1. Basic Salary
This is a fixed component in your paycheck and forms the basis of other portions of your salary, hence the name. For instance, HRA is defined as a percentage (as per the company’s discretion) of this basic salary. Your PF is deducted at 12% of your basic salary. It is usually a large portion of your total salary.
2. House Rent Allowance
Salaried individuals, who live in a rented house/apartment, can claim house rent allowance or HRA to lower tax outgo. This can be partially or completely exempt from taxes. The income tax laws have prescribed a method for computing the HRA that can be claimed as an exemption.
Also do note that, if you receive HRA and don’t live on rent your HRA shall be fully taxable.
Case Study:Rakesh works in Mumbai. Her company provides her with a house rent allowance. But she doesn’t live in a rented accommodation as she lives with her parents.
How can Rakesh make use of this allowance?
Rakesh can pay rent to her parents and claim the allowance provided they own the place they currently live in. All she has to do is enter into a rental agreement with her parents and transfer money to them every month. This way Rakesh can make a nice gesture and give back to her parents, and two, save some taxes. But remember, Rakesh’s parents will have to show the rent she paid in their income tax returns.
3. Leave Travel Allowance
Salaried employees can avail exemption for a trip within India under LTA. The exemption is only for the shortest distance on a trip. This allowance can only be claimed for a trip taken with your spouse, children, and parents, but not with other relatives. This particular exemption is up to the actual expenses, therefore unless you actually take the trip and incur these expenses, you cannot claim it. Submit the bills to your employer to claim this exemption.
The bonus is usually paid once or twice a year. Bonus, performance incentive, whatever may be its name, is 100% taxable. Performance bonus is usually linked to your appraisal ratings or your performance during a period and is based on the company policy.
5. Employee Contribution to Provident Fund (PF)
Provident Fund or PF is a social security initiative by the Government of India. Both employer and employee contribute a 12% equivalent of the employee’s basic salary every month toward employee’s pension and provident fund. An interest of about 8.55% from FY 2017-18 (earlier it was 8.65%) gets accrued on it. This is a retirement benefit that companies with over 20 employees must provide as per the EPF Act, 1952.
6. Standard Deduction
Standard Deduction has been reintroduced in the 2018 budget. This deduction has replaced the conveyance allowance and medical allowance. The employee can now claim a flat Rs. 50,000 (Prior to Budget 2019, it was Rs. 40,000) deduction from the total income, thereby reducing the tax outgo.
7. Professional Tax
Professional tax or tax on employment is a tax levied by a state, just like income tax which is levied by the central government. The maximum amount of professional tax that can be levied by a state is Rs 2,500. It is usually deducted by the employer and deposited with the state government. In your income tax return, professional tax is allowed as a deduction from your salary income.
1. Difference Between Take Home Salary and CTC
Your job may entitle you to some benefits in the form of food coupons or a cab service apart from your salary. The total cost to the company is the sum of all the benefits offered plus your salary.
Below is an example of components of your CTC that is on your offer letter.
|Basic salary||Rs 3,00,000|
|Special allowance||Rs 1,00,000|
|Medical insurance||Rs 5,000|
|PF (12% of basic)||Rs 36,000|
|Performance bonus||Rs 75,000|
|Total CTC||Rs 5,96,000|
Whereas this is how your payslip will look for the CTC mentioned above.
|Basic salary||Rs 3,00,000|
|Special allowance||Rs 1,00,000|
|Bonus received||Rs 75,000|
|Total salary||Rs 5,55,000|
|Less: 12% PF||Rs 36,000|
|Less: Tax payable*||Rs 14,976|
|Take home salary||Rs 5,04,024|
Broadly your CTC will include:
- Salary received each month.
- Retirement benefits such as PF and gratuity.
- Non-monetary benefits such as an office cab service, medical insurance paid for by the company, or free meals at the office, a phone provided to you and bills reimbursed by your company.
Your take-home salary will include:
- Gross salary received each month.
- Minusallowable exemptions such as HRA, LTA, etc.
- Minusincome taxes payable (calculated after considering Section 80 deductions).
Part III – Retirement Benefits
1. Exemption of Leave Encashment
Check with your employer about their leave encashment policy. Some employers allow you to carry forward some amount of leave days and allow you to encash them while others prefer that you finish using them in the same year itself. The amount received as compensation for leave days accumulated is referred to as leave encashment and it is taxable as salary.
Exemption of leave encashment from tax:
It is fully exempt for Central and State government employees. For non-government employees, the least of the following three is exempt.
- 10 months average salary preceding retirement or resignation (where average salary includes basic and DA and excludes perquisites and allowances)
- Leave encashment actually received. (this is further subject to a limit of Rs 3,00,000 for retirements after 02.04.1998)
- Amount equal to salary for the leave earned (where leave earned should not exceed 30 days for every year of service)
The amount chargeable to tax shall be the total leave encashment received minus exemption calculated as above. This is added to your income from salary.
