Article explains what is Salary Income, What are allowance, TDS on Salary, Taxability of Reimbursement of Expenses, Salary from different employers and non-deduction of TDS by them, Issue of Form 16, Taxability of pension income/ Family pension / retirement benefits like PF and Gratuity / arrears of salary , leave encashment/ receipts from life insurance policies on maturity along with bonus / ex-gratia received from employer / House Rent allowance (HRA)/ Fixed Medical allowance/ Conveyance allowance / transport allowance, What is Form 12BB, When relief under section 89 of the Income Tax Act is available, standard deduction on Salary, effective date of enhancement of limit of gratuity from Rs 10 lakh to 20 lakh for purpose of tax exemption computation under section 10(10)(ii) etc.

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

Salary is a fixed amount of money or compensation paid to an employee by an employer in return for work performed. Salary is commonly paid in fixed intervals, for example, monthly payments of one-twelfth of the annual salary.

Here we have Considered Some of the Frequently asked Question on Taxability of Salary Income under the Income tax Act,1961

Q.1 What is considered as salary income?

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​​​​​​ Ans: section 17​​ of the Income-tax Act defines the term ‘salary’. However, not going into the technical definition, generally whatever is received by an employee from an employer in cash, kind or as a facility [perquisite] is considered as salary.

Q.2 What are allowances?

​Ans: Allowances are fixed periodic amounts, apart from salary, which are paid by an employer for the purpose of meeting some particular requirements of the employee.  E.g., Tiffin allowance, transport allowance, uniform allowance, etc.

There are generally three types of allowances for the purpose of Income-tax Act – taxable allowances, fully exempted allowances and partially exempted allowances.​

Perquisites are benefits received by a person as a result of his/her official position and are over and above the salary or wages. These fringe benefits or perquisites can be taxable or non-taxable depending upon their nature. . Uniform allowance is exempt to the extent of expenditure incurred for official purposes U/S 10(14).

Q.3 My employer reimburses to me all my expenses on grocery and children’s education. Would these be considered as my income?

​​​Ans: Yes, these are in the nature of perquisites and should be valued as per the rules prescribed in this behalf.​​

Q.4 Salary from different employers and non-deduction of TDS by them

During the year I had worked with three different employers and none of them deducted any tax from salary paid to me. If all these amounts are clubbed together, my income will exceed the basic exemption limit. Do I have to pay taxes on my own?

Ans: Yes, you will have to pay self-assessment tax and file the return of income.​

Q.5 Even if no taxes have been deducted from salary, is there any need for my employer to issue Form-16 to me?

​​​Ans: Form-16 is a certificate of TDS. In your case it will not apply. However, your employer can issue a salary statement.​

Q.6 Is pension income taxed as salary income?

​​Ans: Yes. However, pension received from the United Nations Organisation is exempt.​​

Q.7 Is Family pension taxed as salary income?

Ans: ​​​No, it is taxable as income from other sources.​

Q.8 If I receive my pension through a bank who will issue Form-16 or pension statement to me- the bank or my former employer?

Ans: ​​​​The bank.​

Q.9  Are retirement benefits like PF and Gratuity taxable?

Ans: ​​​​In the hands of a Government employee Gratuity and PF receipts on retirement are exempt from tax. In the hands of non-Government employee, gratuity is exempt subject to the limits prescribed in this regard and PF receipts are exempt from tax, if the same are received from a recognised PF after rendering continuous service of not less than 5 years.​

Q.10 Are arrears of salary taxable?

Ans: ​​​​​​Yes. However, the benefit of spread over of income to the years to which it relates to can be availed for lower incidence of tax. This is called as relief u/s 89​ of the Income-tax Act.​​

Q.11 Can my employer consider relief u/s 89 for the purposes of calculating the TDS from salary?

Ans: ​​​​​Yes, if you are a Government employee or an employee of a PSU or company or co-operative society or local authority or university or institution or association or body. In such a case you need to furnish Form No. ​10E to your employer. ​​

Q.12 My income from let out house property is negative. Can I ask my employer to consider this loss against my salary income while computing the TDS on my salary?

Ans: ​​​Yes but only to the extent of Rs. 2 lakh, however, losses other than losses under the head ‘Income from house property’ cannot be set-off while determining the TDS from salary.​​

Q.13 Is leave encashment taxable as salary?

Ans: ​​​It is taxable if received while in service. Leave encashment received at the time of retirement is exempt in the hands of the Government employee. In the hands of non-Government employee leave encashment will be exempt subject to the limit prescribed in this behalf under the Income-tax Law.​

Q.14 Are receipts from life insurance policies on maturity along with bonus taxable?

