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A salary is a form of periodic payment from an employer to an employee, which

may be specified in an employment contract. It is contrasted with piece wages,
where each job, hour or other unit is paid separately, rather than on a periodic

From the point of a business, salary can also be viewed as the cost of acquiring
human resources for running operations, and is then termed personnel expense
or salary expense. In accounting, salaries are recorded in payroll accounts.


The government of India imposes an income tax on taxable income of HUFs,

companies, firms, co-operative societies, trusts and any other artificial person.
Levy of tax is separate on each of the persons. The levy is governed by the Indian
Income Tax Act, 1961.

The Indian Income Tax Department is governed by the Central Board for Direct
Taxes (CBDT) and is part of the Department of Revenue under the Ministry of
Finance, Govt. of India. According to this act, salary is chargeable to income tax

1) Due from the former employer or current employer in the previous year,
whether paid or not.
_) Paid or allowed in the previous year by or on behalf of a former employer or
current employer, though not due or before it becomes due.

3) Salary is paid in the previous year by or on behalf of a former employer or

current employer, if not charged to tax in the period to which it relates.


Every Person whose total income exceeds the maximum amount which is not
chargeable to the income tax is an assesse, and shall be chargeable to the income
tax at the rate or rates prescribed under the finance act for the relevant
assessment year, shall be determined on basis of his residential status.

Income tax is a tax payable, at the rate enacted by the Union Budget (Finance Act)
for every Assessment Year, on the Total Income earned in the Previous Year by
every Person.

The changeability is based on nature of income, i.e., whether it is revenue or

capital. The principles of taxation of income are-: Income Tax Rates/Slabs Rate (%)
Up to 1,60,000 = NIL Up to 1,90,000 (for women)= NIL Up to _,40,000 (for resident
individual of 65 years or above)= NIL for men 1,60,001 ʹ 5,00,000 = 10% 5,00,001
ʹ 8,00,000 = _0% 8,00,001 upwards = 30%

Education cess is applicable @ 3 per cent on income tax, surcharge = NA

Salary, in simple words, means remuneration of a person, which he has received
from his employer for rendering services to him. But receipts for all kinds of
services rendered cannot be taxed as salary. The remuneration received by
professionals like doctors, architects, lawyers etc. cannot be covered under salary
since it is not received from their employers but from their clients. So, it is taxed
under business or profession head.


1. The relationship of payer and payee must be of employer and employee for an
income to be categorized as salary income. For example: Salary income of a
Member of Parliament cannot be specified as salary, since it is received from
Government of India which is not his employer.

_. The Act makes no distinction between salary and wages, though generally
salary is paid for non-manual work and wages are paid for manual work.

3. Salary received from employer, whether one or more than one is included in
this head.

4. Salary is taxable either on due basis or receipt basis which ever matures earlier:

i) Due basis ʹ when it is earned even if it is not received in the previous year.

ii) Receipt basis ʹ when it is received even if it is not earned in the previous year.
iii) Arrears of salary- which were not due and received earlier are taxable when
due or received, which ever is earlier.

5. Compulsory deduction from salary such as employees͛ contribution to

provident fund, deduction on account of medical scheme or staff welfare scheme
etc. are examples of instances of application of income. In these cases, for
computing total income, these deductions have to be added back.


Section 17 of the Act gives an inclusive definition of salary. Broadly, it includes:

1. Basic salary

_. Fees, Commission and Bonus

3. Taxable value of cash allowances

4. Taxable value of perquisites

5. Retirement Benefits

Although, all the components of salary income are included in salary, there are
certain incomes in each of these categories, which are either fully exempt or
exempt upto a certain limit. The aggregate of the above incomes, after the
exemption(s) available, if any, is known as ͚Gross Salary͛. From the ͚Gross 33
Salary͛, the following three deductions are allowed under Section 16 of the Act to
arrive at the figure of Net Salary:

1. Standard deduction - Section 16 (i)

_. Deduction for entertainment allowance ʹ Section 16 (ii)

3. Deduction on account of any sum paid towards tax on employment ʹ Section





Under section 17 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 there are following incomes which
comes under head of salary:

ͻSalary (including advance salary)








ͻAnnual Bonus

ͻIncome From Provident Fund

ͻLeave Encashment



Leave encashment is the salary received by an individual for leave period. It is a

chargeable income whether he is a government employee or not. Under section
10(10AA) (i) there is also a provision of exemption in case of leave encashment
depending upon whether he is a government employee or other employees.


