t straightforward and involves a lot of Conditions. If you intend on claiming LTA, make sure that you Remember these 7 conditions above.

After reading the above conditions, you would definitely have a few questions that are lingering in your mind. I have tried to answer a few of them below. If you have any more questions, please feel free to leave a comment and I will do my best to answer them.

1. Can I fly Business Class and claim LTA?

No. For air travel, the maximum amount that can be claimed as exemption is the economy class air fare.

2. What is the Maximum Fare I can claim as LTA while travelling by Road or Rail?

For rail or road, the maximum amount that can be claimed as exempt is the air conditioned first class rail fare to your destination by the shortest route.

3. What happens if I did not make a claim in the current block? Do I get any benefits for the next block?

In case you don’t avail of the LTA exemption in a particular block, whether for both the journeys or for just one journey, you could carry forward one journey to the first calendar year in the next succeeding block of four years. Thus, in the next block of four years, you could claim the carried forward travel, plus, two journeys of that particular block i.e. a total of 3 exemptions!

For ex: Let us say you are entitled to an LTA of Rs.10, 000 per year and you do not utilize it in the block 2010-2013. This amount could be carried forward to the first year in the next block of four years. You must therefore claim this amount in 2014 and then you can further more claim your LTA entitlement of that particular block (2 more times) as well.

Note that the maximum exemption you can avail in a block of 4 years is 2 * LTA amount per year. And this is also limited to the LTA Amount received in that year. This means - you can avail 2 LTA Claims each upper limit of that years LTA Amount.

4. How does One claim an Exemption?

As most of us are salaried employees, you can submit evidence for the travel (tickets/bills etc.) to your employer and they will include it in your form 16. If you are self-employed or missed submitting LTA to your company, you can avail the services of any chartered account who helps file Tax Returns for people and they will be more than happy to include this along with your tax calculations.

5. What happens if I spend more than my LTA amount?

In case your travel expenses exceed your actual Leave Travel Allowance amount, the exemption you can claim is limited to your LTA Amount. For ex: If your LTA is Rs. 25,000/- this year and you incurred Rs. 40,000/- in air fares for a family trip, your LTA Exemption will be limited to Rs. 25,000/- and the remaining Rs. 15,000/- will not give you any tax benefits.

6. What happens if I don’t exhaust my LTA amount?

In case your travel expenses are lesser than your actual Leave Travel Allowance amount, the exemption is limited to the actual amount spent. For ex: If your LTA is Rs. 25,000/- this year and you incurred Rs. 15,000/- in rail fares for a family trip, your LTA Exemption will be limited to Rs. 15,000/- and the remaining Rs. 10,000/- will not give you any tax benefits.

7. I Traveled more than once in a single financial year. Can I claim both for LTA?

Yes.

8. I booked a tour via a travel operator as a Package. Can I claim the entire amount as LTA?

No. Only the actual amounts spent on Road/Air/Rail transport can be claimed. Other expenses cannot be claimed as LTA. The idea here is - We will go on vacations with our families irrespective of the Tax Benefits we get out of it. However, if we can get tax benefits, why waste it.


Updates - June 2016:

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has just revised their policy with regards to the claiming of Leave Travel Allowance. 

So far, there was no specific form or format in which the particulars or evidences were required to be submitted. To streamline the same CBDT through its Notification has prescribed a new Form 12BB in which the details of deduction claimed have to be furnished by the employee, however the notification does not mention any particular documents to be preserved for claiming LTA. In other words, the CBDT notification has remained silent on the nature of evidence to be collected for deductions in the form of documents, which would have removed subjectivity. But the onus is both on the employer and employees to maintain robust documentation. These would include Air tickets / Railway Tickets / Bus ticket or bill issued by the travelling agent in case of journey performed by the other mode of public transport for journey performed in India to be produced as proof for LTA. 

These rules have become effective from June 1 hence the salaried class returning from their vacation must take cognizance of this new norm and start obtaining the missing links of their travel bills and provide appropriate details since the declaration to be filed by the employee shall become a part of TDS return to be filed by the employer.

Why this Change? 

There have been too many cases of fake LTA claims where people provide bogus travel receipts and claim LTA. To Avoid that the IT officials have come up with this new regulation which would help them identify such claims and punish the offenders. 

Happy Vacations!!!

200 comments:

  1. I need few clarifications regarding Leave travel allowance. Can you please help me.

    As per my understanding LTA can be claimed twice in a block of 4 years. 2010 - 2013 and 2014 -2017

    Query 1:
    I have travelled twice in 2013, 1st travel is in Oct 2013 and 2nd travel is in Dec 2013.
    * When should I claim these travel expense??
    * Can I claim these expenses in 2013-14 financial year???
    * Can I claim both the travels at the same financial year 2013-14??


    Query 2:
    I have travelled once in the month of March 2014. This should fall in the block of 2014-2017
    * When should I claim these travel expense?
    * Should I claim these in 2013-14 financial year ?? or
    * Can I claim these in 2014-15 financial year??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nag - See answers below:

      Query 1
      1. You should claim during the financial year when your travel happened.
      2. Yes - both Oct 2013 and Dec 2013 come in this financial year so, yes you have to claim now
      3. Yes - you can, provided you have enough funds in your LTA kitty. For ex: If you incurred 15000 in oct 2013 and 20000 in dec 2013 and you have 50000 in your LTA kitty you can claim both the trips

      Query 2
      1. Travel in March 2014 should be claimed in this financial year as well (provided u have enough money in LTA kitty)
      2. Yes, you should claim now and It will come under the 2014 to 2017 block
      3. No, you cannot claim next year

      Delete
    2. Hi Anand,
      Thanks for the clarification

      Delete
  2. Can I claim the LTA for block Jan'2010 to Dec'2014 in IT Refund of 2014-15 financial year?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vishwanath - The block is 2010 to 2013 - 4 years. 2014 to 2017 is the next block.

      If you want to claim LTA benefits in the 2014-15 financial year your travel must happen between 1st April 2014 and 31st April 2015.

      The 2010 to 2013 block is already over. So, if you had done any travel after 1st April 2013 up until 31st Dec 2013, you can still claim it in the current financial year that is ending next week 31st March 2014 but will be considered as part of that block.

      If your travel happened on or after 1st Jan 2014, it will be considered as a travel in the 2014 to 2017 block

      Delete
  3. I have heard of companies that pay LTA every month irrespective of travel. At the end of the year employees who have availed leaves and traveled submit bills and save the tax on the yearly LTA amount received in monthly salary (this is towards the close of the year say Nov, Dec). Effectively those who have not traveled end up receiving the LTA in monthly salary net of tax. Is this policy ok to follow?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What do you mean - net of tax? If you mean - the LTA component received every month up until the end of the year being fully taxable, then YES

      Delete
  4. Hi,
    I have claimed LTA only once for journey held in Sep last year. I have a couple of queries

    a) Since only 1 journey was claimed during 2010-13 block, I can now claim 3 travels in current block 2014-17 provided I claim the carried forward LTA claim for journey between Jan to Dec 2014, correct?
    b) I am planning to go on a vacation in May 2014 as follows

    I'll go Alone to location C from my working location A. This comprises the longest leg of my journey.
    After few days, I'll travel along with my spouse to location B. FYI, location B comes on the way between A to C if travelled by train.
    Atlast both of us will travel back from B to A.

    A----------------------------------------->C (travelling alone)
    B<---------C (travelling along with spouse)
    A<----------------------------B (travelling along with spouse)

    Every journey is made via direct train in 3AC class. Which travel expense can I claim from the above as my total journey comprises of 3 legs?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous - See answers

      a. No, you cannot. You can carry forward one claim to the next year only if you did not claim LTA during the block. Since you claimed once, you are not eligible for this carry forward

      b. You can actually claim all the legs provided that is the primary mode of transport. But, remember - The travel where your wife and children (if any) reached C will not be claimable because you should be travelling with your family for their travel to be eligible for LTA.