​​​​​Ans: As per section 10(10D), any amount received under a life insurance policy, including bonus is exempt from tax. However, following receipts would be subject to tax:

1. Any sum received under sub-section (3) of section 80DD; or

2. Any sum received under Keyman insurance policy; or

3. Any sum received in respect of policies issued on or after April 1st, 2003, in respect of which the amount of premium paid on such policy in any financial year exceeds 20% (10% in respect of policy taken on or after 1st April, 2012) of the actual capital sum assured; or

4. Any sum received for insurance on life of *specified person (issued on or after April 1st 2013) in respect of which the amount of premium exceeds 15% of the actual capital sum assured.

* Any person who is –

i)  A person with disability or severe disability specified under section 80U​; or

ii) suffering from disease or ailment  as specified in the rule made under section 80DDB.

Following points should be noted in this regard:

  • Exemption is available only in respect of amount received from life insurance policy.
  • Exemption under section 10(10D)​ is unconditionally available in respect of sum received for a policy which is issued on or before March 31, 2003.
  • Amount received on the death of the person will continue to be exempt without any condition.​

Q.15  ​What is the taxability of ex-gratia received from employer?

Ans: ​If a person or his heir receives ex-gratia from Central govt/state govt/ local authority/Public Sector Undertaking due to injury to the person/death while on duty such ex-gratia payment will not be taxable.

Q.16 Where is House Rent allowance (HRA) to be reflected while filing income-tax return (ITR)?

Ans: ​​If ITR-1 (Sahaj) or ITR-4 (Sugam) is applicable, exemption of HRA needs not to be reflect in income part.

a) Salary (excluding all allowances, perquisites and profit in lieu of salary exempt from tax) required to be disclosed in the sheet of Income details.

b) Allowances not exempt required to be disclosed in the sheet of Income details.

HRA exemption required to be shown in the column of Exempt income only for reporting purpose in others select sectio​n 10(13A)​​- House rent allowance from drop down.

  • If ITR-2 or ITR-3is applicable, exemption of HRA needs not to be reflect in income part.

a) Salary (excluding all allowances, perquisites and profit in lieu of salary exempt from tax) required to be disclosed in Salary sheet in ITR-2 and Schedule-S in ITR-3.

b) Allowances not exempt required to be disclosed in Salary sheet in ITR-2 and Schedule-S in ITR-3.

HRA exemption required to be shown in the column of Allowances to meet expenditure incurred on house rent [ sectio​n 10(13A)​​)] under the heading Allowances exempt under sectio​n 10​​​.

If tax payer is eligible for claiming exemption of HRA, but his employer not allowed such exemption, then he can claim the exemption at the time of filing his return of income.

Q.17 What is the taxability of House Rent allowance (HRA)?

Ans: ​​​Least/minimum of the following is exempt (Not taxable/deducted from total HRA received)

(a) Actual amount of HRA received

(b) Rent paid Less 10% of salary

(c) 50% of salary if house taken on rent is situated in Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi

​or

40 % of salary if the house is taken on rent is NOT situated in Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi.

Q.18 What is the taxability of Fixed Medical allowance?

Ans: ​​​Medical allowance is a fixed allowance paid to the employees of a company on a monthly basis, irrespective of whether they submit the bills to substantiate the expenditure or not. It is fully taxable in the hands of employee.

Q.19 What is the taxability of Conveyance allowance?

​​Ans: As per sectio​n 10(14)​​ read with Rule 2BB Conveyance allowance is exempt to the extent of amount received or amount spent, whichever is less. For e.g., If amount received is Rs. 100 and amount spent is Rs. 80, then only Rs. 20 is taxable. However, if amount actually spent is Rs. 100; then nothing is taxable.

Q.20 Is standard deduction applicable to all the salaried person whether he is an employee of Central or State Government?

Ans: As per Finance Act, 2018, new section 16(ia) has been inserted where the standard deduction is allowed while computing income chargeable under the head salaries. It is available to all class of employees irrespective of the nature of employer. Standard Deduction is also available to pensioners. Amount of Standard Deduction is Rs. 40,000 or amount of salary/pension, whichever is lower.

Q.21 Is transport allowance can be claimed as exemption by an employee from A.Y 2019-20 onwards?

Ans: Exemption of transport allowance of Rs. 1600 p.m granted to an employee is discontinued from A.Y 2019-20.
However, exemption of transport allowance of Rs. 3200 p.m granted to an employee who is blind or deaf and dumb or orthopaedically handicapped is still available.

Q.22  Is standard deduction applicable to family pensioners from AY 2019-2020?

Ans: Section 16(ia) has been introduced by Finance Act, 2018 for class of person whose income is chargeable to tax under head salary. Family Pension is taxable under the head income from other sources. Hence standard deduction is not applicable in case of Family Pension.

Q.23 Mr. X having Gross Salary of Rs. 7,00,000 during the the previous year 2018-19. Compute the standard deduction allowable to him?

​Ans: Standard deduction is allowable to the extent of :

a) Rs. 40,000 or

b) Amount of Salary, whichever is lower

In this case standard deduction of Rs. 40,000 is allowable to Mr.X.

Q.24 What is Form 12BB?