It is an annual income received by the employee from his employer. It may be

paid by the employer as voluntarily or on account of contractual agreement. It is
not taxable until the right to receive the same arises. Under section 56, Income
Tax Act, 1961 other annuities come under a will or granted by a life insurance
company or accruing as a result of contract which comes as income under from
other sources.


It is salary received by an employer paid by the employee at the time of his

retirement or by his legal heir in the case of death of the employee.


It is the amount received by an employer paid by his/her employer in addition to

salary. Under section 15 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 these allowance are taxable
excluding few condition where they are entitled of deduction/ exemptions.

Under Income Tax Act following types of allowance are defined as:-


Under sections 10(13A) of Income Tax Act, 1961 allowance is defined as an

amount received by an employee paid by his/ her employer as a rent of his/her
house. It is a taxable income. There is no exemption in tax if he is living in his own
house or house for which he is not paying rent. There are following amount which
are exempt from tax:

ͻActual house rent paid by that individual

ͻRent paid for the accommodation over 10% of the salary

ͻ50% of the salary if house is placed at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai or 40% of
the salary if the house in other city.

It is the amount paid by employer for availing entertainment services. Under

section 16(ii) of Income Tax Act, 1961 it is entitled to deduction in tax from is
salary. But in this case deduction is given to his gross salary which also includes
entertainment allowance. Deduction in tax against this allowance can be divided
into two parts :

In case of Government employee entitled to minimum deduction of

- Entertainment allowance received

ͻ_0% of basic salary excluding any other allowance

ͻRs. 5000 In case of other employee entitled to minimum deduction of

ͻ (a) Entertainment allowance received

ͻ_0% of basic salary excluding any other allowance

ͻRs. 7500

ͻEntertainment allowance received during 1954-1955



ͻChildren Education Allowance

ͻTribal Area Allowance

ͻHostel Expenditure Allowance

ͻRemote Area Allowance

ͻCompensatory Field Area Allowance

ͻCounter Insurgency Allowance

ͻBorder Area Allowance

ͻHilly Area Allowance

Allowances for there is a provision of exempt in income tax are:-

ͻAllowance given to a citizen of India, who is a government employee, for

rendering services outside India

ͻAllowances given to Judges of High Courts

ͻAllowance given Judges of Supreme Court

ͻAllowances received by an employee of UNO


Under section 17(_) of Income Tax Act, 1961 perquisite is defined as:

ͻAmount paid for the rent-free accommodation provided to the assessee by his
ͻAny concession in the matter of rent respecting any accommodation provided to
the assessee by his employer

ͻAny benefit or amenity granted or provided free of cost or at concessional rate

in any of the following cases:

1. By a company to an employee, who is a director thereof

_. By a company to an employee being a person who has a substantial interest in

the company

3. By any employer to an employee whose income under the head 'Salaries'

exceeds Rs._4000 excluding the value of non monetary benefits or amenities

4. Any sum paid by the employer in respect of any obligation which, but for such
payment, would have been payable by the assessee

5. Any sum payable by the employer whether directly or through a fund, other
than a recognised provident fund or EPF, to effect an assurance on the life of the
assessee or to effect a contract for an annuity

There are following perquisites which are tax free:

ͻMedical facility

ͻMedical reimbursement


ͻSubsidised Luch/ Dinner provided by employer

ͻFacilities For Recreation

ͻTelephone Bills

ͻProducts at concessional rate to employee sold by his/ her employer

ͻInsurance premium paid by employer

ͻLoans to employees by given by employer



ͻHouse without rent

ͻResidence Facility to member of Parliament, judges of High Court/ Supreme


ͻConveyance to member of Parliament, judges of High Court/ Supreme Court

ͻContribution of employers to employee's pension, annuity schemes and group



The rates of income-tax in the case of every individual or Hindu undivided family
or every association of persons or body of individuals, whether incorporated or
not, or every artificial juridical person referred to in sub-clause (vii) of clause (31)
of section _ of the Income-tax Act (not being a case to which any other Paragraph
of Part III applies) have been specified in Paragraph A of Part III. The basic
exemption limits and the rates of income-tax will continue to be the same as
those specified for assessment year _010-11. However, the tax slabs are revised
as under:Ͷ


Upto Rs. 1,60,000 - Nil.

Rs. 1,60,001 to Rs. 5,00,000 - 10 per cent.

Rs. 5,00,001 to Rs. 8,00,000 - _0 per cent.

Above Rs. 8,00,000 - 30 per cent.

No Surcharge.


In the case of every individual, being a woman resident in India, and below the
age of sixty-five years at any time during the previous year,ͶSLAB INCOME
Upto Rs. 1,90,000 - Nil.

Rs. 1,90,001 to Rs. 5,00,000- 10 per cent.

Rs. 5,00,001 to Rs. 8,00,000- _0 per cent.

Above Rs. 8,00,000 - 30 per cent.


In the case of every individual, being a resident in India, who is of the age of sixty-
five years or more at any time during the previous year,ͶSLAB INCOME

Upto Rs. _,40,000 - Nil.

Rs. _,40,001 to Rs. 5,00,000- 10 per cent.

Rs. 5,00,001 to Rs. 8,00,000- _0 per cent.

Above Rs. 8,00,000 - 30 per cent.

No Surcharge.

˜   $˜

For most individuals, financial planning and tax planning are two mutually
exclusive exercises. While planning our investments we spend considerable
amount of time evaluating various options and determining which suits us best.
But when it comes to planning our investments from a tax-saving perspective,
more often than not, we simply go the traditional way and do the exact same
thing that we did in the earlier years. Following are some of the tips for tax

If you are below 30 years of age:

In this age bracket, you probably have a high appetite for risk. Your disposable
surplus maybe small (as you could be paying your home loan installments), but
the savings that you have can be set aside for a long period of time. Your children,
if any, still have many years before they go to college; or retirement is still further
away. You therefore should invest a large chunk of your surplus in tax-saving
funds (equity funds).

The employee provident fund deduction happens from your salary and therefore
you have little control over it. Regarding life insurance, go in for pure term
insurance to start with. Such policies are very affordable and can extend for upto
30 years. The rest of your funds (net of the home loan principal repayment) can
be parked in NSC/PPF.
If you are between 30 - 45 years of age:

Your appetite for risk will gradually decline over this age bracket as a result of
which your exposure to the stock markets will need to be adjusted accordingly. As
your compensation increases, so will your contribution to the EPF. The life
insurance component can be maintained at the same level; assuming that you
would have already taken adequate life insurance and there is no need to add to
it. In keeping with your reducing risk appetite, your contribution to PPF/NSC
increases. One benefit of the higher contribution to PPF will be that your account
will be maturing (you probably opened an account when you started to earn) and
will yield you tax free income (this can help you fund your children's college

If you are between 45 - 55 years of age:

You are now nearing retirement. To that extent it is critical that you fill in any
shortfall that may exist in your retirement nest egg. You also do not want to
jeopardise your pool of savings by taking any extraordinary risk. The allocation
will therefore continue to move away from risky assets like stocks, to safer ones
line the NSC. However, it is important that you continue to allocate some money
to stocks. The reason being that even at age 55, you probably have 15 - _0 years
of retired life; therefore having some portion of your money invested for longer
durations, in the high risk - high return category, will help in building your nest
egg for the latter part of your retired life.
If you are over 55 years of age:

You are to retire in a few years; then you will have to depend on your investments
for meeting your expenses. Therefore the money that you have to invest under
Section 80C must be allocated in a manner that serves both near term income
requirements as well as long-term growth needs. Most of the funds are therefore
allocated to NSC. Your PPF account probably will mature early into your
retirement (if you started another account at about age 40 years). You continue
to allocate some money to equity to provide for the latter part of your retired life.
Once you are retired however, since you will not have income there is no need to
worry about Section 80C. You should consider investing in the Senior Citizens
Savings Scheme, which offers an assured return of 9% pa; interest is payable
quarterly. Another investment you should consider are Post Office Monthly
Income Scheme.