      Delete
  5. hiii sir,
    theoretically is it correct to say that if i have not claimed any exemption before financial year 2013-14 than in financial year 2013-14 i can claim exemption 2 times upto dec 13 and again 2 times between jan 14 to mar 14 in the same financial year total 4 exemption in financial year 2013-14

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes - Theoretically possible. However, the claim amount you get will be capped at the LTA component of your salary irrespective of the no. of claims. If your actual claim amount is beyond the LTA part of your salary, you will effectively be wasting your claim

      Delete
  6. Hello Anand

    I had worked with my previous company from January 2012 to June 2013 & my annual LTA was Rs 18000/-. But I never claim my LTA. After leaving company I asked to company to pay me LTA as said in CTC letter but they refused me by giving reason that it must claim in working days.Since July 2013 I am working with different company.
    Can I get LTA from previous employer? As it was mentioned in my CTC letter.

    Thanks
    Rahul

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rahul - What does your Offer letter say? Does it say that LTA will be paid out every month and you can get tax benefits at the end of the year? If so, your employer should have paid out :LTA Every month and if he did not, then it is a crime.

      However, some companies will pay LTA as long as you actually do the travel and claim the amount. In such cases the company can deny the LTA payment because legally they are not bound to pay you the LTA. If your offer/ctc letter says this, then you cannot get the LTA money.

      On top of all this - most companies wont pay you after you leave them because legally you are no longer employed to them.

      Delete
  7. Hi Anand,

    I have travelled from Pune to New Delhi and then from New Delhi to Aasam by train. Returned from Aasam to New Delhi by train. From New Delhi to Pune I travelled by road. Can i claim the amount for LTA exemption for this whole journey done in a single travel?

    Somebody told me some rule about round trip hence was little confused.

    Regards
    Dharmesh Vyas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dharmesh - You can claim only by primary mode of transport. So, the last leg that you did by road will not be eligible.

      Delete
  8. HI Anand,

    I have travelled from Mumbai to Kanpur via flight (from Mumbai to Lucknow) & then onwards by cab. Can i claim both flight+cab fare for my return journey?

    Rgds
    Siddhartha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No Siddhartha - You cannot. You can claim only the primary mode of travel - Flight.

      Delete
  9. Hi Anand,

    2 questions from my end:
    1) My parents in law stay with me and travelled during the journey. Can I include them in the claim? The train tickets are combined with them as senior citizens.
    2) Though we made the onward journey together, but my wife returned later. Can I include her return journey in my claim?

    thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mina - In Laws usually dont come as dependents if either of them have an income like Pension or have a Son/Daughter who is claiming dependent benefits. If your inlaws have neither then you can try.
      No you cannot claim that because you can only claim all journeys where you traveled with your family

      Delete
  10. Hi Annad,

    I will be travelling to Mumbai to Chennai by Air with my family, then we will travel by cab to Coimbatore /ooty /madurai and back to chennai by cab, my query is whether i can claim both the air fare and the local travel on cab which can be consider as primary mode for my exemption.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dinya - You can only claim the primary mode of transport. If you claim the air fare, the cab becomes the secondary mode and you cant claim both.

      Delete
  11. Hi,
    one simply query, when you say lta can be claimed only twice a block, does to and fro account as one or twice? if i claim blr to chennai and return , i have claimed twice and not eligible for any more lta claims correct?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi - One LTA Claim can include as many trips as you want - provided you have enough funds in our LTA component of salary and all the trips happened during that particular year. One to and fro trip would be considered as part of a single claim and not 2 claims.

      Delete
  12. Hi, I have done my LTA travel in December 2013. However I claimed LTA for the same in early 2014. Now my company is stating that I have consumed 1 of the 2 LTA claims available from the 2014 - 2019 block since as per their policies - LTA is based on "date of claim" and not based on "date of travel". I was under the assumption that LTA block consumption is based on date of travel and not based on date of claim. I had only consumed 1 LTA in 2009 and then again in December 2013. With this company policy, I will be losing my 2nd LTA claim in 2009-2013 block and will be using my 2014 - 2019 block. Can you help guide me in the right direction for this - maybe some pointer to any official documentation so that I can either correct myself or my company payroll person? Thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mitra - I think the claim should be considered for the 2010-2013 block since your travel happened in Dec 2013. It is better to consult a good chartered accountant for details like proof from official documentation. Best of luck.

      Delete
  13. Hi Anand,

    Thanks for a an informative article.

    I have a question for you. Is it required to travel by National Career to claim LTA? What if travelled using Indigo or any other private player?

    Thanks
    Imran

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No Imran it is not required, you can travel by any airline. However, the LTA claim will correspond to economy class air-fare only not business class

      Delete
  14. Hi Anand, quick question. I travelled to Guwahati from Mumbai via flight and then travelled in Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal by road. Can I claim my flight tickets Mumbai-Guwahati-Mumbai AND the taxi fare used in Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal as well?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I dont think so. The air tickets constitute your primary mode of travel. The road will not come under LTA

      Delete
  15. Dear Anand ,
    I have not claimed LTA in the 2010-2013 , as i dont have required documents to submit as the proof .
    But last week ( from 15th May 2014 to 25th May 2014 ) , I went to kerala in flight and kame back in Taxi
    1) May I know , if i can claim the above travel in this year ( first year of 2014-2017) as a carry forward for the last four year block ?
    Thanking you!
    Regards

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You cannot specify whether this is the carry forward claim or the first claim. The law allows you to claim 3 times in this block and this claim will be one of them.

      you can claim the flight but i dont think taxi will be claimable

      Delete
  16. Hello Anand,

    As I understand from your earlier comments -

    If I travel in March 2014, I can only claim it in FY ending in march 2014.Is that correct ?

    Also, Since I didn't claim any LTA for 2010-2013, I will have another chance to apply in this block ?

    My Journy is like -

    Place X - Y - Train
    Place Y -Z Flight
    Place Z-Y Flight
    Placy Y-X - Train

    Can I claim for Train+Flight both , since I am returning back to X again?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Saurabh - When you combine two modes of travel, the one that covers the most distance is usually considered the primary mode of travel and only that can be claimed. So, here - either train or flight only will be covered.

      Yes, if you travel in March 2014 you have to claim in the tax you file for the financial year April 2013 to March 2014 and this will be the first claim of your 2014-17 block

      Delete
  17. Hi Anand,

    is it possible to claim LTA for the duration in which someone is not employed with any employer, but travel was done.
    for example if some1 leaves a job and does a travel post which he again joins another job, in that case is it possible to claim LTA for this travel and can it be done while filling ITR?


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pramod - Yes, I think you should be eligible as long as you accumulated some amount as part of your salary as LTA. IF so, consult a good chartered accountant or tax filing consultant and they can help you here.

      Delete
  18. 1) Faculty had applied for Hometown LTC during declared Summer vacation of Govt. of India National Institute
    2) LTC Order had been sanctioned by competent authority
    3) The Faculty had now applied for Advance for LTC and 10 days leave encashment during LTC
    4) Both the advance and 10 days leave encashment during LTC have been approved by competent authority and "Bank Cheques" have been issued, signed by the competent authority
    5) Advance cheques have been encashed by Faculty for purchasing Air and Train Tickets for availing LTC

    At this points can authority stop that Faculty from availing Hometown LTC, by asking him/her not to leave the station showing whatever reasons they may feel? If yes, then who will pay the "Cancellation charges" of the "Air Tickets" and "Train Tickets"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi - I am not sure why you want to stop the faculty from leaving after paying his LTC claim. Anyways, if the faculty is cancelling the tickets due to your request, I would assume you would have to bear the cancellation charges.

