Education Loan and Tax Savings

The cost of quality education post your Higher Secondary School is increasing every year. Many students and parents are preferring education loans to finance their higher education in good quality institutes. Different banks and financial institutions and some well –known trusts also offer such loan products. Even though you have the financial capacity to finance your ward’s higher education, you can explore an education loan if it is cheaper. However, this should be a decision based purely on your financial health and investment strategy.

Besides financing higher education, the education loan also saves tax for the person who is repaying the loan. The tax is saved on the interest component of such loan repayment by claiming it as a deduction from gross total income. This deduction is offered as per section 80E of the Income Tax Act. It is not linked with any other tax saving investment or deduction. It can be claimed irrespective of any other deductions.

Who can claim this deduction?
The person – student or his parent who repays the education loan can claim this deduction. If you have obtained this loan as a student and are repaying it after completing your education, you can claim this deduction from your taxable income. In case this loan is obtained by you for your children’s education and you are repaying it, then you, as a parent, can claim this deduction. This deduction can also be claimed against a loan obtained for the higher education of a spouse or a person for whom you are a legal guardian. This deduction cannot be claimed in respect of the education loan of any other relative.

How long can this deduction be claimed?
Generally, you repay education loans through EMIs. Only the interest component of this EMI is deductible. The year in which you start repaying this loan through EMI is the first year of repayment. Including this first year, you can claim a deduction on interest for 8 years. You cannot claim this tax deduction beyond a period of 8 years. In case you repay the entire education loan in a period of 5 years, then you can claim deduction only for a period of 5 years and not 8 years.

How much amount of deduction can be claimed?
The amount of interest repaid in a particular year can be claimed as a deduction in the ITR filed for that year. This deduction cannot be claimed against the amount of principal repayment of education loan. There is no upper cap or limit for the amount of claim of deduction. Suppose your gross total income is ₹10,00,000/- and during the year, you have repaid interest of ₹200,000/- on an education loan. This entire amount of interest can be claimed as a deduction for saving tax.

Action Points:

  • If you have your own surplus funds for education, you can weigh the option of an education loan against using your own funds. For doing this, saving on tax because of education loan should be factored into
  • Before you decide early repayment of education loan the tax savings that you may lose in future years may be factored into
  • The loan repayment should be structured in such a way that tax deduction can be claimed in all 8 years.