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Tips to save Income Tax on Salary

Updated on: 23 Feb, 2024 12:05 PM

Planning the taxes in advance can help with saving taxes on salary. Tax planning involves making strategic decisions and taking advantage of available tax deductions, credits, exemptions, and incentives to optimize your tax situation. Effective tax planning can help individuals and businesses reduce their tax burden, increase their after-tax income, and achieve their financial goals. Let us know how to alleviate the tax burden and save taxes.

Below is the list that can help you plan and save the taxes:-

It is important to understand the salary components and the exemptons and deductions provided to you. It can help you save on taxes.

  • Basic Salary: This is the fixed amount of your pay slip which is the basic pay that your employer promises you apart from the other salary benefits. The basic salary is also used to calculate the employer's contribution to the provident fund (EPF), as the contribution is expressed as a part of the basic salary.
  • Dearness Allowance: Dearness allowance (DA) is an allowance allowed to you for factoring in inflation, increasing the cost of living.
  • House rent Allowance: If you are employed and live in a rented apartment or house, you can claim HRA to lower your tax amount. There is an option to partially or completely exempt the amount of rent paid from the taxable income. You need to follow the guidelines set by the income tax department in the computation of the HRA amount.
  • Leave Travel Allowance: Under LTA, you can apply for tax exemption for the costs incurred while traveling within India. This exemption can be availed on the shortest distance during the trip. The allowance claim also includes costs for spouses, children, and parents if traveling together. To avail of the exemption, you need to provide all the related documents associated with travel, so you must take a trip before making the claim. LTA is allowed twice in a block of four years.
  • Bonus: The bonus declared by the company differs from one company to another. Generally, a performance bonus is given once or twice a year. The bonus comes under the tax slab as it is an income. 100% of the bonus amount is taxed.
  • Employees’ Provident Fund contributions: The Government of India has initiated the social security scheme for salaried individuals, where the employee and the employer contribute 12% of the basic salary and dearness allowance every month towards the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF). The amount attracts 8.55% of the interest on the accumulated amount. All the companies employing above 20 employees must contribute towards the PF amount under the EPF ACT 1952. The EPF contributions create a retirement corpus for you when you retire.
  • Standard deduction: Medical allowances and the conveyance allowance have been replaced by standard deductions in the 2018 budget. Now you can claim ₹50000 from your total salary income as a standard deduction, thereby reducing the amount of taxable income.As per budget 2023 this deduction is now available under the new tax regime also.
  • Professional Tax: This tax is levied by the State Government and is similar to the income tax which is levied by the Central Government. The maximum amount that can be claimed as deduction under income tax act is ₹2500. This is usually deducted by the employer only and deposited to the State Government.

What is the difference between the CTC (Cost to Company) and take-home salary? The company may entitle you to several benefits like food coupons, pick and drop facility, rent-free accommodation, gratuity, etc. These benefits add up and form part of the total amount of hiring you for the company, which is known as the cost to the company. So, the CTC would include the salary paid every month, the retirement benefits payable when you retire or leave the organization, and non-monetary benefits like free meals, free transport, etc.

Compared to CTC, the basic take-home pay would include the gross salary paid to you after deducting the tax-free allowances like HRA, LTA, etc., and the income tax payable by you.

The salary also includes the retirement benefits which are payable to you. Let’s understand these benefits -


Retirement Benefits

In the calculation of taxation on your salary income, a lot of tax benefit is given on the amount of money spent on planning for retirement. These benefits are known as retirement benefits. Let’s discuss all retirement benefits in detail:

Leave Encashment Exemption:

As an employee, you should always check with the employer regarding their leave encashment policy. The policy varies from company to company, some allow you to carry forward the leave days, and some give you the option of encashment of leave days. The amount that you receive comes under the taxable slab. There are certain exemptions where no tax is charged on the amount you receive by encashing the leaves that are not taken. These instances include the following:

  • Central and State Government employees are not charged tax on the leave encashment amount.
  • In the case of non-Government employees exemption is allowed for the lowest of the following amounts:
    • Average salary of the last 10 months before retirement
    • Leave encashment amount received provided it is limited to ₹25 lakhs as per budget 2023 update
    • Amount equalling the salary for the earned leaves

Taxable amount would be the leave encashment received after deducting the tax exemption using the rules mentioned above.

Advance Salary:

Under Section 89(1) tax exemption is given if in case you have received a certain portion of your total salary in advance, or got a family pension in advance.

VRS (Voluntary Retirement Scheme):

Under section 10 (10C), the exemption is given on the amount received at the time of voluntary retirement if certain criteria are followed. These criteria state that the compensation amount should be received on voluntary retirement, it should not exceed ₹500000, the receipt should follow the rule 2BA, and you should be an employee of an authority that is formed in compliance with certain rules. The employees who have already taken benefits under section 89 are not eligible for this exemption.

Pension:

Any amount received under pension comes under the tax slab in the year that the pension is received. Pension is usually paid in the form of annuities. You can also commute 1/3rd of the accumulated pension and receive the amount in a lump sum. This lump sum amount would be tax-free under Section 10(10A) but the annuity payments would be taxed in your hand at your tax slab when it is paid.

Gratuity:

Gratuity is a benefit given by the employer to its employee at the time of retirement. When you complete 5 years in the company then you would be entitled to receive gratuity from the employer. But the amount is received only at the time of resignation or retirement. The tax calculation is different and it depends on whether you are covered under the Gratuity Act or not. The amount received by a family member in case of your death is exempted from the tax slab.


