Income from Salary:-Section 17 of the Income Tax (IT) Act is all about taxation under the head ‘salary’. In most of the cases, it is impossible for a salaried person to avoid tax on his income, except by way of deduction under chapter VI A of the IT Act.

However, there are ways that can help you minimise your total tax outgo if you plan accordingly.

Expecting a bonus? Everyone waits for that time of the year when they receive that lump sum called bonus from their employer. However, bonus is fully taxable on receipt basis and is included in your gross salary for the year in which you receive it. Can you limit the tax outgo on your bonus? Yes.

As bonus is a fully taxable component of an individual’s salary, tax is applicable on it whenever it is paid.

An individual can get his/her employer to make the bonus payment in the subsequent year, thereby also pushing the tax liability to the subsequent year. This might benefit the employee if tax rates have been reduced or the tax slabs have been modified favourably.

If the bonus is to be paid in the current year, the best that can be done is to spread the resulting tax liability on the bonus over the remaining months in that financial year. By deferring the tax outflow over the remaining months on a piecemeal basis instead of lump sum tax payment, this will ensure that the individual’s overall cash flow is better managed.

In certain cases, the employer deducts tax on the bonus before handing it over to the employee. In such cases, ensure that you give your tax-saving investment details to the employer so that you can get the maximum bonus on hand.

Take that trip. Under Section 10 (5) of the IT Act, you can claim tax exemptions using your leave travel allowance (LTA). In a favourable development for taxpayers, the Supreme Court recently ruled that employers are not obligated to collect and examine proofs related to LTA.

Theoretically, the LTA exemption rule stipulates that such exemption from tax can be claimed by an individual twice in a block of four years. One requires to produce domestic travel bills evidencing the fact of having undertaken a single journey.

Many individuals are unable to go on any vacation and, hence, end up losing the benefit of tax exemption on LTA. Such individuals can claim an additional exemption in the next block of four years. Here’s an example to illustrate this point:

Suppose X, an employee, did not travel in the block of 2010-13 and, so, could not claim any exemption in this block. However, he can carry forward one journey to the succeeding block (2014-17) and can claim it in the first calendar year, i.e., 2014.

Thereafter, he can also claim the remaining two journeys of the block 2014-17. Accordingly, he may be eligible to avail three exemptions in the block 2014-17.

If both spouses are getting the LTA benefit in their respective places of work, they can both claim the separate exemptions for separate journeys for travel with their respective set of dependent parents.

Get the most out of those perks. For the salaried, perquisites make work a pleasure but tax plays a dampener. If an employee has the option of choosing between an employer-provided accommodation and an independent rented accommodation, a cost-benefit analysis will help him find the option that’s more conducive to his tax outgo.

Generally, having a house rent allowance (HRA) component in the salary and paying rent is the better option. If one is using a motor car for official purposes as well as personal use, rather than use your own vehicle, it is advisable to take an employer-provided vehicle.

In that case, the taxable perquisite value is restricted to a maximum of Rs 3,300 per month (car with a driver) as against the actual expense being taxed when the vehicle is owned by the employee.

Tuning it right. Not many have the option to change their salary structure, but if your company is progressive or you are on good terms with your human resource department, you just might be able to squeeze in a few additions and deletions and save some tax in the process.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Opt for salary components such as reimbursement of attire expenses, books and periodicals, telephone expenses and medical expenses. These can yield small but profitable results.
  • Change the arrangement from using your own car to a company-provided vehicle with driver this will go a long way in cutting your tax bill. If you want to use your own car, but do not want the related high perquisite taxation, you can buy the car in your spouse’s name and lease it to your company, which in turn can let you use it. (Such an arrangement needs to be approved by your company as it may not want any tax-related hassles.)
  • Small components such as food coupons, education allowance and transport allowance may bring in small but effective respite from taxes.

Sops! Employee Stock Options (ESOPs) are preferred by many blue-chip company employees but, unfortunately, they are taxable.