2. Relief Under Section 89(1)
You are allowed tax relief under Section 89(1), when you have received a portion of your salary in arrears or in advance, or have received a family pension in arrears.
Calculate the Tax Relief Yourself
- Calculate the tax payable on the total income, including additional salary in the year it is received.
- Calculate the tax payable on the total income, excluding additional salary in the year it is received
- Calculate the difference between Step 1 and Step 2
- Calculate the tax payable on the total income of the year to which the arrears relate, excluding arrears
- Calculate the tax payable on the total income of the year to which the arrears relate, including arrears
- Calculate the difference between Step 4 and Step 5
- The excess amount at Step 3 over Step 6 is the tax relief that shall be allowed.
Note that if the amount at Step 6 is more than the amount at Step 3, no relief shall be allowed.
3. Exemption on Receipts at the Time of Voluntary Retirement
Any compensation received on voluntary retirement or separation is exempt from tax as per the Section 10(10C). However, the following conditions must be fulfilled
- Compensation received is towards voluntary retirement or separation
- Maximum compensation received does not exceed Rs 5,00,000.
- The recipient is an employee of an authority established under the Central or State Act, local authority, university, IIT, state government or central government, notified institute of management, or notified institute of importance throughout India or any state, PSU, company or a cooperative society.
- The receipts are in compliance with Rule 2BA.
No exemption can be claimed under this section for the same AY or any other if relief under Section 89 has been taken by an employee for compensation of voluntary retirement or separation or termination of services.
Note: Exemption can only be claimed in the assessment year the compensation is received.
Pension is taxable under the head salaries in the income tax return. Pension is paid out periodically on a monthly basis usually. You may also choose to take pension as a lump sum (also called commuted pension) instead of a periodical payment. At the time of retirement, you may choose to receive a certain percentage of your pension in advance.
Such pension received in advance is called commuted pension. For e.g.- At the age of 60, you decide to receive in advance 10% of your monthly pension of the next 10 years of Rs 10,000. This will be paid to you as a lump sum. Therefore, Rs.10% of 10000x12x10 = 1,20,000 is your commuted pension. You will continue to receive Rs 9,000 (your uncommuted pension) for the next 10 years until you are 70 and post 70 years of age, you will be paid your full pension of Rs 10,000.
Uncommuted pension or any periodical payment of pension is fully taxable as salary. In the above case, Rs 9,000 received by you is fully taxable. Rs 10,000 starting the age of 70 years are fully taxable as well.
Commuted and Uncommuted Pension Commuted pension or lump sum received may be exempt in certain cases. For a government employee, commuted pension is fully exempt. Uncommuted pension or any periodical payment of pension is fully taxable as salary.
In the above case Rs 9,000 received by you is fully taxable. Rs 10,000 starting the age of 70 yrs are fully taxable as well. For a non-government employee, it is partially exempt.
If gratuity is also received with a pension – 1/3rd of the amount of pension that would have been received, if 100% of the pension was commuted, is exempt from commuted pension and remaining is taxed as salary. If only the pension is received, gratuity is not received then ½ of the amount of pension that would have been received, if 100% of the pension was commuted, is exempt.
Pension received by a family member though is taxed under ‘Income from other sources‘ in the income tax return. If this pension is commuted or is a lump sum payment it is not taxable. Uncommuted pension received by a family member is exempt to a certain extent. Rs 15,000 or 1/3rd of the uncommuted pension received – whichever is less is exempt from tax. Pension that is received from UNO by its employees or their family is exempt from tax. Pension received by family members of Armed Forces is also exempt.
Gratuity is a retirement benefit that employers provide for their employees. The employee is entitled to receive gratuity when he completes five years of service at that company. It is, however, only paid on retirement or resignation. Gratuity received on retirement or death by a central, state or local government employee is fully exempt from tax for the employee or his family. The tax treatment of your gratuity is different, depending on whether your employer is covered by the Payment of Gratuity Act. Check with your company about its status, and then proceed to calculate.
If your employer is covered by the Payment of Gratuity Act, then the least of the following three is tax-exempt.
- 15 days salary based on the salary last drawn for every completed year of service or part thereof in excess of 6 months.
For simplicity sake, this is calculated as last drawn salary x number of years in employment x 15/26 (where last drawn salary is Basic salary and DA and number of years in service is rounded off to the nearest full year)
- Rs 20,00,000
- Gratuity actually received
If your employer is not covered under the Payment of Gratuity Act, the least of the following three is tax-exempt.
- Half month’s salary for each completed year of service. While calculating completed years, any fraction of a year shall be ignored.
For example – if you have worked in an organization for 14 years and 9 months, the number of years of employment shall be considered to be 14 years. Here salary is taken as the average salary of the 10 months immediately before the month in which the person retires.
- Rs 20,00,000
- Gratuity actually received