      Anyways, This looks like some specific governmental requirement which I am not aware of. Sorry.

      Delete
  19. Hi Anand,

    if an employee do one side journey in December and return journey in January next year. Can he claim both sides fair in one calendar year? If yes, in which year, year of first journey or year of return journey?

    Thanks in advance for your great help!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ravi,
      This is a very tricky situation. I am assuming you are talking about Dec'13 and Jan'14. If that is the case, the journey actually will affect one claim each in both the LTA Blocks. The claim can actually be done in the financial year that ended March 2014 but it will be considered as one claim for the block 2014-2017.

      This is based on my understanding and since this is a tricky situation, its better if you consult a good chartered accountant/tax consultant.

      Anand

      Delete
  20. Hi Anand, I'm not sure if this question has already come up but I'll just ask anyways. Sorry.
    So I switched jobs and started working from october 2013. As per my contract i can get 1 lac as LTA per year. I haven't availed it yet. So in my tax return this year, will I show 50000 fully taxable ? How much LTA must my employer give ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ram - Most companies pay LTA as part of your monthly salary and you have the responsibility to avail your tax benefits. If this is how your company works, you will get whatever LTA component is part of your CTC salary package. In this case, whatever amount LTA you have will be fully taxable (if you dont claim the LTA). If your old job had X LTA and new job has Y LTA, your total taxable LTA for this year will be X + Y.

      If your company refunds your LTA when you make a claim (like some government organizations), the LTA amount will be prorated based on no. of months of service in that year.

      Delete
  21. Hi Anand,

    I have applied to avail my PLs on 05.05.2014 for the period of 12.05.2014 to 18.05.2014.
    Suddenly, company terminated me on 09.05.2014. However I have travelled from 12.05.2014 to 18.05.2014 by Air,
    and submit my LTA claim for my LTA to the company on 30.5.2014..

    My question :

    1. Whetehr I will get my LTA from the company as the travelling period is after termination.

    2. whether it is legal obligation to the company to pay my LTA in such cirmstances.

    Can company can deny to reimburse my LTA amount on any base.

    manish verma

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Manish - No, I dont think you will be paid LTA for trvel that happened after your last working date.

      For the 2nd Q, pls consult a good lawyer

      Delete
  22. Hi Anand,

    In my salary stack up LTA is 60000 per year. If I am not traveling this year, The LTA amount will lose or will get the amount after deducting the tax?

    George

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. George - It depends on what type of arrangement you have with your salary. Some companies will only pay LTA if you travel - It is like a submit the claim and get the money type of arrangements. Others will pay you the LTA Each month and you can submit the bills/receipts to claim tax benefits. If you dont travel or if you dont submit bills, the company just deducts the requisite amount of tax.

      Check your job offer letter - this should be mentioned there.

      Anand

      Delete
  23. Dear Anand,

    I have a question regarding LTA claim. Since LTA can be claimed twice in block of four year, But LTA is a part of CTC every year. Let's say if every year i get Rs. 25000/- as LTA. And I don't claim it for first year, it will be taxable. In that case when i claim it next year. I should be eligible for 25000 of last year plus 25000 of this year . So Am I eligible for both the years amount in one go? Or It is like that u can earn LTA every year but can claim alternative year

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No Anonymous, the amount does not get carried over. The amount 25000 that is part of your CTC for that year will be your eligibility. I have published a book about Indian Income tax and retiring as a crorepati. That book will be very useful for you. Check it here: http://anandvijayakumar.blogspot.com/p/books-by-this-blog-author.html

      Anand

      Delete
  24. hi, my father is a govt employee with delhi govt. I booked air india tickets for him thorugh make my trip.com.

    Now when my father submitted the documents for LTA claim in his office, they are saying that you have to book the tickets only through Air India website, and not through any other site. So on this basis, they have rejected my father's LTA claim. I want to know if there is any such clause? Are they right in rejecting the LTA? If not, what is the other option through which the LTA can be claimed for the said journey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous - Only the base air fare is claimable under LTA. If this website had charged your dad booking fees or any other charges, those cannot be claimed. Maybe the claim was submitted for the entire amount and thats why it got rejected.

      Consult a good chartered account or tax consultant. They should be able to help you claim the LTA due.

      Delete
  25. Hi! Anand,

    I've two queries;
    1. Can I claim LTA exemption for the travel that also included my dependent in-laws?
    2. My LTA exemption amount is not shown in my Form-16. I've all the relevant proofs such as the Invoice, E-Tkt and boarding pass for my travel. How can I claim this exemption while filing my returns. Also, how can I attach these proofs?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sudhir,
      1. No, dependent in laws cannot be considered for exemption claim under LTA.
      2. Consult a good chartered accountant or tax consultant they can help you. Online e-filing service is mainly for people who have submitted all the proof to their employer and have a form 16 and have no amendments to the same.

      Delete
  26. HI Anand,
    Thanks for the info on LTA, My question is I am from Hyderabad but I work in Chennai. becoz of this I fly to Hyd (Economy Class) for every 15 days. Can I show these bills under my LTA. If not advice me on how can I avails tax benefit for these Travels.

    Regards
    Batha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi - If during any of these trips, you take at least 3 consecutive working days as leave, then yes, that particular trip alone can be used for LTA claims. The other trips you take up as part of your routine visits is not eligible for LTA.

      There are no other sections in our tax laws by which you can avail benefits on these trips. However, there are numerous other tax deductions and exemptions you can avail. you can find more info about them in my book. To learn more about my book and its price - check this page: http://anandvijayakumar.blogspot.com/p/books-by-this-blog-author.html

      Delete
  27. Hi Anand,

    I am planning to travel to Kashmir with my family. For this, we shall be flying to Jammu together. This trip is planned for 12 days (including about 9 days of paid leaves), hence meeting LTA criteria. Now, in order to reduce my paid leaves (weekend offs becoming sandwich leaves), I plan to fly back from Kashmir on Sunday, while my family shall fly back on Monday. I would like to understand, what all of the following can I claim under LTA?

    1. My travel (to-fro & interim taxi) expenses only
    2. My travel (to-fro & interim taxi) expenses + Travel expenses of my family until I return (ie air fare to Jammu and taxi fare further to Srinagar and other places)
    3. All expenses of myself and my family

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can only claim your mail travel expense - flight tickets. for the TO journey, you can claim all tickets since you and your family are travelling together. For the BACK journey you can only claim your ticket because your family is not coming with you.

      Other expenses like taxi, sightseeing, hotel, food etc cannot be claimed.

      Note: By Family we are talking about - Spouse, A Maximum of two children, Parents, Brothers & Sisters Who are not employed and are dependent on your income

      Delete
  28. Hi Anand

    Suppose my employer is paying me LTA of rs 25000 yearly.
    in 2010 1st journey expense 20000
    2011 2nd journey expense 40000
    can i claim full part full 60000 in block of 2010-2013.

    2nd question- If i received my first LTA from November 2010 onwards ie 10000 pm and in december my expense is 40000 can i claim part 10000 in year 2010 and carry forward 30000 in year 2012.

    Thanking you in advance

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No and No.

      The amount you can claim is capped at either the actual amount you incurred in your travel or the LTA component you received as salary during that year. You cannot carry forward any amounts or sum up amounts from previous years that was not claimed.

      You can check out my book on indian income tax to learn more about LTA and also the various other tax savings options in India.

