Management Consulting/Management Question
1- Describe the tax implication of compensation package to the employer and employees with suitable examples from an organization.
The goal of tax planning is to arrange your financial affairs so as to minimize your taxes. There are three basic ways to reduce your taxes, and each basic method might have several variations. You can reduce your income, increase your deductions, and take advantage of tax credits.
Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is a key element in determining your taxes. Lots of other things depend on your AGI (or modifications to your AGI)-- such as your tax rate and various tax credits. AGI even impacts your financial life outside of taxes: banks, mortgage lenders, and college financial aid programs all routinely ask for your adjusted gross income. This is a key measure of your finances.
Because your adjusted gross income is so important, you may want to begin your tax planning here. What goes into your adjusted gross income? AGI is your income from all sources minus any adjustments to your income. The higher your total income, the higher your adjusted gross income. As you can guess, the more money you make, the more taxes you will pay. Conversely, the less money you make, the less taxes you will pay. The number one way to reduce taxes is to reduce your income. And the best way to reduce your income is to contribute money to a 401(k) [SUPERANNUATION] or similar retirement plan at work. Your contribution reduces your wages, and lowers your tax bill.
You can also reduce your Adjusted Gross Income through various adjustments to income. Adjustments are deductions, but you don't have to itemize them on the Schedule A. Instead, you take them on page 1 of your 1040 and they reduce your Adjusted Gross Income. Adjustments include contributions to a traditional IRA, student loan interest paid, alimony paid, and classroom related expenses. A full list of adjustments are found on Form 1040, page 1, lines 23 through 34. The best way to boost your adjustments is to contribute to a traditional IRA.
As you can see, two of the best ways to reduce your taxes is to save for retirement, either through a 401(k) at work or through a traditional IRA plan. Contributions to these retirement plans will lower your taxable income, and lower your taxes.
Increase Your Tax Deductions
Taxable income is another key element in your overall tax situation. Taxable income is what's left over after you have reduced your AGI by your deductions and exemptions. Almost everyone can take a standard deduction, and some people are able to itemize their deductions.
Itemized deductions include expenses for health care, state and local taxes, personal property taxes (such as car registration fees), mortgage interest, gifts to charity, job-related expenses, tax preparation fees, and investment-related expenses. One key tax planning strategy is to keep track of your itemized expenses throughout the year using a spreadsheet or personal finance program. You can then quickly compare your itemized expenses with your standard deduction. You should always take the higher of your standard deduction or your itemized deduction.
Your standard deduction and personal exemptions depends on your filing status and how many dependents you have. You can increase your standard deduction and personal exemptions by getting married or having more dependents.
The best strategies for reducing your taxable income is to itemize your deductions, and the three biggest deductions are mortgage interest, state taxes, and gifts to charity.
Take Advantage of Tax Credits
Once we've tweaked our taxable income, we are ready to focus our attention on various tax credits. Tax credits reduce your tax. There are tax credits for college expenses, for saving for retirement, and for adopting children.
The best tax credits are for adoption and college expenses. Not everyone is in a position to adopt a child, but everyone could take some college classes. There are two education-related tax credits. The Hope Credit is for students in their first two years of college. The Lifetime Learning Credit is for anyone taking college classes. The classes do not have to be related to your career.
You may also want to avoid additional taxes. If at all possible, avoid early withdrawals from an IRA or 401(k) retirement plan. The amount you withdraw will become part of your taxable income, and on top of that there will be additional taxes to pay on the early withdrawal.
One of the best, and most abused, tax credit is the Earned Income Credit (EIC). Unlike other tax credits, the EIC is credited to your account as a payment. And that means the EIC often results in a tax refund even if the total tax has been reduced to zero. You may be eligible to claim the earned income credit if you earn less than a certain amount.
Increase Your Withholding
You can avoid owing at the end of the year by increasing your withholding. More money will be taken out of your paycheck throughout the year, but you will get bigger refund when you file your taxes.
Tax avoidance is the legal utilization of the tax regime to one's own advantage, in order to reduce the amount of tax that is payable by means that are within the law. "The legal right of an individual to decrease the amount of what would otherwise be his taxes or altogether avoid them, by means which the law permits, cannot be doubted."