˜    c  

Tax Planning India is an application to reduce tax liability through the finest use of
all accessible allowances, exclusions, deductions, exemptions, etc, to trim down
income and/or capital profits.

Salaried individuals in India are not fully aware of the tax planning exercise which
is why they rush at the end of the tax-planning season and make investments to
reduce their tax liability. This has negative effect on tax payable by them and they
eventually end up paying more taxes than they are required to.

Tax-planning tips that can assist salaried people to reduce their tax accountability

#%Ä &


The maximum reduction available in Section 80C is Rs 100,000 and salaried

citizens whose gross salary is Rs _50,000 or more are entitled to use the full Rs
100,000 limit.

Individuals who make monetary infusions of over Rs 100,000 in Section 80C in

selected areas fail to understand that the advantages are limited. In spite of
investing Rs 70,000 and Rs 40,000 in Public Provident Fund and ELSS respectively,
the amount entitled by the investor is only Rs 100,000.

Following investments/contributions meet the criteria for Section 80C reduction:

- Public Provident Fund

- Accrued interest on National Saving Certificate

- Life Insurance Premium

- National Saving Certificate

- Tuition fees paid for children's education (maximum _ children)

- Principal component of home loan repayment

- 5-Year fixed deposits with banks and Post Office

- Equity Linked Savings Schemes (ELSS)


If your salary surpasses Rs _50,000 pa and the reductions under Section 80C are
not enough to minimize the general tax liability consider the following:

- Home loan: Interest payments of upto Rs 150,000 pa are entitled for reduction
under Section _4.

- Medical insurance: A deduction of upto Rs 15,000 pa under section 80D is

applicable under this.

- Donations: Tax advantages under Section 80G entitle the donations to particular



If HRA is not included in the salary structure then the salaried individuals can
asset rent paid by them for residential lodging. This reduction is accessible under
Section 80GG and is smallest amount of the following:

- _5% of the total earnings or,

- Rs _,000 every month or,

- Surplus of housing charge paid over 10% of total salary



Reorganizing the salary and incorporating certain apparatus can help in the long
run in minimizing the tax liability. In order to assert tax benefits salary reform is a
more competent measure. The following can be included in an individual's salary

- Food coupons can release up to Rs 60,000 per year from tax.

- Medical expenses which are compensated by the employer spare up to Rs

15,000 per year.

- House Rent Allowance (HRA) should be incorporated in the salaries of individuals

who stay in rented houses

- Transport allowance discharge upto Rs 800 per month.



The primary reimbursement on a home loan is entitled for a reduction of up to Rs

100,000 pa and the interest rewarded is entitled for a reduction of up to Rs
150,000 pa. When a home loan is for a considerable amount then the interest and
chief reimbursement surpass the allotted limit. A salaried individual can go for a
combined joint home loan with his parent, spouse or sibling, to guarantee the
best utilization of tax advantages.

In this way both the owners can assert tax reductions in the percentage of their
stake holding in the loan.


For employees of large Indian and multinational companies, benefits go beyond

salaries to include lifestyle perks such as company accommodation or club
membership. Growth in business operations and competition for talent are now
prompting even mid-sized companies to adopt the HR practices of such large

However, with tax regulations constantly evolving, it is not clear whether these
perks are tax efficient or not. Certain perks such as company mediclaim, which
doesn͛t qualify as a lifestyle perk, is a useful benefit offered to employees.

Here is a look at some company perks and how they benefit you:



One has to choose the best option by calculating the net tax benefit. In case of a
company lease, the amount of rent paid by your employer is deducted from your
salary and hence your taxable income reduces to that extent.