      See here: http://anandvijayakumar.blogspot.com/2014/08/have-you-started-planning-your-taxes-yet.html

      Delete
  29. Hi Anand,

    Following in my case:
    Original plan is as following in which I applied for 3 days of leave.

    From Pune to Vadodara 12th June (Thursday)
    From Vadodara to Pune 17th June (Tuesday)

    Actual travel dates due to emergency:

    From Pune to Vadodara 12th June (Thursday)
    From Vadodara to Pune 15th June (Sunday)

    I had to cut short the journey by 2 days but I was on leave till June 17th as per my original plan (3 consecutive days). Please let me know if I can claim LTA for this trip. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous - As this is an unexpected situation, I think your LTA should be accepted. Talk to your employer. If they refuse, talk to a chartered accountant or tax consultant. They can help you claim this LTA.

      Delete
  30. Dear Mr.Anand, i would like to share with you that Supreme court had given order saying that travel proof not necessary to claim LTA but my company is always asking for travel proofs.Kindly let us know the actual scenario .sharing with you the link from where i got the information.kindly reply. http://taxguru.in/income-tax/proof-of-travel-not-required-for-claiming-lta-sc.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ravikiran - I think you did not understand it properly. A bench comprising Justice SH Kapadia and Justice Aftab Alam said that assessee employers are under no statutory obligation to collect bills and details to prove that the employees had utilised the amounts obtained against these claims on travel and related expenses. According to prevailing rules, if claims on LTA and conveyance are not supported by journey bills, they would be taxed.

      The bench is not saying, you will get tax benefits without travel proof. The supreme court is saying, to get your LTA money (If it is part of your monthly pay-check) you dont need travel proof. However, if you are working in a reimbursement of LTA expenses as per actuals kind of mode or if you want tax benefits for your LTA, the travel proof is mandatory.

      Anand

      Delete
  31. Mr. Anand,

    Kind clarify the below doubt.

    I have booked ticket for myself thro OFFER RATE (RS.4200) from Chennai to Port Blair to travel during May 2015 now itself (ie Aug.2014). Later I have booked tickets for my Wife & 2 children with full rate (Rs.33000) as the offer was closed. Now can I claim LTC in two different rates for the same travelling date.

    Suresh Babu

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Suresh - that should be fine. As long as you have proper tickets to prove the rate, there should be no issues.

      Delete
  32. Hi Anand, My Question is like this:
    I have availed four year block LTC in May 2013 for the block 2010-2013 and I had claimed the amount. Again I have availed four year block LTC in May 2014 for the block 2014-2017. Now can i claim this reimbursement now?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry anonymous, I couldnt understand your Q. Are you asking, I availed LTA claims in the previous block (2010-2013). Can I claim again this block in 2014-2017?

      If so - Yes, you can claim

      Delete
  33. In my offer letter, it has been mentioned that LTA is 2000, however in the deductions there is a section which says LTA WITHHELD...what is that? it is in the same column as other deductions like PF Employee and Employer and Profession Tax etc..and there is nil being reflected against it.

    can someone explain!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. check your offer letter properly. Probably the LTA is a reimbursable component and you will be paid the LTA only if you claim it. Talk to your HR department and find out more details..

      Delete
  34. Hi Anand
    In condition No 7 , u have mentioned that Husband and wife can't claim LTA for same trip. My query is that, can they claim LTA for their respective share means e.g. if 20000/-( Rs 10000/- per person) paid as rail fare can they claim Rs 10000/- as LTA.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous - Yes, I think it should be ok, as long as both of you are claiming just your part of the travel.

      Delete
  35. Hi Mr Anand.
    WHETHER A PERSON CAN AVAIL HOMETOWN OF THE NEW BLOCK YEAR THOUGH HIS HOMETOWN/LTC OF EARLIER BLOCK DOES NOT EXHAUST
    AND WHETHER ONE CAN CLAIM THE REMAINING LTC/HOMETOWN OF THE EARLIER YEAR LATER.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry - I could not understand the question.

      Delete
  36. Hi Anand
    I have not claimed LTA in block period of 2010-1013. I want to claim carry forward LTA in the month of september 2014. Can i get tax benifit for the same in financial year 2014-2015.
    In my travel direct flight not available. From example ahmedabad to madurai direct flight not available. one has to go via mumbai,hyderabad or chennai. Can LTA be claimed for such a flight journey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you can carry forward one claim to this current block but the amount you can claim will be limited to the LTA component of your salary thsi year. You cannot carry forward unused LTA money from previous years.

      Usually the primary mode of transport is claimable. If there is no direct flight, I think a stop-over kind of flight should be ok but, if you combine a flight with car, only the primary mode will be paid. not both.

      Delete
  37. Can a Husband claim LTA exemption for travel expenses incurred using his wife's credit card.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure If:
      1. You were part of the travel/LTA
      2. Your wife is not claiming the same travel/trip
      3. there is sufficient amount to claim in your LTA component

      Delete
  38. In case LTA is mentioned in annual CTC and an employee is eligible for claiming Rs. 30000/- per annum but he does not want to claim LTA (tax exemption), can the amount of. Rs.30000/- be paid to be him every year for that block and deduct tax?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In most cases - Yes.

      In cases the company expects you to claim the LTA and if you dont, they wont pay you, and if that is so, it is mentioned in the job offer letter. So, if your offer letter says Rs. 30000 is a reimbursable & Claimable component only if you travel, then No you wont be paid.

      Delete
  39. Hello Anand,
    Thanks for writing this detailed blog and all the follow up information. I went through the blog and the list of questions but still couldn’t get the answer for my query and hence posting this.
    I went on a trip to Jaisalmer with my family from Bangalore. Since Jaisalmer is not connected by air, we flew to Jaipur and took a train from Jaipur to Jaisalmer. For the return journey, I got cheaper air tickets from Ahmedabad and hence took a taxi from Jaisalmer to Ahmedabad from where we took a flight back to Bangalore. So overall our round trip is Bangalore  Jaipur (Flight)  Jaisalmer (Train)  Ahmedabad(taxi) Bangalore (Flight). Since LTA allows only one primary mode of travel and only one destination per trip, I am confused on how to make an LTA claim for this trip. I have the following questions /clarifications
    1. If I enter Jaipur as my destination, I have only onward tickets to Jaipur as the return is from Ahmedabad. But I would like to cover both onward and return journeys under LTA claim. So is this option possible?
    2. I would ideally want to put Jaisalmer as the destination and claim flight + train for onward and Taxi+flight for return. But from what I read from the posts above, this is not allowed (i.e. only one primary mode of travel is allowed). Please confirm.
    3. If I mention Jaisalmer as the destination, my onward flight is from Bangalore to Jaipur while return is Ahmedabad to Bangalore. Is this allowed?
    4. If you have any suggestions on how I can make this claim so that it is legally correct and also maximizes tax savings, please let me know.
    Thank you.
    AJ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AJ - Some recommendations/answers from my side.

      1. You have to enter Jaisalmer as destination and claim tickets to Jaipur for onward and from Ahmedabad for return. You have to forego/exclude the connection from Jaipur/Ahmedabad and Jaisalmer if you want to claim both legs of your travel
      2. Yes, only primary mode is claimable. Taxi is not claimable
      3. Yes, I think it will be allowed.
      4. Consult a good chartered accountant or tax consultant. They can help you make this claim.

      Alternately - you can buy my Tax Savings related book to properly plan your taxes and reduce your tax liability. The title of the book is - "Your Complete Guide to Indian Income Tax and Retiring as a Crorepati" For more details check here: http://anandvijayakumar.blogspot.sg/p/books-by-this-blog-author.html

      Delete
    2. Thanks Anand for the prompt response. I shall definitely consider buying your book on Indian income tax.
      - AJ

      Delete
  40. Hi Anand,

    If we didn't claim LTA in particular block, the LTA amount is 100% taxable ?