By contrast tax evasion is the general term for efforts by individuals, firms, trusts and other entities to evade taxes by illegal means. Tax evasion usually entails taxpayers deliberately misrepresenting or concealing the true state of their affairs to the tax authorities to reduce their tax liability, and includes, in particular, dishonest tax reporting (such as declaring less income, profits or gains than actually earned; or overstating deductions
Components of compensation:-
These refer to the cash component of the wage structure based on which other elements of compensation may be structured. It is normally a fixed amount which is subject to changes based on annual increments or subject to periodical pay hikes. Wages represent hourly rates of pay, and salary refers to the monthly rate of pay, irrespective of the number of hours put in by the employee. Wages and salaries are subject to the annual increments. They differ from employee to employee, and depend upon the nature of job, seniority, and merit.
The payment of dearness allowance facilitates employees and workers to face the price increase or inflation of prices of goods and services consumed by him. The onslaught of price increase has a major bearing on the living conditions of the labour. The increasing prices reduce the compensation to nothing and the money’s worth is coming down based on the level of inflation. The payment of dearness allowance, which may be a fixed percentage on the basic wage, enables the employees to face the increasing prices.
Incentives are paid in addition to wages and salaries and are also called ‘payments by results’. Incentives depend upon productivity, sales, profit, or cost reduction efforts. There are: (a) Individual incentive schemes, and (b) Group incentive programmes. Individual incentives are applicable to specific employee performance. Where a given task demands group efforts for completion, incentives are paid to the group as a whole. The amount is later divided among group members on an equitable basis.
The bonus can be paid in different ways. It can be fixed percentage on the basic wage paid annually or in proportion to the profitability. The Government also prescribes a minimum statutory bonus for all employees and workers. There is also a bonus plan which compensates the Managers and employees based on the sales revenue or Profit margin achieved. Bonus plans can also be based on piece wages but depends upon the productivity of labour.
These benefits give psychological satisfaction to employees even when financial benefit is not available. Such benefits are: (a) Recognition of merit through certificate, etc. (b) Offering challenging job responsibilities, (c) Promoting growth prospects, (d) Comfortable working conditions, (e) Competent supervision, and (f) Job sharing and flexi-time.
Commission to Managers and employees may be based on the sales revenue or profits of the company. It is always a fixed percentage on the target achieved. For taxation purposes, commission is again a taxable component of compensation.The payment of commission as a component of commission is practised heavily on target based sales. Depending upon the targets achieved, companies may pay a commission on a monthly or periodical basis.
Companies may also pay employees and others a combination of pay as well as commissions. This plan is called combination or mixed plan. Apart from the salaries paid, the employees may be eligible for a fixed percentage of commission upon achievement of fixed target of sales or profits or Performance objectives. Nowadays, most of the corporate sector is following this practice. This is also termed as variable component of compensation.
Piece rate wages:-
Piece rate wages are prevalent in the manufacturing wages. The laborers are paid wages for each of the Quantity produced by them. The gross earnings of the labour would be equivalent to number of goods produced by them. Piece rate wages improves productivity and is an absolute measurement of productivity to wage structure. The fairness of compensation is totally based on the productivity and not by other qualitative factors.
Fringe benefits may be defined as wide range of benefits and services that employees receive as an integral part of their total compensation package. They are based on critical job factors and performance. Fringe benefits constitute indirect compensation as they are usually extended as a condition of employment and not directly related to performance of concerned employee. Fringe benefits are supplements to regular wages received by the workers at a cost of employers. They include benefits such as paid vacation, pension, health and insurance plans, etc. Such benefits are computable in terms of money and the amount of benefit is generally not predetermined. The purpose of fringe benefits is to retain efficient and capable people in the organisation over a long period. They foster loyalty and acts as a security base for the employees.
Profit Sharing: –
Profit-sharing is regarded as a steppingstone to industrial democracy. Profit-sharing is an agreement by which employees receive a share, fixed in advance of the profits. Profit-sharing usually involves the determination of an organisation’s profit at the end of the fiscal year and the distribution of a percentage of the profits to the workers qualified to share in the earnings. The percentage to be shared by the workers is often predetermined at the beginning of the work period and IS often communicated to the workers so that they have some knowledge of their potential gains. To enable the workers to participate in profit-sharing, they are required to work for certain number of years and develop some seniority. The theory behind profit-sharing is that management feels its workers will fulfill their responsibilities more diligently if they realise that their efforts may result in higher profits, which will be returned to the workers through profit-sharing.
THE ALLOWANCES WHICH QUALIFY FOR TAX RELIEF,
IN THE COMPANY, I AM ASSOCIATED WITH, ARE
1.payment into the retirement plan.
2.payment into the superannuation insurance.
3.expenses incurred , for studies while employed.
4.job related expenses.
5.relief on first home mortgage loan's interest.
6.gifts to charity.