However, perquisite value of such accommodation is added to your taxable

income. Perquisite value is the lower of 1) 15% of taxable salary excluding the
value of perquisites; or _) Actual rent paid by the company.

For a self lease, on the other hand, you can claim HRA exemption. The tax
exemption on HRA is computed as the minimum of following three conditions: i)
Actual HRA on your pay slip; ii) 40-50% of your basic salary; iii) The rent amount
minus 10% of the salary. If you stay in any of the metros (Mumbai, Kolkata, New
Delhi or Chennai), HRA is calculated at 50% of your salary. In other cities/towns,
HRA is calculated at 40% of the salary.

You have to calculate the net tax benefit under both the options to find which
gives you a higher tax saving


If your employer provides you with a car lease option, you should consider
availing of the same as it would be a tax efficient option. In such case, the EMI
paid by your employer to the leasing company is deducted from your monthly
salary resulting in reduction in your taxable income.

Further, reimbursement of expenses associated with the car (such as driver͛s

salary, fuel, repairs and maintenance) are also considered as non-taxable.
However, perquisite value of such facility is added to your taxable income. (Refer
table). Perquisite value is equal to Rs 1,800 per month if the cubic capacity of car
is up to 1,600. For cars with higher cubit capacity, the perquisite value is Rs _,400
per month. Further, Rs 900 per month is added if a chauffeur facility is also


Corporate club membership fee paid by your employer to help you join a club is
considered a tax exempt perquisite. This facility can be used by the employee or
any of his family members.

If the club membership has been taken only for business purposes, you should
maintain the details of expenditures such as the date of expenditure, the nature
of expenditure and the amount of expenditure. Consequently, the company
would provide a certificate stating the same to the employee. The value of food
coupons issued by the employer, redeemable only at eating joints, are exempt
from tax as long as the value of the food coupons does not exceed Rs 50 per meal.


This is a common benefit offered to employees irrespective of their grade and the
premium is less than half of an individual mediclaim. Most group health insurance
products offer wider coverage and they are more lenient than individual policies.
There are several advantages in opting for such group policies.

- A corporate cover waives off the 30-day waiting period unlike a standalone
health cover, which means that you are not covered for any disease/health
ailment that you get within first 30 days from the effective date of the policy.

Secondly, a group cover offers maternity cover, which is rare in standalone policy.

- In a group cover, the number of claims can be offset by a set people who
wouldn͛t make any claim related to maternity. Hence the risk of covering
maternity expenses in a group gets diluted because of the dispersion effect from
an insurer͛s perspective.

However, in maternity insurance there is a waiting period of nine months. Ideally,

the employee should have completed nine months in the organisation before the
conception stage.

You don͛t have to pay for the premium; the company mostly bears the cost. Some
companies, however, deduct the premium charges from the employee͛s salary.



The following allowances are exempt to the extend of expenditure incurred by

the employee:

Travelling allowance, daily allowance, conveyance allowance, helper allowance,

academic allowance, uniform allowance.

The following allowance for personal expenses are exempt as per limit below:

1. Children education allowance @ Rs. 100 per month subject to max of _ children

_.hostel exp. of children Rs. 300/- per month per child for _ children

3.special area allowance from Rs. _00 to 7000/ per month for tribal area, hilly
area etc.

4.transport allowance @ 800/ per month

5.Counter insurgery all. granted to members of armed forces upto 3900/ per

The following benefits/perquisites are tax free and good tax planning tool for
salaries class:

1. Expenses on telephone, mobile of employees

_.Premium paid for accident policy of the employee

3.Motor car provided to the employee

4. Expenses incurred on motor car belonging to the employee

5.Use of health club, sports and simimar facilities

6. Training to the employee

7.Recreational facilities

8.Medical re-imbursemnet upto 15000/ per annum

9. medical treatement in a hospital maintianed by employer without limit of any


10. Tax paid by employer on non monetary perqusites

11. Use of laptops/computers owned or hired by employer



It is said that the only two certainties in life are death and taxes. Here is a Guide
that will tell you what you need to know on how to save tax on your salary.