    Thanks
    Dasarath

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hi Anand,
    I have traveled in March -2014 and want to claim leave and exemption in Oct-2014. Can I get exemption for my traveling? My company's accountant says that you can claim for leave but can not get exemption as the financial year has been changed and I say that the LTA is depend on calendar year not financial year i.e. Jan-2014 to Dec-2014. I have traveled and want to claim for exemption in this year, so my LTA exemption must be calculated in this year tax sheet i.e. April-2014 - March-2015. Can I get exemption? Please, suggest.
    Thanks,
    Hitesh Khatri

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hitesh - though both claims would come under the calendar year 2014, the claims have to be done in the corresponding financial year the month falls into. March is prev years financial year and october is this years.

      Delete
  42. Hi Anand,

    Does LTA have to be in the salary structure? I have been given the option of structuring my salary and I was wondering if the component needs to be in there at all?

    Regards,
    Balram

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, LTA is not mandatory. You can include LTA two times in a block of 4 years and use that money to claim your travel expenses and during the remaining 2 years you can ignore lta and take it out your salary strucutre.

      Note: If LTA is part of your salary structure and you dont claim LTA or if you cannot claim LTA, the amount will be FULLY TAXABLE.

      Delete
  43. i have taken leave from 30th december 2013 to 3rd jan 2014. i want to claim lTA for 2013 . can i claim wiht this vacation period since minimum 3 days are required to claim LTA
    in 2010 to 2013 i have claimed only once

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hi, this post is very useful, thank you. My wife and me have the following itinery
    Bangalore - Jaipur (air via Hyd, same flight continues on)
    Jaipur - jaisalmer (train)
    Jaisalmer - udaipur (bus)
    Udaipur - Agra (train)
    Agra - Delhi (train)
    Delhi - Bangalore (air)

    What parts of this can I claim?

    Also for train tickets proof, is eticket accepted?

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Avinash - Usually LTA can be claimed for the 2 main journeys which here will be Bangalore to Jaipur and Delhi to Bangalore. With so many stops in a travel, it is really tricky calculating your eligibilty.

      yes eticket is fine but you have to provide the boarding slip or something to prove that you actually travelled on that date using that ticket

      Delete
  45. If we travelled in January 2014, can we make the claim for this travel in December 2014 for the FY 2014-15?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi - The claim has to be done in the financial year the travel happens. LTA is one of those subjects where travel is counted on calendar year basis whereas the claim has to be done on FY basis. So, yes, you can claim in the financial year ending March 2015

      Delete
  46. Hi Anand,

    Can I claim LTA for tour to Mal dives?

    Regards,
    Nitin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anand, thanks for the answer, I went via Cochin (Delhi-Cochin-Maldives-Cochin-Delhi), can I claim Delhi-Cochin-Delhi?

      Regards,
      Nitin

      Delete
  47. How do you treat a case when an employee submits a fake LTA bill in a financial year and employer accepts without any verification?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The employee can sued/penalized for forgery and the employer can be penalized for not verifying the bills. In this case the employee who submitted fake claims will get more punishment and penalties than the employer who was careless but nonetheless the employer will be penalized/punished too

      Delete
  48. i have query related to LTC cancellation charges
    I applied for LTC, but my department book my LTC ticket under normal fare(without informing me that your ticket was not booked under LTC 80), due to cancellation of holiday my travelling date shifted,now they asking for cancellation charges.
    Is cancellation charges can be paid under LTC- 80 section or as per normal charges i.e Rs 1500.
    Is there any Memorandum letter related to this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, I am not aware of any such memorandum with regards to LTA Booking or cancellations

      Delete
  49. Hello Anand,

    I had traveled to Leh from Bengaluru. But while going I took the flight to Srinagar and while coming back I took the flight Leh-Delhi-Bengaluru. Can I claim LTA for both the travels?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Usually you can claim one upward and one downward journey as part of the trip which covers the maximum distance. So, I think the Delhi to Bengaluru trip for return can be claimed while the Leh to Delhi cannot.

      The up journey should be fine.

      Delete
  50. Hello Anand

    I have query related to LTA amount to be claim

    if i eligible to receive LTA Rs.8000/- p.a. can i claim Rs.16000/- each for 2 journey in the block of 4 years i.e. 2014-2017?

    ReplyDelete
  51. Hello Anand,

    I travelled to a destination in Uttarakhand where there is no road connectivity. Only horses (pony) are available as a mode of transport. The horses are provided by an organisation which is recognised by government of India. Can these pony charges be claimed for Income Tax exemption under LTA? Could you please also let me know the applicable rule, so that I can refer to my organisation?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From where did you travel to this place in Uttarakhand? As per LTA policy - travel by the primary mode of transport is eligible for LTA claim. So, if you lived in a nearby place and took the pony direct from your place to this destination, it should be claimable. But, if you took a bus or train from your place to the place from where you took the pony, only that journey can be claimed.

      Delete
  52. Hello Anand,

    I am planning to travel from Bangalore to Hyderabad with my family on 1st Jan(which happens to be a holiday) and return on the 4th (which is a weekend). I plan to apply for a leave on the 2nd for the same.

    Will I be eligible to claim LTA in this scenario?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most likely yes. See condition no. 8 and the explanation for the same.

      Delete
  53. Hello Anand ji,
    Very glad to see soo many questions answered here on 1 site!!

    I have a unique query as below:
    I had booked return air tickets to Chandigarh from Bangalore, but after travelling to Chandigarh i could not board return flight to Blore since all the flights were cancelled from Chandigarh due to weather conditions. I had to ask Airline for alternate flight so they rescheduled from Delhi to Blore due to cancellation from Chandigarh.

    So how to claim the same since both destinations are different though this is a planned single trip :(

    Awaiting for your helpful response....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it should be fine since it was an unavoidable circumstance and you had no choice. Just submit proof for this situation and it should be ok to claim

      Delete
  54. Hi Anand,

    I have taken 8 days leave continuously.
    First 5 days i have applied as CL and next 3 days EL.

    I started my travel 1 day and return started on 7th day.

    Am i eligible to claim LTA.

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  55. Hi Anand,

    Thanks for the detailed explanation. I have below query and it would be great if you can help me on that.

    Do we need to have 5 continuous leaves or 3 continuous leaves ( in case of weekend ) ? During my travel period I have applied leaves for more that 7 days but my leaves are not in a stretch of five days including weekend also. But all my leaves come under the start and end date of journey.

    Regards
    Ram

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As far as I know, the Leave must be continuous if you want to claim LTA.

      Delete
  56. Hii.. If my company is not providing LTA to me & I had travelled with my wife last month, shall I claim those railway ticket for IT exemption?
    Thanks in advance

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Chinmay - No, you cannot claim LTA if your employer does not offer LTA As a component of your salary

      Delete
  57. Hi, I have two questions -
    1. If i buy an air ticket today i.e., January 2015 for the travel in May 2015. My employer asks for boarding pass which i can get only on May 2015. Can i claim the exemption in next financial year i.e., 2015-2016 though the payment for travel is done in January 2015 itself?
    2. Is the number of days of travel mandatory to be 5 days? If i take 5 days vacation leave, but my travel is only 3 days, then can this be considered for LTA claim?