Subject to provisions of ESOP plans and within the exercise period, the employee can choose to exercise his shares (where an option is available to the employee), at a time when the fair market value (FMV) of the shares is low. In such a case, the taxable salary income on allotment of ESOPs would be lower as it is directly proportional to the FMV of the shares on the date of exercise.

Income from Salary

  • For a salaried employee, restructuring salary in his favour may not be easy. But you can still soften the tax blow:
  • Use house rent allowance (HRA) — it is partially exempted from tax, provided rent is actually paid.
  • Avail tax exemption on HRA, and principal repayment of home loan under Section 80C.
  • Furnish current employer details with Form 16 from the previous employer.
  • Ensure that you furnish bills to claim reimbursements (e.g., medical).
  • LTA is tax-exempt twice in four years upon furnishing requisite bills, if the employer asks for them.
  • Remember, food coupons are exempt from tax.
  • Get maximum tax benefit from employer-owned motor car that comes with reimbursement.
  • After getting ESOPs, hold on to them for a year to avoid taxes. However, the lock-in period varies across employers.

Income from Business or Profession

Section 28 of the IT Act pertains to income from business or profession. As per the income tax laws in India, a self-employed person can be a freelance writer/journalist, independent consultant, businessman, or a professional.

Tax calculations are easier for the salaried compared to those for the self-employed.

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There are a few things that you should keep in mind. All expenses related to business or profession are deductible from the gross profit. In case you have any work-related capital assets, you can claim depreciation on them.

Carrying forward losses is allowed for the next eight years. Bills of capital expenditure should be maintained for the sake of record.

Managing taxes. Give priority to tax-saving instruments that do not demand long-term commitment. Incomes from business and profession are generally uneven, so it is in your best interest to avoid any large commitment at a particular point in time.

Remember to keep your personal investments and business surplus apart. Keep a list of the tax deducted at source (TDS) throughout the year.

If your source of income is a business or a profession, these are the key things you should know:

  • Keep personal investments and business surplus apart.
  • Business loss can be carried forward and set off against future profits for up to eight assessment years.
  • As business income is not steady, avoid long-term financial commitments towards tax-saving products.

Income from House Property

It is calculated by taking into account the annual value. Annual value is the highest of the actual rent received, rent as per the municipality’s valuation and fair rent as determined by the IT department.

However, there are a few exemptions such as municipality tax and 30 per cent of net annual value (annual value less municipality tax for the year), which are deducted from the annual value to arrive at the taxable annual value. It is then added to other income and taxed according to the normal slab rate.

Any income that’s derived from a house property is taxable. Here are the things to keep in mind:

  • Avail unlimited deduction for interest payment on the loan for your second house.
  • Claim tax deduction on principal repayment under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act.
  • Keep rent receipts for proof of rental income for tax filing later.
  • Make sure that you collect the ‘interest paid’ and ‘principal repayment’ certificates from the home loan provider

Income from Capital Gains

Any gains arising from the transfer of capital assets are capital gains. A capital asset can be an asset of any kind held by an individual whether or not connected with his business or profession. However, capital gains can be of two types according to the time for which the asset is held by the individual.

Long-term capital assets are assets held by an individual for a period of more than 36 months. However, in case of shares, equity mutual funds and debentures, the holding time period is 12 months.

On sale of any of these assets before a year and upon payment of a security transaction tax (STT), the flat tax rate is 15.45 per cent. One does not require to pay any taxes if these assets are transferred after one year of holding.

On sale of other assets such as property and physical gold, the short-term capital gain is added to other income and taxed accordingly.

However, the taxable amount is calculated after a few considerations: cost of acquisition (indexed cost in case of long term), cost of improvement (indexed cost of acquisition in case of long term), expenditure incurred at the time of acquisition and expenditure incurred wholly and exclusively in connection with such transfer.

A few things that you need to keep in mind if you have any income from capital gain:

Long-Term Capital Gains

  • No tax on gains from sale of equity shares and equity mutual funds if sold after a year. Ensure that security transaction tax (STT) has been paid while making such transactions.
  • For assets such as real estate and gold, 20 per cent tax after indexing.

