Hate Paying Taxes? Check How to Pay 0 Income Tax on Salary of Rs 20+ Lakh (FY 2020-21)

Salaried class have always complained of raw deal year after year in income tax laws. But the good news is you can still manage to pay Zero (NIL) income tax on salary of up to Rs 20 lakhs (Salary here means cost to company). All you need to have is right salary structure and invest in RIGHT Tax saving plans! We give you details below.

Best Salary Structure for Saving Tax

Salary structure is very important to keep taxes low. The good news is most employers are partially flexible with salary structure. We give you one such sample salary structure for CTC (Cost to Company) of Rs 20 lakhs.

We have kept following points in mind:

  • Included all components which are tax free 
  • For most benefit of HRA – it should be 50% of Basic salary (40% is good if rented houses are in non-metro)
  • Car Maintenance – The company can reimburse Rs 1,800 per month for car less than 1600 CC (Rs 2,400 per month for bigger cars) along with Rs 900 per month for driver salary as tax free allowance.
  • Employer can have option of subscribing to both NPS & EPF. Keeping both makes salary more tax efficient, though take home may go down
  • Gift Voucher worth Rs 5,000 per annum is tax free. Some companies give such vouchers at birthdays or anniversaries!
  • Company owned cars give much more tax benefit and hence is recommended for high salaries.

Also Read: 13 Tax Free Components You Must have in Salary

Tax Efficient Salary Structure Example
Salary Components Annual  Monthly    Remarks
Basic Salary10,60,00088,333 Fully Taxable
House Rent Allowance5,30,00044,167 Partially Tax Exempted
Car Maintenance28,8002,400 Tax Free if bills submitted
Meal Coupons26,4002,200 Tax Free up to Rs 50/meal (22 working days)
NPS (Employer Contribution)1,06,0008,833 Tax Free up to 10% of basic salary
EPF (Employer Contribution)1,27,20010,600 Tax Free up to 12% of basic salary
Phone & Internet Bill Reimbursement36,0003,000 Tax Free if bills submitted
Uniform Allowance24,0002,000 Tax Free if bills submitted
Children Education/Hostel Allowance4,800400 Tax Free if bills submitted
Newspaper/Journal Allowance12,0001,000 Tax Free if bills submitted
Gift voucher5,000  Tax Free up to Rs 5,000
LTA (Leave Travel Allowance)30,000  Tax Free if bills submitted
Gratuity50,962  Paid while Leaving company
Cost to Company20,41,1621,62,933 

Download:Tax Planning ebook for Salaried for FY 2019-20

Pay 0 Income Tax on Rs 20 Lakh Salary
Pay 0 Income Tax on Rs 20 Lakh Salary

Income Tax Calculation for Salary (FY 2020-21):

Below is the income tax calculation for above salary.

S. No.Calculating Income TaxFY 2019-20
1Total Cost to Company20,41,162
2Tax Free Components
  • Car Maintenance
  • Meal Coupons
  • NPS (Employer Contribution)
  • EPF (Employer Contribution)
  • Mobile Phone and Internet Bill Reimbursement
  • Uniform Allowance
  • Children Education/Hostel Allowance
  • Newspaper/Journal Allowance
  • Gift voucher
  • Leave Travel Allowance
3HRA (Rent Paid is Rs 53,000 and in Metro City)5,30,000
4Standard Deduction (increased to Rs 50,000 in Budget 2019)50,000
5Gratuity (Not part of Salary but part of CTC – Non Taxable)50,962
6Tax Deductions
  • Section 80C Exemption – 1,50,000
  • NPS 80CCD(1B) Tax Exemption – 50,000
  • Medical Insurance (Self & Parents) – 60,000
  • Interest on Education Loan – 50,000
7Home Loan Exemption2,00,000
8Income after Deductions [1 – (2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6)]5,00,000
9Basic Tax Exemption2,50,000
10Taxable Income [8 – 9]2,50,000
11Income Tax [5% of 10]12,500
12Rebate u/s 87A12,500
13Tax Payable [11 – 12]0

Download: Excel based Income Tax Calculator for FY 2019-20 [AY 2020-21]

Tax Exempt Salary Components

  • Car Maintenance
  • Meal Coupons
  • NPS (Employer Contribution)
  • EPF (Employer Contribution)
  • Mobile Phone and Internet Bill Reimbursement
  • Uniform Allowance
  • Children Education/Hostel Allowance
  • Newspaper/Journal Allowance
  • Gift voucher
  • Leave Travel Allowance
  • Transport Allowance & Medical Reimbursement is No more tax free (from FY 2018-19 on wards)

Also Read: 25 Tax Free Incomes & Investments in India

Tax Deductions:

You can claim following tax deductions.

Section 80C/80CCC/80CCD (Rs 1,50,000): Investment in EPF, ELSS, PPF, FD, NPS, NSC, Pension Plans, Life Insurance, SCSS, SSA and NPS. Also includes Home Loan Principal repayment, Tuition Fees, Stamp Duty (Best Tax Saving Investments u/s 80C)

Section 80CCD(1B) (Rs 50,000): Investment in NPS (Should you Invest Rs 50,000 in NPS to Save Tax u/s 80CCD (1B)?)

Section 24: Interest paid on Home Loan for Self occupied homes. No Limit for Rented house.

Section 80E: Interest paid on Education Loan. No upper/lower Limit! (Tax Benefit on Education Loan (Sec 80E))

Section 80CCG: 50% of investment in RGESS approved stocks & mutual funds. Max investment limit is Rs 50,000 (RGESS – Save Taxes up to Rs 25000) (No more applicable from FY 2017-18 on wards)

Also Read: Standard Deduction would lower tax outgo for Salaried & Pensioners

Section 80D: Premium payment for medical insurance for self and parents. Also includes Rs 5,000 limit for preventive health checkup (Making Sense of Tax Benefit on Health Insurance u/s 80D)

HRA or Home Loan?

