TDS: Overview

What is Tax Deducted at Source (TDS)

Tax Deducted at Source or TDS is a type of indirect tax which was introduced in the Indian taxation system with the intent to collect taxes (revenue to government) at the very source of income. As TDS is cut from income regularly and right at the source of income, it helps check tax evasion, and also relieves the tax payer from the burden of paying huge taxes all at once at the end of the financial year. Through, the central government also ensures a steady inflow of revenue.

Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) – Concept

According to the Income Tax Act, 1961, policies and regulations related to tax deducted at source (TDS) is managed by CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes). Tax deducted at source is the part of Indian Revenue Service Department (IRS). Under the concept of TDS, tax is collected at the point of source of income.

A person who is liable to make payment is referred to as deductor and the person who is receiving specified income is referred to as deductee. As per the concept of TDS, deductor has to deduct the tax at the time of making payment of income (if the income is above a predefined limit) and forward the same to government on behalf of deductee. It is the deductor’s duty to pay the tax deducted at source to the government within a prescribed time limit. Deductor after filing returns, issues a TDS certificate to the deductee.

Below are some of the sources of income and expenses that fall under the purview of tax deducted at source (TDS):

  • Salary – Payment from employer to employee
  • Payment of Rent
  • Commission payments
  • Payments to lawyers and freelancers
  • Bank Interest
  • Cross word puzzle or lottery
  • Remuneration paid to director of the company etc.

Section 192 to 194L of Income Tax Act can be referred for the complete list of expenses and sources of income under TDS. If an individual does not fall under income tax slab, he or she can furnish Form 15G or Form 15H to the deductor as a declaration in advance for non-deduction of tax at source. Form 15H is for senior citizens. Form 15G is for all other individuals.

TDS Calculation

Certain payments as mentioned above are subjected to TDS. TDS is applicable to each type of income, beyond a certain limit. TDS is deducted as per the income tax slab rate for salaried individuals. For other deductees, TDS is deducted at the specified percentage for each income type.

TDS (Tax deducted at source) Rates for FY 2017-18

Section Sources of Income/Expenses Threshold Limit TDS Rate (%)
Individual / HUF Other deductees
192 Payment of Salary Income As per the Income tax slab slab rate  
192 A Premature withdrawal of Employee Provident Fund( with effect from 1st June 2015) Rs. 50000 10%, In case of no PAN- 20% 10%, In case of no PAN- 20%
193 Interest on Securities Rs. 10000 10% 10%
193 Interest on Debentures Rs.5000 10% 10%
194 Dividend Income (other than the dividend referred to in Section 115-0) Not Applicable 10% 10%
194 A Interest other than ‘interest on securities' like interest on bank deposits, interest on loans and advances, interest on post office deposits etc Rs.10000 in case the TDS payer is a bank or any banking institution, banking co-operative society and the post office          Rs.5000 in any other case 10% 10%
194 B Prize money, Winning from lottery, cross word puzzle etc Rs.10000 30% 30%
194 BB Winning from horse race/Jackpot Rs.10000 30% 30%
194C Payments to contractors and sub-contractors Rs.30000 for Single Payment and Rs.100000 for Annual Payment 1% 2%
194 D Insurance commissions paid by Insurance companies to its agents Rs.15000 5% 5%
194 DA Maturity of life insurance policy Rs.100000 1% 1%
194 EE Payment of National Savings Scheme Deposits Rs.2500 10% Not applicable
194F Repurchase of units by mutual fund or Unit Trust of India Not Applicable 20% 20%
194 G Commission on the sale of lottery tickets Rs.15000 5% 5%
194 H Commission or Brokerage Rs.15000 5% 5%
194 I Land and building or furniture or fitting Rs.180000 10% 10%
  Rent, Plant and machinery Rs.180000 2% 2%
194 IA Sale proceeds of immovable property other than agriculture land Rs. 5000000 1% 1%
194 J Royalty, professional or technical services Rs.30000 10% 10%
194 LA Compensation paid on acquisition of certain immovable property Rs.250000 10% 10%
194 LB Interest from infrastructure debt fund Not Applicable 5% 5%