Lets start at the beginning. There are some FAQs which must be answered in
order to save tax on salary.

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Salary is generally divided into following key heads:


It includes all monthly remuneration paid by an employer to the employee like

base salary, bonus, house rent allowance, conveyance allowance, etc. These
components are fully taxable except to the extent specifically exempt (like house
rent allowance, Medical expenses reimbursement).


It includes all benefits provided by an employer to the employee like company

leased accommodation, car, free education, etc. This represents provision of a
facility rather than an allowance for expense. These components are taxable
based on the value prescribed as per the perquisite valuation rules.


It includes non-recurring, one-off payments received by the employee e.g. joining

bonus, compensation for termination of employment or modification in the terms
of employment etc.


Tax planning for salaried individuals can be divided into two categories:

- Salary Restructuring; and

- Investment in Tax Saving instruments

You can avail both the above options to save tax.



Salary Restructuring is a lesser known domain of tax planning. You can structure
or restructure your salary so as to reduce the tax outgo by including exempt
allowances and reimbursements. Instead of going for a high basic salary you can
take reimbursements and allowances which are exempt from tax.

But note that your EPF, Gratuity and Superannuation are all a percentage of your
Basic, so by reducing your Basic to allow for higher allowances and
reimbursements, you will also be reducing your EPF, Gratuity and
Superannuation. And note that EPF is exempt from tax, gratuity is exempt from
tax up to Rs. 10 lakhs in your lifetime, and the commuted pension portion of
Superannuation is non taxable.



Following allowances and reimbursements are not taxable upto certain

exemption limits:

-House Rent Allowance ('HRA')

-Leave Travel Assistance ('LTA')

-Medical reimbursements

-Transport Allowance

-Education Allowances

-Food Coupons


HRA stands for House Rent Allowance. It is taxable under the IT Act subject to
specified exemption limits. If you do one of the following then your HRA is fully
taxable, not exempt:

-reside in your own house; or

-do not pay rent for house occupied by you.

However if you are living in a rented house and you are the one paying the rent,
then HRA exemption can be availed for the period during which you occupy the
rented house during the relevant tax year. Also, to claim the exemption, your
employer is required to obtain appropriate and adequate proof of payment of
rent for the entire period for which you want to claim exemption.
An exception to the 'proof required' rule is that if you are a salaried employee
drawing HRA up to Rs. 3,000 per month, you do not have to provide a rent receipt
to your employer.

Exemption amount is calculated as follows:

 c     &



Yes, as far as the IT Act is concerned ʹ the two sections on HRA and Rental Income
are completely separate, so you can avail HRA deduction and also home loan tax

For example:

Suppose you are renting a house close to where you work, but your home is
elsewhere, and you are repaying a home loan on your home property. In this case
you can avail your HRA deduction, as well as take the tax benefit of the home
loan. The two sections (dealing with HRA and Home Loan benefit) are completely
separate in the IT Act.


LTA (Leave Travel Allowance) is taxable under the Act subject to prescribed
exemption. The exemption is available based on the expenses you actually incur
on travel fare, subject to the following:

-the travel is undertaken by you and can include your family members; and

-is for proceeding on leave to any place in India.

This exemption can be claimed only in respect of two journeys performed in a

block of four calendar years.


 & ˜-

The current block is for journeys performed during the years _010 to _013. But
note, LTA block is measured in Calendar Years and not Financial Years, so the
current block is Jan 1st, _010 to Dec 31st, _013.


   . c ˜ 

No. LTA is exempt for travel undertaken by your family members, where ͞family͟
is defined as:

-your spouse and children; and

-your parents, brothers and sisters

Keep in mind that your family members have to be wholly or mainly financially
dependent on you for you to claim LTA on their journeys. Also, the above-
mentioned exemption does not apply to more than two children born after 1
October 1998.


As per the Rules, the conditions/ limitations for the exemption are as follows