The rules for valuation of perquisite given by employer to employees are as under : –
I. Accommodation :- For purpose of valuation of the perquisite of unfurnished accommodation, all employees are divided into two categories: (i)Central Govt. & State Govt. employees; and (ii)Others.
For employees of the Central and State governments the value of perquisite shall be equal to the licence fee charged for such accommodation as reduced by the rent actually paid by the employee.
For all others, i.e., those salaried taxpayers not in employment of the Central government and the State government, the valuation of perquisite in respect of accommodation would be at prescribed rates, as discussed below:
1. Where the accommodation provided to the employee is owned by the employer, the rate is 15% of ‘salary’ in cities having population exceeding 25 lakh as per the 2001 census. The rate is 10% of salary in cities having population exceeding 10 lakhs but not exceeding 25 lakhs as per 2001 Census. For other places, the perquisite value would be 7.5 % of the salary.
2. Where the accommodation so provided is taken on lease/ rent by the employer, the prescribed rate is 15% of the salary or the actual amount of lease rental payable by the employer, whichever is lower, as reduced by any amount of rent paid by the employee.
For furnished accommodation, the value of perquisite as determined by the above method shall be increased by-
(i) 10% of the cost of furniture, appliances and equipments, or
(ii) where the furniture, appliances and equipments have been taken on hire, by the amount of actual hire charges payable.
– as reduced by any charges paid by the employee himself.
Explanation: For the purpose of this rule, where the accommodation is provided by the Central Government or any State Government to an employee who is serving on deputation with any body or undertaking under the control of such Government,-
(i). the employer of such an employee shall be deemed to be that body or undertaking where the employee is serving on deputation; and
(ii). the value of perquisite of such an accommodation shall be the amount calculated in accordance with Sl. No.(2)(a) of Table I, as if the accommodation is owned by the employer.
“Accommodation” includes a house, flat, farm house, hotel accommodation, motel, service apartment, guest house, a caravan, mobile home, ship etc. However, the value of any accommodation provided to an employee working at a mining site or an on-shore oil exploration site or a project execution site or a dam site or a power generation site or an off-shore site will not be treated as a perquisite. However, for not being treated as perquisite, such accommodation should either be located in a “remote area” or where it is not located in a “remote area”, the accommodation should be of a temporary nature having plinth area of not more than 800 square feet and should not be located within 8 kilometers of the local limits of any municipality or cantonment board. A project execution site for the purposes of this sub-rule means a site of project up to the stage of its commissioning. A “remote area” means an area located at least 40 kilometers away from a town having a population not exceeding 20,000 as per the latest published all-India census.
If an accommodation is provided by an employer in a hotel the value of the benefit in such a case shall be 24% of the annual salary or the actual charges paid or payable to such hotel, whichever is lower, for the period during which such accommodation is provided as reduced by any rent actually paid or payable by the employee. However, where in cases the employee is provided such accommodation for a period not exceeding in aggregate fifteen days on transfer from one place to another, no perquisite value for such accommodation provided in a hotel shall be charged. It may be clarified that while services provided as an integral part of the accommodation, need not be valued separately as perquisite, any other services over and above that for which the employer makes payment or reimburses the employee shall be valued as a perquisite as per the residual clause. In other words, composite tariff for accommodation will be valued as per these Rules and any other charges for other facilities provided by the hotel will be separately valued under the residual clause. Also, if on account of an employee’s transfer from one place to another, the employee is provided with accommodation at the new place of posting while retaining the accommodation at the other place, the value of perquisite shall be determined with reference to only one such accommodation which has the lower value as per the table prescribed in Rule 3 of the Income Tax Rules, for a period up to 90 days. However, after that the value of perquisite shall be charged for both accommodations as prescribed.
II Personal attendants etc.: The value of free service of all personal attendants including a sweeper, gardener and a watchman is to be taken at actual cost to the employer. Where the attendant is provided at the residence of the employee, full cost will be taxed as perquisite in the hands of the employee irrespective of the degree of personal service rendered to him. Any amount paid by the employee for such facilities or services shall be reduced from the above amount.
