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Definition of Word 'Salary' or Income by way of Salary [Section 17(1)]

According to Section 17(1) salary includes the following amounts received by an employee from his employer, during the previous year :

  1. Wages;

  2. any annuity or pension; (Family pension received by heirs of an employee is taxable under income from other sources);

  3. any gratuity;

  4. any fees, commission, perquisites or profits in lieu of or in addition to any salary or wages;

  5. any advance of salary;

  6. any payment received by an employee in respect of any period of leave not availed of by him; (Leave encashment or salary in lieu of leave);

  7. the annual accretion to the balance at the credit of an employee participating in a recognised provident fund, to the extent to which it is chargeable to tax under Rule 6 of part A of the Fourth Schedule; and

  8. the aggregate of all sums that are comprised in the transferred balance as referred to in sub-rule (2) of Rule 1] of Part A of the Fourth Schedule, of an employee participating in a recognised provident fund, to the extent to which it is chargeable to tax, under sub-rule (4) there, i.e., taxable portion of transferred balance from unrecognised provident fund to recognised provident fund.

  9. the contribution made by the Central Government or any other employer in the previous year, to the account of an employee under a pension scheme referred to in Section 8OCCD.

The above definition of word ‘salary’ U/s 17(1) includes the above mentioned items. These can be explained in following manner :

  1. Wages—any amount received by a person for work done or job rendered is called wages. It may be received under the name of ‘Pay’, ‘Basic Pay’, ‘Salary’, ‘Basic salary’ or ‘Remuneration’. It may be for actual work or leave salary or actually received or due during the relevant previous year. Salary in lieu of Notice. It is fully taxable uls 15 if received during the relevent previous year.

  2. Any Annuity or Pension—Any amount received by employee from past employer after attaining the age of retirement or superannuation is fully taxable. It may be received direct as pension or out of a superannuation fund created by employer; in both cases it is taxable.

  3. Any Gratuity—Any sum received by employee from his past employer as a token of gratitude for services rendered in past is called gratuity. This amount is exempted upto certain limits given u/s 10(10) and it is dealt with in this very chapter at a later stage.


    1. any Fee—any amount received from employer under the name of fee is also fully taxable.
    2. any Commission—any commissions given by employer to employee is fully taxable. Any commission received by a director for standing guarantee for repayment of loan, and if he is not employee of the company, shall be taxable under “Income from other sources”. In case commission is given to an employee and it is paid as a fixed percentage of turnover achieved by such employee, such commission shall also be treated as part of the salary for all practical purposes. [Gestener Duplicators (P) Ltd. vs. C.I. T. (1979) SC).
    3. any Bonus—Bonus is fully taxable under the head ‘Salaries’ on receipt basis. In case arrears of bonus are received in a previous year, these are fully taxable. Bonus can be of two types :

      Statutory Bonus—It is received under some legal or contractual obligation and is fully taxable.
      Gratuitous Bonus—It is a casual benefit and is taxable as a receipt from employer and having no other implication.

    4. any Perquisite—Any benefit or amenity allowed by employer to employee. These are explained in detail later in this chapter u/s 17(2).
    5. any Profit in lieu of or in addition to salary—any cash payment received by employee from employer is called profit in lieu of salary and these are explained later in this chapter u/s 17(3).
  5. any salary in lieu of leave received during service is fully taxable.

  6. any advance salary—In case an assessee receives some salary in advance in a previous year and which was actually not due in that year shall be taxable in the year of receipt. It does not include any loan or advance taken from employer.

 Important Links....for calculating Salary Income

(A). Salary -Definition & Meaning
(B). Provident Fund
(C). Allowance
(D). Perquisites
(E). Profit in lieu of Salaly
(F). Retirement Benefits
(G). Deductions
(H). Table Presentation of Salary Income (Section 15 to 17)

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