Can exemption under section 54(1) be claimed for the purchase of more than one residential premises?
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Where more than one residential house is purchased out of the sale proceeds of one residential house, exemption u/s 54 can be claimed only in respect of one house, provided the other conditions of Sec 54 are satisfied.[K.C. Kaushik v ITO 185 ITR 499 (Bom.)(1990)]. In Gulshanbanoo R. Mukhi v. JCIT 83 ITD 649 (ITAT- Mum) (2002),it was held that exemption is allowed only for one flat. However, two or more residential houses purchased can be classified as one single residential house, the exemption under section 54 can be allowed. Some of the relevant judicial pronouncements are: Two adjacent residential units but used as one single residential house, exemption allowed. [D. Anand Basappa v. ITO 309 ITR 329 (Kar.) (2009)] Fact that residential house consists of several independent units cannot be a hindrance to allowance of exemption u/s 54 – Held, yes [Prem Prakash Bhutani Vs. CIT 110 TTJ (Del) 440 (2007)] Two adjoining flats converted into single residence, exemption allowed. [ACIT v Mrs. Leela P. Nanda 286 ITR (AT) 113 (Mum) (2006)] Four flats purchased in same building but on different floors because of large size of family, which maintained a common kitchen and a common ration card, exemption allowed. [Vyas (K.G.) v ITO 16 ITD 195 (Bom.)(1 986)] Allowable in the case of adjacent & contiguous flats.[ITOv. Mrs. Sushila M. Jhaveri 107 ITD 327 (ITAT- Mum. SB)(2007)] Several self occupied dwelling units which were contiguous and situated in the same compound and within the common boundary having unity of structure should be regarded as one residential house. [Shiv Narain Choudhary v. CWT 108 ITR 104 (All)(1 997)] More than one units converted into one single house allowed for the purpose of sec. 54F as well. [Neville J. Pereira v. ITO 8 Taxmann. com 68 (Mum. ITAT) (2010)] Two flats which were not adjacent to each other and were separated from each other by common passage, lobby, staircase, etc., they could not be regarded as a single unit and, therefore, assessee was entitled to benefit of deduction under section 54F in respect of one of those two units. [ACIT vs Sudhakar Ram  16 taxmann.com 175 (Mum.-ITAT)] However, the claim for exemption u/s 54 is not admissible in respect of two independent residential houses situated at different locations. [Pawan Arya v. CIT 11 taxmann.com 312 (P&H) ] - See more at: http://taxguru.in/income-tax/exemption-section-54-54ec-54f-faqs-case-laws.html#sthash.peRELcfp.dpuf