Short-Term Capital Gains

  • Tax of 15.45 per cent on gains from sale of equity shares and equity mutual fund if sold within a year. ensure that STT has been paid while making such transactions.
  • From other assets such as real estate and gold — as per your tax slab.

Saving Capital Gains

  • Reinvest the gains in residential property or bonds such as NHAI/REC.
  • Set off any short-term capital loss against short-term capital gains or taxable long-term capital gains.

Income from Other Sources

Section 56 of the IT Act says that you need to pay taxes on income that does not fall under any of the above heads. These include winnings from contests, gifts received and dividend income. Here’s how to handle taxes on such incomes.

  1. According to the current tax provisions, dividend income from listed securities and units of equity and debt mutual funds is exempt from tax. Try to invest in these to avoid tax on dividends.
  2. Make investments in the name of major children so that the entire income is not taxed in the hands of a single member, exposing the income to the highest tax slabs.

Keep those gifts coming. Gifts are taxable, but there are certain exceptions. For example, gifts from the employer not exceeding Rs 5,000 are not taxable in the hands of the individual.

Certain categories of gifts, such as those received from relatives on the occasion of the marriage of the individual, under a will/inheritance, and in contemplation of death by the donor are tax-exempt. In case the gift is an immovable property, one can avoid paying any taxes if at least some consideration is given to the donor.

The law says the transfer of an immovable asset for a nominal compensation qualifies for tax exemption.

However A husband should avoid giving a gift to his wife as otherwise clubbing provisions may be attracted and the income from such gift could be included in the husband’s income.

There are certain incomes that are not covered under the previous heads.

A look:

  • Remember, any gift that one receives from specifi ed relatives is exempt from income tax.
  • Take advantage of the fact that cash gifts during special occasions such as marriage, from ‘anybody’, are tax-exempt.
  • Don’t forget that any gift received up to Rs 50,000 per annum from a person other than specified relatives is also exempt from tax.

Tips from experts for the working couple

The number of working couples in the country is on the rise and so is their tax outgo. But, says Mahesh, there are several ways to bring down the tax liability.

  • House property-related deduction. Buying multiple house properties (except one that is treated as self-occupied) and letting them out could fetch good tax breaks owing to the interest payment on the home loan for buying the property.
  • Joint home loans. Even a couple owning one property can maximise tax breaks by independently claiming interest payment on the loan taken for the purchase. In case of a self-occupied house, the limit of home loan interest individually available to each spouse for claiming exemption is Rs 1.5 lakh (Rs 150,000).
  • LTA – related deduction. Each spouse should time the claim of their LTA component in such as way that they claim the exemption in alternate years. This way, each spouse can claim two journeys in a block of four years.
  • HRA – related deduction. If the couple resides in a rented house, the exemption for the rent paid can be claimed by both spouses proportionately. Such shared exemptions or deductions can be claimed by the couple under various other heads such as children’s school tuition fees, principal repayment of home loan, medical insurance premium and medical expenses.

Tips from experts for high-income individuals

Citizens in the higher tax bracket of 30 per cent have little respite from taxation. However, these small tips might help.

  • Invest in low- or zero-tax options. Investments that ensure a fixed lower tax rate or those that generate zero tax income are the best bet. Property, works of art, shares and mutual funds are a good choice.
  • Create separate tax entities. For high net worth individuals, another way is to diversify their investments in multiple entities so as to spread the income and reduce the tax outgo.

An effective and popular tool is to create a separate Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) and make investments in such HUF, which has a distinct Permanent Account Number (PAN) and existence. However, an HUF cannot be created by one’s own money. The initial corpus has to come as a gift from a non-member.

Tax experts suggest that you be punctual in making your tax investment declarations to your employer and submitting your investment proofs, and make your general investments in tax-efficient instruments.

Consult a good tax practitioner before you take any major financial decisions, maintain your yearly financial documents properly and fulfill all compliance requirements (such as timely filing of tax returns). These measures will enable you to lead a peaceful life, free of tax worries.