We have shown the tax deduction on both HRA and Home Loan. There are people who think that both cannot be used simultaneously. This is NOT true. You can take benefit of both HRA and Home Loan even if your home and rented place is in the same city.

Also Read: Can I claim Tax Benefit on both HRA & Home Loan?

Monthly Pay Slip (after Income Tax on Salary):

We have seen the salary structure and how you need to pay 0 income tax even when the CTC (Cost to company) is Rs 20.41 lakhs. Now lets look at how your Monthly Salary Slip would look like.

Gross Salary – Rs 1,32,500

  • Basic Salary – 88,333
  • HRA – 44,167

Deductions – Rs 30,033

  • NPS (Employer Contribution) – 8,833
  • EPF(Employer Contribution) – 10,600
  • EPF(Employee Contribution) – 10,600
  • Income Tax – 0

Net Salary = Rs 102,467 [1,32,500 – 30,033]

Food/Gift Coupon – Rs 2,200 monthly

  • Additionally Employee would get Food Coupons worth Rs 2,200 every month (which can be used for meals, eating out in restaurants or buying grocery).

Reimbursement (on submission of bills) – Rs 1,35,600 (Yearly)

  • Car Maintenance – 28,800
  • Phone and Internet Bill Reimbursement – 36,000
  • Uniform Allowance – 24,000
  • Children Education/Hostel Allowance – 4,800
  • Newspaper/Journal Allowance – 12,000
  • LTA (Leave Travel Allowance) – 30,000

Also Read: 5 Important Changes in Tax Rules from FY 2019-20 

As you can see the monthly payout is not high and a lot of components are reimbursement. To balance this a lot of employers pay all reimbursement monthly and deduct taxes at the end of year if the bill is not submitted.

How the Retirement Savings look?

The good thing about the above salary structure is a lot of contribution goes to long term savings of NPS & EPF. Every Month Rs 31,167 contribution goes to your retirement savings as follows:

ComponentEmployee ContributionEmployer ContributionTotal Contribution
NPS (10% of basic salary)08,8338,833
EPF (12% of basic salary)10,60010,60021,200

The drawback of the entire salary structure is that the monthly payout would be lower. In case you plan to have high monthly income, you’ll need to pay more taxes.

We hope this would help you to restructure your salary (CTC) in a way that you can balance your tax outgo and monthly payout. 

40 thoughts on “Hate Paying Taxes? Check How to Pay 0 Income Tax on Salary of Rs 20+ Lakh (FY 2020-21)”

  1. Amazing post, thanks for sharing Article. I am truly motivated by your this blogging, Thank you so much sir..

  2. Hello,
    this is wrong calculation because EPF comes under 80c which means we cannot be exempted from the tax.
    For NPS only 50k is not taxable.

    So, your calculation is totally wrong.

  3. Can you please make a post for Retired people group with focus on getting pension, getting rental income and self employed ?


  4. If i have emi Payments and house rent and all my expensises cut down to tax but also am paying a lot of taxs thanks for the ideas i will implement it in furture .and exempt some tax.

  5. My salary is 12 lakhs. But i has house loan 45000 for monthly and personal loan 15000. So can i get any tax exempted. Can i buy new car and used for taxi purpose is it useful for my tax deduction?

  6. If I am joining a new company and if the Travel Allowance they are offering is 30,000/- per month, how much amount will be taxable.

  7. Looks like I will be left with just 50,000 if I follow this plan. I dont want to pay 53,000 as rent just to avoid paying taxes. I am happy to live in a 15000 rental home and pay taxes for the rest.
    Also, how to submit fake interest certificate for interest payment education loan?

  8. The calculation looks attractive. Everything looks good. Paying 43500 rent to claim HRA makes me feel bad. that too after paying housing loan EMI. The above calculation brings down your take home salary to 70,000 before considering school fee, school van fee, servant maid salary,other family members mobile phone charges, Dish/Cable TV charges, school uniform, book fee,other daily consumables which would arguably bring it to around 25,000 to 30,000 cash availability after all your expenses. Probably you’ll end up saving 400,000 per annum. Nevertheless, it’s a very good approach to save your taxes

  9. Hi , I don’t have these options in my Salary can I claim this during filing the ITA form.

    Newspaper/Journal Allowance
    Car Maintenance – 28,800
    Phone and Internet Bill Reimbursement – 36,000
    Uniform Allowance – 24,000

  10. I don’t have these options in my salary :
    Mobile Phone and Internet Bill Reimbursement
    Uniform Allowance
    Newspaper/Journal Allowance
    Can I claim this during filing an ITA.

    Himanshu Saxena

  11. Hi Amit,

    Small clarity, As per your mentioned payslip, How much HRA exemption is calculated? it should be a least amount out of 3 category (HRA received from employer, Actual rent paid, 40% of basic). In this case, only 3,40,000 is eligible.

  12. I have a bought a property (LIG, Home) of Rs. 5.5 Lac in name pf my mother, 4 yr. earlier. Now I want to sell it at about 8.5 Lac to pay the mortgage loan of Rs. 7.20 Lac on it. Mother is a house wife, no source of income at all. Now pl. tell me the tax liabilities on selling this property. How can I save the same.

  13. Please let me be clarified whether the fixed amount of petrol allowance(75 ltrs/month) paid by the Government for using employee’s own vehicle instead of pool car, exempted for tax

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