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Is your salary structure tax inefficient? Take home salary can increase by Rs 1 lakh annually if benefits optimised, says study

Is your salary structure tax inefficient? According to a new study by Pluxee India, 40% of companies in India have salary structures that are tax inefficient! This leads to lower take-home pay for employees, the study, which is based on email responses from over 16,000 executives across various departments in 97 companies says.
According to an ET report, the Pluxee India study suggests that optimizing benefits packages could potentially increase employees’ annual take-home salaries by approximately Rs 1 lakh.As per income tax rules, salaried employees can avail of certain tax exemptions when they spend on specific purposes related to performing their official duties. The study also found that nearly 75% of employers believe their employees desire higher in-hand salaries but lack awareness of tax-saving opportunities.
Despite 56% of decision-makers being aware that employees can increase their annual take-home salary through benefits, the study found that 45% of them offer only two employee benefits on average.
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The study reveals that the most common employee benefits offered by participating companies are meal cards (86%), leave travel allowance (54%), and fuel and driver salary (38%).
Anish Sarkar, chief executive of Pluxee India, was quoted as saying, “Companies are looking to increase take-home salaries without necessarily increasing the compensation by the same level.” He added, “They want to address specific employee needs in a hybrid work environment or be seen as companies focused on health and wellness.”
Sarkar further explained, “Many companies, especially startups and those scaling up, are now restructuring to offer multiple benefits at once. This approach allows employees to get more value, which can increase their take-home pay without significantly raising costs.” By offering a range of benefits, companies aim to provide more value to their employees while managing costs effectively.
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One-third of employers find the process of managing benefits to be intricate and claim processing to be lengthy, according to the study. This could be due to the fact that 43% of organizations still use paper-based methods for handling reimbursements, and among the 57% that manage benefits digitally, 70% do not have a mobile app. The study shows that each claim consumes up to 30 minutes of an employee’s work time.
Sarkar said, “For companies, even though it may be inefficient or based on paper, it’s kind of working for them. They may think, why fix something that is not broken? There is a bit of inertia and resistance to change.”
He also mentioned, “Companies are often close to implementing a new digital solution but pull back at the last minute, fearing it might disrupt the employee experience. The fear of short-term change sometimes outweighs the medium or long-term benefits.”
Consequently, the study found that 57% of organizations require more than five business days to process claims.
According to the study, 42% of organizations face difficulties with bill-related complications when managing employee benefits, which can be attributed to issues with bill quality and claim storage.
Sarkar suggested, “A solution where employees can take a photo of the bill and submit it with one click on an app, with quick validation, can significantly improve the experience.” He emphasized that the main challenges are compliance, ease of bill submission, and tracking, which can be effectively addressed by streamlining these processes using technology.

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