​​​​Ans: As per RULE LINK – Rule 26C of the Income Tax Rules – Form No. 12BB is required to be furnished by an employ​ee to his employer for estimating his income or computing the tax deduction at source.
An assessee shall furnish evidence or particulars of the claims, such as House Rent Allowance, Leave Travel concession, Deduction of Interest under the head ” Income from house property” and deductions under Chapter-VIA in Form No. 12BB​ for estimating his income or computing the tax deduction at source.

Q.25 When relief under section 89 of the Income Tax Act is available?

Ans: Relief under section 89 is available to an individual if he has received

Salary or family pension in arrears  or in advance [Rule 21A (2)]

Gratuity in excess of  exemption under section 10(10)(ii)/(iii) [Rule 21A(3)]

Compensation on termination of employment [Rule 21A(4)]

Commuted pension in excess of exemption under section 10(10A)(i) [ Rule 21A(5)]

In case of payment received other than above CBDT can allow relief under section 89 after examining each individual  case.  [Rule 21A (6)]

Q.26  What is the effective date of enhancement of limit of gratuity from Rs 10 lakh to 20 lakh for purpose of tax exemption computation under section 10(10)(ii)?

Ans: The exemption limit under section 10(10)(ii) for the employees, who are covered under Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, has been enhanced from Rs. 10,00,000 to Rs. 20,00,000 vide notification S.O.1420 (E) dated 29 March 2018 notified by Ministry of Labour and Employment. The exemption under section 10(10)(iii) for the employees, who are not covered under the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, is Rs. 10,00,000 as no notification has been issued so far to enhance this limit.

(Republished with Amendment, Source -Income Tax Website)

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14 responses to “Salary Income – Answer to Common issues”

  1. Rajendra Kumar Padhi says:

    I Rajendra retired on Sept,2016.I am also a pensioner.Out of gratuity and pf amount I had got, an amount of Rs 20,00,000 transper by cheque to my spouse a house wife with PAN card.That amount was kept in mis account for 36 months.Now is she file return for interest amount or accumulated or what to do.

  2. Ramendu Narayan Datta says:

    I am retired govt.employee, receive Rs.1400/-
    Per year from LIC pension scheme(us 80ccc)
    Is it taxable income?

    • Ramendu Narayan Datta says:

      I am retired govt employee,I have been received Rs.14,000/-per year from LIC pension scheme (80ccc),is it taxable income?

  3. rajan says:

    is honourarium taxable

  4. Jagdeep Singh says:

    I retired as lecturer Economics on 31.03.2015. I am receiving pension about 34000 cash in hand. I lost my life partner (a retired mistress) in July,2016. Now I am receiving about Rs.16000 as family pension also. Please guide me how to calculate the tax on family pension.

  5. S S BHULLAR says:

    Is Travel concession allowance paid to Punjab govt pensioners after a block of two years equal to one month basic pension is taxable? If yes,what are the various conditions under which it becomes non taxable?
    Kindly guide.

  6. Harish Chander Azad says:

    Sir, I have alrrady been assesed for the AY2014-15 and received my refund amount of Rs.4070/-Now when I filed my e-return for the FY2015-16 in the month of July 2015, I have received e notice under sec.245 of Income tax act showing recovery of Rs.1100/- & Rs. 1530/- for the AY2011-12 and 2012-13.Though I have already replied this notice and while filing these returns the entire tax was paid and these returns were filed well in time.Is this notice is not a time bar notice.No basis of calculations given in the notice

  7. RAKESH SHARMA says:

    Sir,1. If a pensioner is getting Family Pension in addition to his own pension whether he is allowed any rebate at the time of filing ITR.
    2. If the pensioner getting 2 (Two) family pension of her husband one from Army and second from Bank.
    Please let me no how much rebate allowed at the time of ITR.

    Thanks

  8. karan says:

    PLEASE DEFINE SHOT NOTES FOR INCOME FROM SALARY

  9. Dineshkumar says:

    good

  10. sathish says:

    Hi, if salary paid from france directly to employee works at india. what will be the consequences for the following

    PF
    Grautity
    Prof Tax
    Income tax

    whether PF & Income tax can be deducted in france as per the Social security agreement between france and India. and for Income tax under DTAA

    Regards

    Sathish

  11. pkjain says:

    yes, I agree with Mr. D S CHAKRAVARTHI

  12. Ayaz Sangrar says:

    Is honorarium being paid to Trustees of a Public Trust (Charitable) to be considered as Salary and TDS and professional tax to be deducted. This becomes more complicated as the Trustees file their individual income tax returns and show the honorarium as income from other sources. Please clarify giving relevant sections of IT Act. Thanks.

  13. D S CHAKRAVARTHI says:

    ​If I receive my pension through a bank who will issue Form-16 or pension statement to me- the bank or my former employer?
    ​The bank.​

    This is not correct. Form 16 is to be issued by the former employer who pay the pension and not the Bank through which pension is received.

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