Income Tax Calculation

Once you are aware of the tax deductions available for you in the salary component, you can calculate your tax liability. However, the following should be kept in mind while calculating the tax -

  • Salary income is not the only taxable income that you have. There are various sources that also contribute towards income besides salary for example it can include income from property, stocks, interest, etc. All these incomes are added together and then on the accumulated amount tax is charged depending on the slab that the income falls in.
  • You also get deductions and exemptions from the gross taxable income calculated from all the heads of income. You have to deduct such tax-free deductions and exemptions to arrive at the net taxable income.

The net taxable income would then be taxed as per the given slab rates -

Age less than 60 years

Income Tax Slab Old Tax Regime FY 2022-23 (AY 2023-24) and FY 2023-24 (AY 2024-25) New tax Regime (Before budget 2023)
(until 31st March 2023)
New Tax Regime (After Budget 2023)
(Applicable from 1st April 2023)
₹0 - ₹2,50,000 - - -
₹2,50,001 - ₹3,00,000 5% 5% -
₹3,00,001 - ₹5,00,000 5% 5% 5%
₹5,00,001 - ₹6,00,000 20% 10% 5%
₹6,00,001 - ₹7,50,000 20% 10% 10%
₹7,50,001 - ₹9,00,000 20% 15% 10%
₹9,00,001 - ₹10,00,000 20% 15% 15%
₹10,00,001 - ₹12,00,000 30% 20% 15%
₹12,00,001 - ₹12,50,000 30% 20% 20%
₹12,50,001 - ₹15,00,000 30% 25% 20%
More than ₹15,00,000 30% 30% 30%

For age above 60 but below 80 years the basic exemption limit is Rs 3 lakhs and for age above 80 years the basic exemption limit is Rs 5 lakhs under the old tax regime. In Budget 2023, rebate under new regime has been increased and therefore, income upto Rs 7 lakh will be tax-free from FY 2023-24. Income tax computation requires good knowledge of taxation laws. Thus, looking at the hardships faced by people, Tax2win created a simple online tax calculator tool to help you easily estimate your tax refund or tax payable to the government. Our income tax calculator calculates taxes, on the basis of the latest provisions of the income tax act and rules issued by the Income Tax Department.


Tips to save Income Tax on Salary

Optimize your Salary Income:
You can save more on your income tax by planning your salary structure wisely. You can ask your employer to adjust your salary components to make use of the tax benefits available for various allowances, reimbursements, and perquisites. For instance, you can reduce your taxable income by allocating a part of your salary to Tax-Free allowances, such as HRA or LTA. You can also claim Tax-Free reimbursements for expenses like medical bills, phone bills, and fuel expenses.

Invest in Tax-Saving Instruments:
You can lower income tax by choosing tax-saving investments. Section 80c of the Income Tax Act. 1961 offers various investment options that let you claim deductions on the invested amount. You can invest in instruments like PPF, NSC, EPF, and tax-saving FDs. These investments can help you save tax and also boost your wealth in the long run.

Utilize deduction under section 80D:
Healthcare costs can be a major financial strain. You can ease the pressure and save tax by using deductions under section 80D. This section lets you claim deductions for health insurance premiums paid for yourself, your spouse, children, and parents. You can also deduct expenses for preventive health check-ups. Use the 80D calculator by Tax2win and find out how much deduction you can claim under section 80D.

Invest in Tax-saving Mutual Funds:
ELSS funds or Equity Linked Saving Schemes are tax-saving mutual funds that offer the dual benefits of potential capital appreciation and tax savings. You can claim deductions under section 80C of the Income Tax Act for investments in these funds. These funds have a three-year lock-in period, which helps you create wealth in the long term. Before investing in ELSS funds, compare the performance and risk profiles of different options. Use the 80D calculator by Tax2win to calculate deductions under section 80C.

Take Expert Assistance to Save More Tax:
If you want to save taxes and optimize your financial standing, you can benefit from the expertise of tax professionals and financial advisors. They have deep knowledge of tax laws and can tailor their advice to your specific needs and goals. They can help you find more tax-saving opportunities and make sure you follow all the relevant rules and regulations.

Book eCA Now for Consultation!


Frequently Asked Questions

Q- Is pension a part of the salary?

Pension is included in your salary. Under the contract of employment pension is covered up and is taxed under the heading of salary. But if the pension is paid out of any insurance product then it is placed under the heading of income from other sources.


Q- What does the term perquisites mean and what is the process of taxation?

Perquisites are the benefits given to you by your organisation beside your basic pay as a part of your job position. This amount is given beside the salary amount for example vehicle for your commute, accommodation which is rent free etc. Depending on the nature of the perquisites it is decided whether to tax it or not. Rule 3 of the Income tax defines the valuation of perquisites.


Q- Are the advance salaries taxed?

Yes, the advance payment of the salary is taxed.


Q- What type of loss can be set off from the salary income?

Only loss from house property can be set off from the income under the head salary. No other losses such as loss from the business, capital gain etc can be set off with salary income.


Q- How can I benefit from rental expenses if I live with my parents?

You can get into a housing rental agreement with your parents where every month from your salary you pay them rent. This way you will be able to take the benefit of the rent in calculation of the taxable income. However, your parents will have to show the rent amount in their income tax return file under the heading ‘income from house property. This amount is then taxed in your parents’ returns.


Q- What should I do if my company does not charge me any TDS amount?

If your company does not deduct tax at the source then first you should calculate your taxable income, then depending on the amount of your taxable income and the taxation slab you fall in you should compute the tax amount if any payable and pay it to the government.


CA Abhishek Soni
CA Abhishek Soni

Abhishek Soni is a Chartered Accountant by profession & entrepreneur by passion. He is the co-founder & CEO of Tax2Win.in. Tax2win is amongst the top 25 emerging startups of Asia and authorized ERI by the Income Tax Department. In the past, he worked in EY and comes with wide industry experience from telecom, retail to manufacturing to entertainment where he has handled various national and international assignments.