Tips from experts for senior citizens ( Aged between 60 to 80 Years) and super senior citizens (Ages 80 years or more)

  • Tax-saving schemes. If the income exceeds the zero tax mark of Rs 2.5 lakh (Rs 250,000) annually in case of senior Citizens  or Rs. 5,00,000/- in case of super senior citizens they can invest in eligible investments such as Senior Citizen Savings Scheme and eliminate any potential tax liability.
  • Tax saving for couples. If both the spouses are senior citizens, spreading investments between them could fetch a zero-tax status for a combined income of Rs up to Rs. 10 lakh depending upon the status of both the spouse . If investments are made in Section 80C eligible investments, then the zero-tax status can apply to a combined income as high as Rs 12  lakh (Rs 12,00,000).
  • Avoid TDS on interest. Senior citizens should make it a point to submit Form 15H to the entity where the investment is made at the beginning of the year so as to ensure that no tax is deducted at source. The income should be within the threshold limit.
  • If suitable, commute pension. Those receiving pension should commute the entire eligible pension (withdraw in lump sum) and keep the uncommuted portion (which is received, say, on a monthly basis) as small as possible. That’s because the uncommuted portion of pension is fully taxable. However, in case of commutation, for government employees, the entire commuted value is tax-exempt. For other employees, a portion of the same (ranging between one-third and half) is exempt from tax.
  • Tax-efficient reinvestment. On receipt of such a lump sum, it can be re-invested in some tax-friendly avenues, which can ensure that the resulting income itself is not taxable.

Re-Published with Amendments.

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0 responses to “Useful tips to save Income Tax in F.Y. 2012-13”

  1. Prakash S Trivedi says:

    Dear Sir,
    Are medicine bills are exempted from taxable income for a consultant? Please inform mr which expenses are exempted from taxable income for a consultant at the age of 63 years?
    Thanks & Regards.
    P S Trivedi

  2. lagerahonatubhai says:

    savjibhai dholkia harikrishna export a diamond businessmen given car,house,jewellery to 1200 employee will it be taxable from employer and employee.it might given as bonus,gift,incentive if.surat,lagerahonatubhai@gmail.com,m-07802050596

  3. mahesh says:

    excellent information, shall help me planning my tax returns, thank you

  4. Prithvi raj says:

    Hi,
    Please let me know.
    If a salaried employee has a compensation component where his spouse’s car can be taken on lease or hire by the company for a sum of 70k per month is TDS and service tax applicable ?at what rate?

    Thank you

  5. Murty says:

    We are working couple, and for the past 15years, we were paying taxes, filing returns, and we still have another 12 years of work, salaries will be added, saving under all sections available, paying the annual taxes on salaries.
    The point is, the amount saved for the past 15 years, and the next twelve years is being simply getting added and added, getting a compounding effect. My estimation is that it is now around Rs.75Lakhs and for the next 12 years, this amount as well as the future additions is going to be around Rs.4Crores, which we want to handover to our only son.
    The question is what is the tax treatment of this amount?
    Am I doing any mistake? Violating any tax laws?
    We do not own a house, and would continue to stay in a rented house. After retirement and handing over this amount to our son, in which ever way he decides, we would like to live on our pension, continuing to stay on rent , AS LONG AS WE LIVE!
    Please suggest

  6. SATISH RATNAPARKHI says:

    Very Good information for savings
    Thanks a lot

  7. Vikrant says:

    Hi sir

    Have one query, Its regarding professional development(PD) exemption…

    I heard that we can get 50k exemption for PD, is it true?
    If true under which section or from where does it get deducted in INDIA…

    Please let me…..

    Regards
    Vikrant

  8. Jayan says:

    Thank you very useful information. I have some query for clarifiaction

    1. If sold an house under home loan and purchase new one with home loan, whether principle paid to close the loan can be showed under savings? The profit I got while sell the house to be shown as capital gain if the new house value is more than old one? Whether the tax benifit I cliamed in previous years is to pay back?

    2. If I sold any gift recived (paid the gift tax) lower than gift value, whether the sales value to show as my income?

    Regards

  9. Aish Kumar says:

    Suppose in the block 2010-2013, I take only one LTA in Jun, 2013. So can I carry forward the pending LTA to the block 2014-2017?