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Answers:
      1. Yes, I think it should be fine to claim next year since the travel happens only at that time. You cannot claim now because what if you claim the tax benefit and dont travel in May? You will need to give the boarding pass/confirmation that you actually travelled to make the claim
      2. No, usually 3 days or more travels are eligible as long as you were on leave

      Delete
  58. Hi Anand, I submitted claims of Rs 74000 for travel done in Dec 2014. I submitted the claims in January 2015. My organization has considered only Rs 18000. they have divided 74000 by 12 and then considered for 3 months (Jan, feb and march of 2015). I don't understand this logic. is there any such rule?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am not aware of any such rule. Did you join them only recently? if so, there is a chacne that they only considered the no. of months you actually worked with them.

      Ask them for an explanation - Why...

      Delete
  59. Hi Anand,

    I've one query, if someone has made 2 LTA claims in 2010-2013 block and then he/she has changed the job and again make 3 claims in 2014-2017 block, stating no claim in previous block, how shall I track this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You dont need to track this. The IT Department will easily find this out and penalize the person who is trying to make this dubious claim.

      Delete
  60. Hi Anand,

    I have following query.

    1. I have claimed LTA in Feb 2014, can i claim 2nd also this year?
    2. If some one claims LTA 2 times and change the company. How next company will come to know whether he has claimed or not?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. Yes you can - provided your LTA component has enough money to cover for 2 travels

      2. The new company may not know whether you claimed but the IT Department will be able to and they will come back to catch you and punish you

      Delete
  61. Hi,

    I am looking for some suggestion.

    As our salary keep increasing every year, so LTA will also increasing. What is the correct time to claim LTA?
    If i claim in 3rd and 4th year of LTA block i.e. 2016 and 2017 my LTA limit will be also more and i can save more tax.
    on the other hand, if i claim in 2014 and 2015 i will have less tax saving.

    Do you have other benifit to share or better idea.

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The amount you can claim is capped at the actual travel expenses or your LTA component whichever is lower. So, yes if you wait for the 3rd and 4th year the amount you can claim in LTA will be higher but your actual travel expenses have to be that much or more to be of benefit. Plus, we may not be able to travel exactly during the 3rd or 4th year.

      Actually the benefit difference between the 1st and 4th year will probably be a few hundred rupees of tax saved (max is 30% of your LTA hike in 4 years. Your LTA Would have to go up by at least 10,000 rupees for you to get a 3000 rupees tax benefit)

      Delete
  62. Hi Anand,

    I am entitled to get Rs. 25000 for LTA from April,2014 to March,2015
    and similarly, another Rs. 25000 for LTA from April,2015 to March,2016

    Now, I was on paid leave for my vacation in Feb,2015, and I have bills for the same of Rs 25000
    Also, I have planned another trip in May,2015 and will get bill of Rs. 25000 for the same

    Can I claim both of these bills together in June,2015 ? I am worrying, because I think my HR will NOT accept my Feb,2015 bills that time and give me excuse stating you CANNOT submit Feb,2015 bills now as it is from last financial Year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your HR will not accept the Feb 2015 claim now because you should ideally be claiming this 25000 in this financial year (that ends in MArch 2015). The second 25000 for the travel in may can be claimed in the next financial year. Note - since you are making two claims, you are exhausting your 2 claims for this 4 year time period. You cannot make any more claims for this 4 year period 2013-2017

      Delete
    2. Hi Anand,

      Thanks for your reply !

      In last 4 years slab for LTA i.e. 2010 to 2013, I have not made any claim against my LTA, So I think 2 of my claims would be carried forward....Please correct my understanding here, if it is otherwise.

      Moreover, lets assume, if any person is travelling or going on vacation every year and gets bill for the same, than how can he claim all the 4 years bills in 2 times(in one 4 year LTA slab)

      Delete
    3. only one claim will be carried forward.

      the claim can only be done for the travel done for that year. so, for someone who travels during all 4 years, he can only claim two travels. the other 2 travels cannot be claimed. You cannot club travel done from a prior year to claim this years LTA

      Delete
  63. Hi Anand,

    I have 2 queries:

    1) I have made an LTA claim in 2013 (within the block of 2010 to 2013). I have made only 1 claim in that block. Now I have made another LTA claim to my company for journey made in Dec 2014. Will this be tax-free since as per the rules "we can carry forward one journey to the first calendar year in the next succeeding block of four years".

    Note: I asked my company and they say tax will be deducted on LTA for 2014. So need your advice.

    2) I am planning change the job in Apr 2015, so will I get the LTA amount deducted by existing company for the period Jan to Mar 2015 at the time of final settlement since I am not planning any journey for this period.


    Regards,
    Vivek

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vivek - This carry forward of claim is only applicable if you do not make even one claim during the 4 year block. Since you made one claim - there will be no carry forward.

      If there is no LTA claim during a year but still you receive LTA, the amount you get is fully taxable. if you join the new job and make a claim there, you can actually consider the LTA you received in both your old and new jobs

      Delete
  64. Hi,

    I have claimed LTA in December and not submitted any proofs against it.
    In Feb I have traveled and now have enough proofs to submit against the LTA claimed in december to make it non taxable.
    Can this be done ? or is there some way to add proofs while quoting IT returns.
    Please let me know .. thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,
      As you travelled once in Dec and once in Feb, you can actually claim both of the travels in this years tax returns that you will file. But, as they were in two different calendar years, I think when you claim it will be counted as 2 LTA Claims.

      Delete
  65. Hi Anand,
    I've a query.In 2014 I travelled from Bangalore to Visakhapatnam thrice(round trips).So,can I claim LTA for all the three round trips or only for one round trip?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I think you can club all three trips into one claim (as long as you have enough LTA limit in your salary)

      Note: If your trips overlap two different years then the no. of claims may be considered as 2 rather than 1

      Delete
  66. Hi Anand,
    Thanks for a great blog.

    My queries are as below:

    i) I havent claimed any LTA during the 2010-13 block. This means that a Single LTA is carried forward from this block onto the 2014-17 block.Does this mean that the travel for this "Single Carried Forward LTA" has to be completed in the year 2014 itself?

    ii) I travelled with my family in Jan 2015. I would like to claim LTA for it this month. However does this come under the "Single Carried Forward LTA" from the period 2010-13 or does it count as part of the 2 LTA Claim's permitted in the 2014-17 bock?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This carried forward claim can be utilized any time you want in the subsequent block. So, in this block 2014-17 you can make 3 claims as against others eligibility of 2 claims.

      Delete
  67. Hi Anand,

    Thanks for the detailed article.

    I have planned 2 trips while i am on planned leave and is approved

    Travel details: -

    *********************************************************************************************
    Trip # Trip Destination Trip Dates Mode of Travel
    - 1 Chennai - Pondicherry - Chennai 02/May - 04/May Rented Taxi
    - 2 Chennai - Ahmedabad 07/May Flight
    Ahmedabad - Jamnagar 07/May Train
    Jamnagar - Okha covering near by 11/May - 12/May Rented Taxi
    places Gir, Somnath, Dwarka, etc.
    Okha - Ahmedabad 14-May Train
    Ahmedabad - Chennai 15-May Flight
    *********************************************************************************************

    Questions
    1) Can I calim LTA reimbursements for both the trips
    2) Can I claim LTA reimbursements for all travel expenses on Trip # 2

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trip 2 - flight expenses can be claimed. Usually, travel by road using a car/taxi is not claimable in LTA

      Delete
  68. Hi Mr. Anand,

    As per my appointment letter am eligible for certain amount of LTA as a part of my CTC. but i have not travelled anywhere in 2013 & 2014 to claim this LTA. Also Company has not paid this as a part of salary. Pls suggent whether this can be claimed as part of salary or a part of Full & Final settlement.