III Gas, electricity & water: For free supply of gas, electricity and water for household consumption, the rules provide that the amount paid by the employer to the agency supplying the amenity shall be the value of perquisite. Where the supply is made from the employer’s own resources, the manufacturing cost per unit incurred by the employer would be taken for the valuation of perquisite. Any amount paid by the employee for such facilities or services shall be reduced from the above amount.
IV Free or concessional education: Perquisite on account of free or concessional education shall be valued in a manner assuming that such expenses are borne by the employee, and would cover cases where an employer is running, maintaining or directly or indirectly financing the educational institution. Any amount paid by the employee for such facilities or services shall be reduced from the above amount. However, where such educational institution itself is maintained and owned by the employer or where such free educational facilities are provided in any institution by reason of his being in employment of that employer, the value of the perquisite to the employee shall be determined with reference to the cost of such education in a similar institution in or near the locality if the cost of such education or such benefit per child exceeds Rs.1000/- p.m.
V Interest free or concessional loans – It is common practice, particularly in financial institutions, to provide interest free or concessional loans to employees or any member of his household. The value of perquisite arising from such loans would be the excess of interest payable at prescribed interest rate over interest, if any, actually paid by the employee or any member of his household. The prescribed interest rate would now be the rate charged per annum by the State Bank of India as on the 1st day of the relevant financial year in respect of loans of same type and for the same purpose advanced by it to the general public. Perquisite value would be calculated on the basis of the maximum outstanding monthly balance method. For valuing perquisites under this rule, any other method of calculation and adjustment otherwise adopted by the employer shall not be relevant.
However, small loans up to Rs. 20,000/- in the aggregate are exempt. Loans for medical treatment specified in Rule 3A are also exempt, provided the amount of loan for medical reimbursement is not reimbursed under any medical insurance scheme. Where any medical insurance reimbursement is received, the perquisite value at the prescribed rate shall be charged from the date of reimbursement on the amount reimbursed, but not repaid against the outstanding loan taken specifically for this purpose.
VI Use of assets: It is common practice for an asset owned by the employer to be used by the employee or any member of his household. This perquisite is to be charged at the rate of 10% of the original cost of the asset as reduced by any charges recovered from the employee for such use. However, the use of Computers and Laptops would not give rise to any perquisite.
VII Transfer of assets: Often an employee or member of his household benefits from the transfer of movable asset (not being shares or securities) at no cost or at a cost less than its market value from the employer. The difference between the original cost of the movable asset(not being shares or securities) and the sum, if any, paid by the employee, shall be taken as the value of perquisite. In case of a movable asset, which has already been put to use, the original cost shall be reduced by a sum of 10% of such original cost for every completed year of use of the asset. Owing to a higher degree of obsolescence, in case of computers and electronic gadgets, however, the value of perquisite shall be worked out by reducing 50% of the actual cost by the reducing balance method for each completed year of use. Electronic gadgets in this case means data storage and handling devices like computer, digital diaries and printers. They do not include household appliance (i.e. white goods) like washing machines, microwave ovens, mixers, hot plates, ovens etc. Similarly, in case of cars, the value of perquisite shall be worked out by reducing 20% of its actual cost by the reducing balance method for each completed year of use.
VIII Medical Reimbursement by the employer exceeding Rs. 15,000/- p.a. u/s. 17(2)(v) is to be taken as perquisites.
It is further clarified that the rule position regarding valuation of perquisites are given at Section 17(2) of Income Tax Act, 1961 and at Rule 3 of Income Tax Rules, 1962. The deductors may look into the above provisions carefully before they determine the perquisite value for deduction purposes.
It is pertinent to mention that benefits specifically exempt u/s 10(13A), 10(5), 10(14), 17 etc. would continue to be exempt. These include benefits like travel on tour and transfer, leave travel, daily allowance to meet tour expenses as prescribed, medical facilities subject to conditions.