The government notified the Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Act, 2010 on May 18, 2010, which increases the limit of gratuity payment to employees in the specified sectors/establishments covered under the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 (“Gratuity Act”). After the amendment, these employees are eligible to receive gratuity up to Rs 10,00,000, which was earlier restricted to Rs 3,50,000. Thus, crores of workers will be benefited in establishments covered by the Gratuity Act.

Meaning of Gratuity :-Gratuity refers to the emoluments received by an employee from his employer in gratitude for the services rendered. Such sum can be paid on retirement, resignation, superannuation, death or disablement. Under the Gratuity Act, the sum can be paid only after an employee has rendered continuous service of not less than five years. Exceptions being termination of employment on account of death/disablement.

Eligibility criteria:-Gratuity shall be payable to an “employee” on the termination of his employment after he has rendered continuous service for not less than five years.

  • On his superannuation.
  • On his retirement or resignation.
  • On his death or disablement due to accident or disease.

Note: However, the condition of five years of continuous service is not necessary if service is terminated due to death or disablement.

To whom is Gratuity Payable?

Gratuity is normally payable to the employee himself, however in the case of death of the employee it shall be paid to his nominee & nomination has been made to his heirs. Incase the nominee is a minor; share of the minor shall be deposited with the controlling authority who shall invest the same for benefit of the minor, until he/she attains majority.

Taxability of Gratuity

From a tax perspective, gratuity received by an employee is taxable as salaries. The Income tax Act segregates the employees receiving gratuity on the following basis:

==> Government employees;

==> Non – Government employee covered under the Gratuity Act.

==> Non – Government employee and not covered under the Gratuity Act.

Based, on the above segregation, necessary exemptions from tax can be claimed on the gratuity received.

Exemption available for employees covered under the Gratuity Act

In case of employees covered under the Gratuity Act, exemption is limited to the extent of minimum of the following:

i) Gratuity actually received

ii) 15 days salary for every completed year of service or part thereof (i.e. services in excess of 6 months will be treated as full year service)

iii) Rs 3,50,000 (the maximum limit as provided in the Gratuity Act)

The increase in limit to Rs 10,00,000 in the Gratuity Act (from the erstwhile Rs 3,50,000) in a way indicates that the tax exemption may also increase.

As per the Act, the gratuity amount is 15 days’ wage multiplied by the number of years put in by you. Here wage refers to basic salary plus dearness allowance. Take the monthly salary drawn by you last (basic + dearness allowance) at the time of resignation or retirement. Divide this by 26. This gives you your daily salary. Multiply this amount by 15 days, and further by the number of years of service you have put in.

If you have put in 10 years and seven months in an organisation, your service period will be taken to be 11 years. But if your service tenure is 10 years and five months, then for the purpose of this calculation your tenure will be taken to be 10 years only.

Take an example. Suppose that your average monthly salary is Rs 26,000. Your daily salary will be Rs 1,000. Multiply this by 15 and then by 10. The gratuity you are entitled to after 10 years of service will be Rs 1.5 lakh.

Formula :- Gratuity shall be calculated as per the below formula:

Gratuity = Last drawn salary x 15/26 x No. of years of service

Your last drawn salary will comprise your basic + DA. For computation of gratuity, your service period will be rounded off to the nearest full year.

Tax impact of the amendment

The tax impact can be explained by way of an example. Suppose, Mr A retires from a software company after servicing for 35 years and at the time of retirement his basic salary was Rs 50,000 per month.

Upon retirement, Mr A is eligible for a gratuity payout of Rs 10,00,000 and is covered under the Gratuity Act.

This example indicates that by increasing the limit, Mr A will be getting more gratuity and also a significant tax benefit.

Taxable amount of gratuity in different scenarios

Taxable Gratuity – Pre AmendmentTaxable Gratuity – Post Amendment
Least of the following shall be exempt :

1) Actual gratuity received – Rs 10,00,000

2) 15 days salary for every completed year of service or part thereof – 50,000*15/26*35 = Rs 10,09,615

3) Rs 3,50,000

Least of the following shall be exempt :

1) Actual gratuity received – Rs 10,00,000

2) 15 days Salary for every completed year of service or part thereof – 50,000*15/26*35 = Rs 10,09,615

3) Rs 10,00,000

Exempt Gratuity = Rs 3,50,000Exempt Gratuity = Rs 10,00,000
Taxable Gratuity = Rs 10,00,000- 3,50,000 = Rs 6,50,000Taxable Gratuity = Rs 10,00,000- 10,00,000 = NIL

Open issues

There are some open issues in terms of the date from which the higher limit is applicable and whether a separate clarification/notification will come from a tax perspective. The increase in limit has got the president recently and it seems that the open issues will get clarified soon.


The above amendment in the Gratuity Act is a welcome step by the government and will bring lots of cheer to employees across the private sector.

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