    Regards
    Chaitra

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi - The LTA as such, when not paid as part of salary, is usually not claimable unless you have actual travel tickets to prove the expenditure. Check your offer letter. If it says that you wll be paid the LTA (and will be taxed accordingly) then you can get it. If it says, LTA can be claimed only with bills, you wont get the money

      Delete
  69. Hi Anand,

    If I travel using my car am I eligible for claiming LTA Exemption? If yes what documents I am suppose to produce?

    regards

    Vishal

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No Vishal I dont think self drive car is eligible for LTA

      Delete
  70. Dear Anand,

    I have a query in LTA carry forward thing... We are planning to implement LTA as one of our CTC components... As far as I read and heard from sources that LTA can be carry forwarded to next block, carry forwarding here means that we need to hold the LTA amount from the employee salary and pay the rest in particular year ? Could you please excuse me for my ignorance and give us full details...

    Thanks & Regards
    R.K.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would recommend you consult a good chartered accountant in this matter as you are asking this Q from an employers perspective but I will still try to answer.

      When you add LTA to the CTC you have to pay the amount each year irrespective of whether the employee claims LTA or not. The difference is on the taxation where the government will allow the employee to strike off some portion of his LTA to cover the travel expenses - as allowed by the law.

      If you want to hold the LTA amount until the employee makes the claim, it has to be a component outside of the CTC which can be claimable over and above the CTC by the employee IF they travel.

      You cannot hold back on LTA if you add it to the CTC.

      Delete
  71. Dear Mr. Anand,

    Thank you for the wonderful article & simple explanation regarding LTA applicability & claim process. I also have a query. I will be travelling
    (a) from Delhi to Cochin by econimy air, then taking a tour of Kerela for 6 days,
    (b) taking an economy fare flight from Trivandrum on 7th day to Kolkata &
    (c) after staying for 6 days in Kolkata, will be returning to Delhi by train.

    I wish to claim LTA. What amount can I claim towards LTA and what amount will be allowed as tax exemption? Please help.

    Regards,

    Rajesh Rathi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think all the 3 trips travel tickets (Air fare and Train fare) can be claimed. Other expenses cannot be claimed

      Delete
  72. Hi:
    Can I claim LTA while travelling during weekends without taking any leaves?

    regards
    Doulath

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Doulath - You can try but I dont think so.

      Delete
  73. Hi Anand,

    I'm making a following trip,

    BLR - DEL (By Air)
    4 days stop
    DEL - SRINNAGAR
    2 days stop
    SRINAGAR to LEH
    5 day stop
    LEH - DEL
    4 day stop
    DEL - BLR

    Can I claim LTA for entire trip?

    Thanks,
    Ashish

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can claim BLR to DEL and DEL to BLR. The rest of the trips around Delhi usually are not considered the longest leg of the journey and hence wouldnt be accepted for claim

      Delete
  74. i made a claim request for LTA of 2014 and 2015 at end of this june and i have put resign paper at july 1st week and my notice period is till end of september .will i get my two years full amount after tax or will i get 1 and half years money or will i get only one year LTA ? please reply

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For the first year you should get the full amount since you worked the full year. For the second year, the amount would be pro-rated based on the no. of months you spend with the company

      Delete
  75. I travelled with my family on Mar 29 from Bangalore to Delhi and while they stayed there for 6 weeks, I came back in between to attend office (from April 6 to 24). Thereafter I returned to Delhi and then came back to Bangalore with family on May 7.

    Can I claim LTA for the journeys on Mar 29 and May 7? Or do I have to claim for Apr 24 - May 7, where one ticket would be only for me and the return ticket for my family?

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,
      LTA can only be claimed when you were on leave between the from and to journey dates. You cannot claim to journey in march come back work for 2 months, go again and claim the return join in may.

      You can claim the to journey in march with family and your return ticket or your ticket to delhi and return with family or claim both as 2 separate claims if you have sufficient LTA balance for that year.

      consult a good tax consultant or chartered accountant, i think they can help you with this kind of situation.

      Delete
  76. I keep travelling over weekends to my home through train II AC. For example, If I have travelled 10 times in a year and the total to and fro cost of travel is within my LTA given by my employer, can I claim sum together for all the 10 journeys performed or only one journey will be allowed for exemption ?

    Richie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No Richie you cannot claim weekend trips to home. LTA can only be claimed if you were on leave from work for at least 2-3 days or more and traveled somewhere during that period.

      Delete
  77. Hello Anand,

    I have LTA of 50000 per annum. If I do not make any claims when will this amount be paid to me? I know it will be taxed but what I am concerned about is when will this amount be paid?
    1) At the end of financial year?
    2) At the end of calender year?
    3) At the end of LTA block of 4 years?

    Thanks,
    Pradeep

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Check your job offer letter. Most companies offer LTA as part of the CTC and will pay you irrespective of whether you make the claim or not. However, when you make the claim the amount claimed is exempt from tax. If you dont claim the full amount is fully taxable.

      In some companies (esp government organizations) LTA is claimable and will be paid only if you make a claim. If you dont claim, the amount is not paid.

      Delete
    2. HI Anand,

      We are planning to make a trip this December 2015 from Bangalore to Coorg via cab and we prefer cab as our primary mode.
      Is that possible to avail this as LTA and when I need to submit bills ? is that before 2017????

      Delete
    3. Unknown - As far as I know, travel via cab/taxi is not claimable in LTA

      Delete
  78. Hi Anand, I and my Family(Father & Mother) are taking a short trip Which starts on a Friday and Ends on a Sunday evening.... Have Two questions ...1) As my onward date is on a weekday and return on weekend ..Can I claim LTA..2) It is approximately 2 and a half days..Can I claim..3) All of us are travelling together (Same Flights-- Private --Indigo); But I Have booked Individual tickets)...Can I claim...Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Usually any trip that is more than 2 or 3 days is claimable via LTA. But, the claimant (YOU) must be a traveller in the trip. In this case you have gotten tickets individually so am not sure if it will be accepted for the claim.

      Delete
  79. Hi Anand,

    Thank you for the informative blow. It is really help full.

    Me and my wife has taken a trip to Nainital this vacation. Below are the break-up of travelling.

    1. Mumbai to Delhi (Flight)
    2. Delhi to Nainital (Taxi)
    3. Nainital to Mussoorie(Taxi)
    4. Mussoorie to Delhi(Taxi)
    5. Delhi to Mumbai(Flight)

    So what can we claim for ?

    1. Flight AND Taxi Cost
    2. Flight OR Taxi Cost
    3. Only Flight Cost
    4. Only Taxi Cost

    In our case flight cost is lower in compare to taxi.

    Could you please help me out for this.

    Appreciate your help.

    Thanks,
    Rohan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rohan - Only the flight cost - Mumbai to Delhi and Back can be claimed in LTA. Taxi expenses and hotel expenses cannot be claimed

      Delete
  80. Thanks for a great article on LTA details! I took a vacation in Dec 2014 with my two friends and the flight ticket were booked together. I hope that travel is still eligible for LTA though the ticket were booked together with non-family. My confusion is this is neither a single travel nor travel with family, so will I be eligible for LTA if I submit 1/3rd of the total flight charge as the cost and providing the ticket proof with my name in it.
    Also, my travel schedule was as follows Bangalore (work palce) to Chennai by Bus, Chennai to Sikkim by Flight, Sikkim to Chennai by Flight and Chennai to Bangalore by Train. I hope I can avail LTA for all the 4 travel together. Thanks in advance for your reply!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even if you travelled with friends, you were part of the travelling party and hence you can still claim LTA for individual travel. So, dont worry. In this travel you can claim the 2 longest stretch of journey - the flight. the other two train/bus wouldnt be covered.