    Of course, I would have to avail this third carried forward LTA in 2014 itself.

  10. amol says:

    i had opened a postal rd account in june 2012.having monthly investment 4000.00 can i get any income tax benefit of that?

  11. murthy says:

    Information helps in good tax planning .

  12. Rajeev Ranjan says:

    Excellent compilation. very helpful for all category of peple. Thanks.
    Keep up the good work.

  13. Jayaprakash Jagirdar says:

    Really useful information. Thanks

  14. ATUL KALE says:

    Lot of worthy information. thanks

  15. tkseth says:

    Me and my wife both Sr citizen in the age group 60 to 80.
    Kindly elaborate how can we save on taxes up to income of 10 to 12 lakhs?
    The item discussed is vauge unless it is clerified further.
    Kindly CLERIFY

  16. Natraj says:

    Thanks. Very useful informative

  17. Natraj says:

    Very Good information for savings Thanks a lot

  18. vishvesh says:

    Lot of worthy information. thanks

  19. Rajanikant Raval says:

    “Tax saving for couples. If both the spouses are senior citizens, spreading investments between them could fetch a zero-tax status for a combined income of Rs up to Rs. 10 lakh depending upon the status of both the spouse . If investments are made in Section 80C eligible investments, then the zero-tax status can apply to a combined income as high as Rs 12 lakh (Rs 12,00,000).”

    We both are senior citizens me and my wife how can our combine income up to 12 lakhs after investing us 80c can fetch us zero tax status. Which ITR form we can file to avail this zero tax status.We will b highly obliged if we are guided properly how to file ITR for thesame.pl arrange to reply to my email address:rajanikantraval@yahoo.com

  20. Prabodh says:

    can you give more details for the following with an Example

    “Tax saving for couples. If both the spouses are senior citizens, spreading investments between them could fetch a zero-tax status for a combined income of Rs up to Rs. 10 lakh depending upon the status of both the spouse . If investments are made in Section 80C eligible investments, then the zero-tax status can apply to a combined income as high as Rs 12 lakh (Rs 12,00,000).”

  21. V N MONI says:

    Dear sir:
    Can u pl elaborate on senior citizens ( both husband and & wife) aged between 60-80, re. TAX SAVINGS SCHEME and TAX FOR COUPLES (10lakhs and 12 lakes) & 80C deductions. I understand that no tax to be paid on 3.5 lakhs income if 1 lakh invested in 80C. No additional 20,000/- on Infrastructure bonds this year. Is this right?
    Thanks
    /V N MONI

  22. kiran says:

    Sir, can I buy a new property first and later on sell my existing property within 1 year, will the proceeds be treated as exempt from capital gain tax or not?

  23. Advocate Manoj says:

    it’s very useful information

  24. CA. Prashant Luthra says:

    sir ,

    i want a clarification on the following point: 

    “Keep those gifts coming. Gifts are taxable, but there are certain exceptions. For example, gifts from the employer not exceeding Rs 5,000 are not taxable in the hands of the individual.

    Certain categories of gifts, such as those received from relatives on the occasion of the marriage of the individual, under a will/inheritance, and in contemplation of death by the donor are tax-exempt. In case the gift is an immovable property, one can avoid paying any taxes if at least some consideration is given to the donor.

    The law says the transfer of an immovable asset for a nominal compensation qualifies for tax exemption.

    However A husband should avoid giving a gift to his wife as otherwise clubbing provisions may be attracted and the income from such gift could be included in the husband’s income.

    There are certain incomes that are not covered under the previous heads.”

    sir 

    my question is that how to materialize the gift of immovable property for nominal value transaction. please explain from the point of view of donor and donee.

    regards

  25. Rajesh Kumar Morwal says:

    Thx it really very useful.

  26. Dholakia N says:

    It was really an information of great value

    Thanks

  27. atmaram says:

    thanks really useful

  28. Darshan Parab says:

    Really useful to a common man. Thanks. Keep it up.

  29. Mohsin Malik says:

    what a website this is.it is awesome…….

  30. Mohsin Malik says:

    what a website this is

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