TDS is not applicable in below cases

  • When the amount is paid to government or any government body and Reserve Bank of India
  • Amount is paid to notified mutual funds under Section 10(23D)
  • When deductee has certificate of no-deduction under Section 192 of Income Tax Act
  • When amount is paid to state or central financial corporations
  • Interest credited or paid to :
  • Banks or Banking Company
  • Life Insurance Corporation, Unit Trust of India or any other insurance company
  • National Savings Certificate, Kisan Vikas Patra
  • Non Resident External Account
  • Banking Co-operative society
  • Savings account and Recurring deposits of banks and co-operative society
  • Notified body for non-deduction of tax

Advantages of Tax deducted at source (TDS)

  • It helps to prevent tax evasion
  • As TDS deductions take place throughout the financial year, it’s an effective mode of revenue inflow to the government.

  • It widens the tax collection base
  • It’s a way to share the responsibility of tax collection between government and Deductor’s

TDS Certificate

As per Section 203 of Income Tax Act, everyone who is deducting TDS is required to furnish a certificate to the respective deductee to the effect of the amount deducted as tax, along with all the other particulars. Such certificates are called TDS certificates.

  • In case of Salary Income – Employer has to provide Form 16 to his employee specifying the amount of tax deducted at source. The form will have all the particulars such as computation, deduction and payment of tax. Certificate needs to be issued within 31st May of next financial year
  • In non-salary cases – Form 16A will be given by the deductor mentioning all details of tax computation, deduction and payments. Certificate needs to be issued to deductee within 15 days of due date of filing TDS return
  • TCS: A certificate that contains the tax deducted and paid in detail which is issued in Form 27D

Depositing TDS to Central Government

Deductor needs to deposit the TDS to central government by making a payment through NSDL using physical form that can be processed in authorised bank branches. Payment can be made online through the official portal of NSDL using Challan 281 and by routing the payments through net banking. TDS amount needs to be deposited before filing the TDS return. However, e-payment is compulsory for all the assesses who are liable for audit under Section 44AB.

Monthly due date for payment of TDS is as belowP:

Month Due date
April On or before 7th of May
May On or before 7th of Jun
June On or before 7th of Jul
July On or before 7th of Aug
Aug On or before 7th of Sept
Sept On or before 7th of Oct
Oct On or before 7th of Nov
Nov On or before 7th of Dec
Dec On or before 7th of Jan
Jan On or before 7th of Feb
Feb On or before 7th of Mar
Mar On or before 30th of Apr

Penalty Provisions

Deductor may have to pay penalty for not in compliance with TDS rules. Below are the instance for which penalty may be levied:

  • For Non-deduction of TDS:

If a deductor/collector fails to collect the tax at source, whole of such expenses can be disallowed from computation of total profits by the income tax assessing officer.

  • For late-deduction of TDS:

In case the TDS is deducted after a day or few days of making the payment of income, then interest at the rate of 1% per month on the amount of tax deducted at source will be levied.

  • For Late-payment of TDS:

As mentioned above, there is a monthly due date for making TDS payment to the government. If assesses fail to do so, they have to pay interest on TDS amount at the rate of 1.5% per month.

TDS Return

Every deductor/collector of TDS needs to file TDS return every quarter within specified date and in a prescribed format. TDS form differs depending on the purpose of TDS deduction.

Below are the various forms used for filing TDS return:

Form Type Purpose of TDS deduction
Form 24Q For TDS on salary
Form 26Q For TDS on payments other than salary
Form 27Q TDS deducted for non-residents from interest income, dividend or any other payment
Form 27EQ Quarterly statement of collection of tax at source (TCS)

E-filing of TDS Return

Assesses can furnish the TDS return in either physical format or in electronic format. However, it’s compulsory for below assesses to file the TDS return in an electronic format as per Section 206 of IT Act.