      Delete
  81. I have travelled Mumbai -> Jammu -> Katra -> Sanchichat (helicopter) -> Katra -> Jammu -> Srinagar -> Jammu -> Mumbai (round trip all by air except Jammu-katra-jammu by car). Can I claim all the air tickets including helicopter in LTA and the car expensee for Jammu - Katra - Jammu?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In LTA only the two longest legs of journey are counted and by public transport. Car or helicopter is not counted. As far as I can understand from this trip - it looks like you can claim Mumbai to Jammu and back. The others will not be claimable by LTA

      Delete
  82. Thanks Anand for your deep insight on all the queries around LTA....
    If my annual LTA entitlement is 25000 /- & if i have not claimed LTA during first year i.e. 2014. Can i claim entire amount of 50000 /- for the travel period in Dec-2015 since if i have incurred 50000/- on my travel bills?
    The employer is limiting to claim the exemption only till 25000 /- which is difficult to understand for me.
    Appreciate your response on the same.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Irrespective of whether you claimed in the previous years or not, your LTA entitlement is only the amount you receive in that year. Only one extra claim gets carried over if you dont make any claim for 4 years. the amount does not get rolled over.

      So your employer is right, the exemption is only 25k per year

      Delete
  83. Hi Anand.. Thanks for the article. My company pays out LTA every year. Suppose every year the amount is 10000. If I dont claim it for one year the next year can I claim for 20000? Similary If I dont make any claim, for the last year 40000 can be exempted.
    Thanks in Advance

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Irrespective of whether you claimed in the previous years or not, your LTA entitlement is only the amount you receive in that year. Only one extra claim gets carried over if you dont make any claim for 4 years. the amount does not get rolled over.

      Delete
  84. Hello Anand,
    Thank you very much for your post. I have one question -

    1. I used only one LTA Claim in block Jan 2010 to Dec 2013.
    2. This means I can use 3 LTA claims in next block Jan 2014 to Dec 2016.
    3. (For FY 2015-16)MY employer told me that your LTA payment option is monthly not yearly. So you cannot claim last block LTA.
    4. Can I any how last block unclaimed LTA in current year i.e. FY 2015-16.

    Thanks in advance.!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have not heard of this monthly LTA thing. please consult a good chartered accountant or tax filing service for guidance.

      Delete
  85. Hi Anand,
    I have not availed LTA claim in the current (2014-17) 4 year slab, until now. Can I claim for all the three unclaimed years in this slab together - i.e. for 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2017-18, on a date later than 31 March 2016? Will this depend on the employer, or the decision will depend only on Income tax regulations?

    Regards,
    Prakash

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LTA is a bit peculiar. You can get 3 claims in the 2014-17 period only if you made no claim in the past 4 year period. Of the 3, 1 of the claims must be claimed in the first year otherwise it gets forfeited.

      The other 2 claims can be claimed during the subsequent 3 years. You cannot claim all of them in a single year because, every year your LTA claim is limited to the amount of LTA you received that year. So, its better if you claim in 2 different years.

      Delete
  86. Hi Anand,
    My question is if my company started to give LTA Allowance benefit in mid of current block (2014-2017)year i.e. from April-2015 (Financial Year) to employees and employee claiming in Dec-2015 for his journey in May-2015. Then Is he applicable for LTA claim benefit?

    Regards,
    Jyoti

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,
      You can claim LTA as long as you received LTA for at least some part of the financial year and the travel also happened during that period.

      Delete
  87. Hi Anand,
    I have book my trip using makemytrip, i have only boarding pass for flights they have not shared the etickets from makemytrip. So how can u proceed in this scenerio.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. makemytrip would have given you some sort of receipt to show how much money you paid for the tickets - right? you can use that

      Delete
  88. Hi

    I was travailed with family to mumbai, We were go by train & return by air, can is it possible to claim only by air fare, as by train tickets was missed out.

    ReplyDelete
  89. Hii Ananda, Can LTA be paid out pro-rated or it has to be for the full year. i.e. if an employee leaves before completing his one year is he eligible for getting his LTA?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It depends on company policy and what is mentioned in the job offer letter of the candidate. Most companies offer LTA as a monthly salary component in which case the no. of months worked = LTA.

      Some others offer LTA as a one time lumpsum in which case it is subjective to the clause in the job offer.

      Delete
  90. Hi Anand,

    Many thanks for your informative blog. Much appreciated and continue enlightening us.
    I wanted to check that the bills (that we submit while claiming the LTA) are verified by the government or not?
    As an example, if i am on leave for a particular period, have produced tickets for those periods, but later cancelled them.
    Can i get away and avail tax benefits as a loophole or has this been already taken care of?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gaurav - It is practically impossible for the tax officials to individually verify every single LTA claim however they do verify random tax filings to make sure the tickets are valid & legit. There is always a chance that you may get away if you do that but if you are caught, the punishment will be severe with hefty fines and maybe even jail time.

      Do you really want to risk that?

      Delete
  91. Hello,
    I have a good amount of lta left to claimed. Currently I am serving my notice period.
    But I have not taken any actual vacation recently. What I need to know is that will I get the left over lta amount along with my final settlement automatically after deduction of tax? Or will I have to claim the lta amount with tax deduction. Or the kya is gone for ever,because I'm on notice and don't have travel proofs?

    Can you suggest what should I do so that I get the lta amount?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. is LTA part of your CTC or is claimable only on travel?

      If part of CTC, you should be getting LTA each month. If Claimable - unfortunately you cannot do anything unless you actuall travel

      Delete
  92. Hello,

    I had availed planned leaves from 3-Oct to 7-Oct, 2016 (5 days)

    Travel itinary is as below:

    1. Bengaluru - Mumbai by flight (1-Oct)
    2. Mumbai - Udaipur by flight (1-Oct)
    3. Udaipur - Jaipur - Agra - Mathura - Delhi by cab (3-Oct to 8-Oct)
    4. Delhi - Bengaluru by flight (8- Oct)

    Which parts of this journey (primary mode being flight) can be claimed for LTA.

    Pls suggest !!

    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Usually the longest distance travels are counted for LTA calculation in case of such multiple flights in a single trip. So, the bengaluru to mumbai and delhi to bengaluru should be the choice.

      If the distance (in KMs) between mumbai to udaipur is higher than bengaluru to mumbai - you should probably choose that.

      Taxi ride is not counted toward lta

      Delete
    2. And since both the flight dates from/to Bengaluru are on 1st and 8th Oct (while leaves are 3rd to 7th), does it still hold good for the LTA Claim?

      Delete
  93. Hi Anand,
    My company allows Rs 30000 per year as max LTC benefit to particular designation. But I didn't take LTA as part of my salary structure.So is there any way to claim LTA for this year(to save tax).As I am planning vacations with my family and taking 5EL for same
    Is there any way to claim this benefit

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you havent opted for LTA then I dont think you can get this tax benefit. Try adjusting your salary structure to include LTA

      Delete
  94. Hi Anand,

    I work in Bangalore and my wife works in Hyderabad.
    For Diwali, I had travelled from Bangalore to Mumbai by Air and my wife had travelled from Hyderabad to Mumbai by Air on the same day.
    After holidays, I came back to Bangalore and my wife returned to Hyderabad on the same day by Air(All economy class).
    I remember reading some blog saying that travel cost of both Husband and wife travelling from different places for the same holiday can be considered under one LTA claim. I am not able to find that blog again.
    Can you please confirm on this...

    Regards,
    Viswanath

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Viswanath - As far as I know, If one person is making the LTA claim, it is only allowed when the couple travel together during the journey. Since you travelled from Bangalore to Mumbai and she Hye to mumbai, it cannot be counted in one LTA claim by either of you. You both could however make individual LTA claims for your respective journeys.

      Delete

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