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What Is TDS & Why Is It Important To You?

What Is TDS & Why Is It Important To You?

What Is TDS & Why Is It Important To You?
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You may have experienced TDS in many forms - Bank FDs, salary payments to vendor payments, TDS seem to infiltrate everywhere. Normally TDS is a tax deduction from the income, whichever form it is. So, it ends up reducing your income. Therefore, it should be an important focus when looking to save tax. However, does it mean you need not file an income tax return? Or can the deduction benefit you anywhere? Let’s find out.

What is TDS?

TDS or Tax Deducted at Source is an income tax that is reduced when a certain payment like rent, salary, commission, interest, professional fees, etc. is made by the person who made such a payment. As per the Income Tax Act, any company or a person is required to deduct tax at the source itself if the money paid exceeds a certain amount. The person who receives a payment also has a liability to pay tax.

The purpose of TDS may have been to reduce the chance of evasion by the recipient of the incomes. But, for an honest taxpayer, it also brings a few benefits.

Types of TDS

Even when you are making payments as an individual taxpayer, you need to deduct TDS on certain payments. The following type of payments that attract TDS:

a) Salary Transfer
b) Professional Fee
c) Consultation Fee
d) Rent Payments
e) Commission
f) Interest on Securities & Deposits
g) Dividend on company shares and mutual funds
h) Lottery and similar winnings
i) Payment of Royalty

What is a TDS Return?

You make the payments to other parties against their services throughout the year. If these payments to one party exceed the specified limit for the payments made under sections 192 to 195 of the Indian Income Tax Act, you must deduct the applicable TDS amount.

You will need to deposit the deducted TDS amount quarterly along with the respective TDS Return. Depending on the nature of payment (applicable section) you will file a separate TDS form as TDS Return, each quarter.

Example of Tax Deducted at Source

TDS has to be deducted at the applicable rates only. For example, the TDS rate on rent payments to resident individuals and HUFs by resident individuals and HUFs is 5%, when the rent is more than Rs 50,000 p.m.

Thus, if you are living in a rented house and paying Rs 70,000 per month as rent, you should deduct Rs 3500 per month as TDS before paying the rent. You will need to pay Rs 66,500 to the property owner and will deposit Rs. 10,500 every quarter to the CBDT as the collected TDS amount.

Similarly, a firm may deduct TDS on the fees payable to a consultant for the professional services at 10%.

How Does TDS Work?

TDS would apply to all taxable incomes except it’ll be deducted at source at a fixed rate. For almost all payments except salary, TDS rate depends on the type of income rather than the amount of payment.

In the case of salary, the employer can estimate the total expected income of the employee. Thus, TDS deduction happens at the applicable slab rate and may change in the middle of the year based on:

1. Changes to income due to bonus, appraisal
2. Submission of investment proof

Pro Tip: With salary TDS deduction a lot of employed taxpayers fail to prepare. These taxpayers end up losing a big chunk of their salaries in the last quarter of the financial year.

So, start your tax-saving investments in April itself, and keep your TDS deductions higher in the beginning. Thus, you will avoid last moment rush for tax saving investments and income loss both.

When should TDS be Deducted and Who is Liable to Deduct it?

Any person including an individual, HUF (Hindu Undivided Family), firm and NRI (non-resident Indian), is expected to deduct tax at source, provided:

1. The payment falls under the specified categories defined under sections 192 to 195 of the Income Tax Act

2. The amount exceeds the limits specified for such payments as per the CBDT circular for the assessment year

Following are a few payments when TDS must be deducted by the pay or:

1. Payment of Salary
2. Interest payment on debentures and other securities
3. Dividend payments
4. Lottery winnings, prize money, etc.
5. Commission income
6. Consultation & Professional fee
7. Rent on building (only when exceeding Rs 50,000 p.m.)
8. Payment to NRI on any investments
9. Payment to contractors / vendors

Certain payments are exempt from TDS if they do not exceed the specified limit for the TDS deduction. The following types of payments will not attract TDS if they do not exceed the specified limit (for A.Y. 2021-22):

Payment of Interest to senior citizens on
- Bank & post office deposits
- Fixed deposit schemes
- Recurring deposits
Rs. 50,000
Rent payment for land, building or furniture by a non-domestic firm or individual and HUF Rs 2.4 lakhs
Cash withdrawal by resident individual and HUF Rs. 1 crore (Rs 20 lakhs if the person/HUF has not filed ITR for the last three consecutive years)
Payment to resident individuals, contractors & professionals, for service or purchase of goods by resident individual & HUF Rs 50 lakhs
Rent payable by a resident individual or HUF to another resident individual or HUF Rs. 50,000

How and When to File TDS Returns?