  • All Corporate Deductors
  • All Government Deductors
  • If deductor is liable for audit under Section 44AB
  • If number of deductee records in a statement for any quarter of the financial year is twenty or more.

Below are some of the pre-requisites for e-filing TDS return

  • Deductor should be registered in e-filing and also should hold valid TAN
  • Return Preparation Utility (RPU) and File Validation Utility (FVU) has to be downloaded from NSDL website ( Statement of TDS needs to be prepared using these utilities.
  • Register for valid DSC in e-filing site

Procedure for e-filing TDS return

  • Go to e-filing home page
  • Login with user ID and password provided at the time of registration
  • Go to TDS section and select ‘’upload TDS’’ option
  • Select and fill in all details correctly and validate the statement details
  • Upload the TDS/TCS statement (prepared using utilities downloaded from NSDL website)
  • E-filing requires digital signature of deductor. Generate signature file using DSC and attach the signature file
  • Click on upload button and you will receive the confirmation message.

Filed TDS status can be viewed online under “view filed TDS’’ tab.

Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) Return Due Dates

TDS return filing due dates

Quarter Quarter Period Due date to file TDS return
1st Quarter April to June On 31st of July of the same FY
2nd Quarter July to September On 31st of Oct of the same FY
3rd Quarter October to December On 31st of Jan of the same FY
4th Quarter January to March On 31st of May next financial year

Important Points to Remember

  • Everyone who is deducting TDS need to have TAN (Tax deduction and collection account number) as per the provisions of Section 203 A of the Income Tax Act. TAN is a mandatory requirement while filing TDS return and also to be mentioned on TDS certificate issued.
  • TDS deductions are linked to your PAN (Permanent Account Number). It’s essential to have PAN details to deduct TDS. The deductor needs to quote every deductee’s PAN
  • Every deductee needs to present the TDS certificate to adjust the amount of TDS paid against the total tax payable.
  • TDS details can be checked through Tax credit Form 26AS which is available to all the PAN holders. This consolidated tax statement gives you the clear details of TDS deducted for various type of payment by each deductor.

Penalty on TDS Return

  • For Late Filing

If the deductor fails to furnish the TDS return on or before specified due date, he shall be liable to pay a penalty of Rs.200 per day till the date of default. And the total amount of such penalty cannot exceed the total amount of tax deducted at source.

  • For Not Filing

If deductor defaults to file the TDS return within a year from the due date of TDS return, he shall be liable to pay a penalty which ranges from Rs.10000 to Rs 1 lakh. The same is applicable for cases in which incorrect details are furnished by the deductor.

TDS Refund

TDS is refundable. If the TDS deducted is more than the total amount of tax you are supposed to pay in a year, you are eligible to claim for TDS refund. Also when your total income falls below the minimum taxable limit, TDS already deducted can be claimed as refund.

For example, you are a freelancer who works on contract with different companies. Let’s say TDS of Rs 10,000 was deducted by your client for a freelancing job that you have done. However, your income for the year totalled up to only Rs. 1.8 lakh which is in the tax exempt limit. Here, you can claim tax refund as your yearly income is below the limit.

However, you can also place a request for non-deduction of tax at source if your income falls below the basic exemption limit. Here are two ways to do so:

  • Submit Form 15G/15H through which you can declare that your annual income is below the basic exemption limit for the respective financial year and hence the tax is not to be deducted at source. The declaration holds good for only to that particular financial year. Hence, it needs to be submitted each year in which your taxable income is below the limit.
  • You can place an application for Lower deduction or nil deduction of TDS. Duly filled Form 13 has to be submitted to Income Tax Officer to do so.

TDS Refund Process

There is no particular process or procedure to apply for TDS refund. It can be claimed through normal way of Income tax. You must file the income tax return and show the TDS refund. After filing the Income tax returns, income tax department will process the TDS refund request. The amount may get credited to your account within 6 months. TDS refund status can be checked online using your e-filing site login.

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