You will need to use the appropriate form based on the type of payment on which TDS has been deducted. Corporates and payers making payments to NRIs, usually need to file TDS returns every quarter.

Other payments will require a TDS return within a stipulated time as per the table below:

Transactions reported in the return Due date Form
TDS on Salary Q1 – 31st July
Q2 – 31st October
Q3 – 31st January
Q4 – 31st May
Form 24Q
TDS on all payments made to non-residents except salaries Q1 – 31st July
Q2 – 31st October
Q3 – 31st January
Q4 – 31st May
Form 27Q
TDS on sale of property 30 days from the end of the month in which TDS is deducted Form 26QB
TDS on rent 30 days from the end of the month in which TDS is deducted Form 26QC

TDS Rates for Various Regular Payments

Few TDS rates have been temporarily modified after the economic impact of COVID-19. Otherwise, the normal TDS rates on the following payments have been:

Type of Payment TDS Rate
Salaries Applicable Slab Rates + Cess
Interest from Securities (Bonds & Debentures)* 10%
Interest on deposits* 10%
NSC Maturity Value* 10%
Sale of Mutual Fund Units back to Mutual Fund# 20%
Payment for Professional Services* 10%
Rent Payment by Individuals Over Rs. 50,000 p.m. 5%
Lottery & Other Type of Winnings 30%

* Changed at 7.5% from 14th May 2020 due to COVID-19
# Changed at 15% from 14th May 2020 due to COVID-19

How to File TDS Return online?

You will need a TAN or Tax Deduction & Collection Account Number to file a TDS return. Follow the process below to file your TDS return online:

1. Register your TAN number for e-filing
2. Prepare your TDS return using one of the online portals. You can log in to the incometaxindia.gov.in to generate a TDS payment challan
3. Log in to the net banking and pay the collected due TDS amount
4. You can use a valid DSC (Digital Signature Certificate) to e-file and verify your online TDS return

While filing TDS you also need the PAN and bank account details of the payee. If the payee’s PAN is linked with Aadhaar you can upload your returns using Electronic Verification Code (EVC).

How to Apply for a TDS Return?

The party deducting the TDS can issue a TDS certificate in the applicable Form 16. The deducted TDS amount is reflected in Form 26AS as Tax Credits for the payee (person receiving the amount after TDS deduction).

If you want to claim a TDS return you will need to file your ITR for the assessment year (AY). The applicable credits are adjusted out of your tax payable for the AY. If eligible for a refund, the same will be processed and credited to your bank account within six months.

In case, where the deducted TDS amount does not show up on your Form 26AS, you will need to submit the TDS certificate received from the deductors.

What happens after TDS Deduction?

After TDS deduction the person or firm deducting the TDS needs to deposit the same with the central government. Once deposited the same will reflect on form 26AS of the person who received the income after TDS. All the TDS payments reflecting on your Form 26AS will be automatically adjusted in your taxable income.

The payor should also give you a TDS certificate which you can alternatively use while filing your ITR. Yes, you do need to file your personal ITR even after TDS deduction.

All the deducted TDS gives you tax credits and reduces your tax liability.

So, for example, if you end up paying 30% TDS on a lottery payment of Rs. 300,000 (i.e. you received only Rs. 210,000), and this is your only income in the financial year, when you file your ITR your total tax liability would be zero (Rs. 250,000 being the minimum exempt income). Thus, the excess tax you ended up paying as TDS would be returned to you.

Thus, don’t miss filing your personal ITR, especially after TDS on any of your income.

What if you end up Deducting TDS?

The taxpayers, who are liable to deduct TDS on the payments they make to others, need to file a quarterly TDS return. Filing TDS return is mandatory if you are deducting TDS.

You need to file TDS return on Forms 24Q, 26Q, 26QB or 26QC based on the purpose of TDS deduction each quarter and deposit the deducted amount with CBDT. The return must be filed with the PAN/TAN of the deductor (payor) and PAN/TAN of the deductee.

Filing TDS return will ensure that the deductee’s Form 26AS will be automatically credited.

How does TDS Benefit you?

TDS payments, as we have already seen could be a temporary deduction if your overall tax liability is less than the TDS amount. However, if your income falls in the highest tax bracket, TDS will keep the pressure off your pockets at the end of the year.

Advance tax paid on income will reduce your tax liability at the end of the financial year. Thus, helping you avoid payment delays and penalties.

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