Tax Deducted at Source (TDS)

TDS is an abbreviated form of Tax Deducted at Source which is required to be deducted while making payment to parties at a given rate. There are some identified expenses/payments against which income tax department has prescribed a specific rate of deduction and the threshold limit on which it is required to be deducted.

Every business, whether a startup or an existing company, is certain to incur some expenses or to make payments to its parties irrespective of its size and scale. Thus TDS provisions apply to all types and size of businesses. It applies in the same or similar way to a proprietor, firm, LLP or a company registered under the companies, Act. 2013. The payment of expense by a person is an Income in the hands of the recipient. Thus the payor is under a liability to deduct the tax at applicable rates while making payment to the party. For small payments, the provision of TDS does not apply until it crosses a threshold limit as prescribed. It must be noted that the TDS is applicable only on the specified payment and after it reaches the threshold limit. The most common types of expenses on which TDS is applicable is provided hereunder.

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Key Points of TDS Deduction & Payment

Payment of TDS Deducted

The tax deducted at source (TDS) while making payment to parties for qualified expenses must be deposited before 7th of next month. For example, the TDS deducted in November 2017 is payable on or before 7th December 2017. The challan number for making TDS deposit is 281. while making TDS Payment care must be exercised while selecting the appropriate section/nature of the payment.

The Consequence of Non-Compliance

The non-compliance of TDS provisions is a grave offence and is punishable under section 271 (C) of the Income Tax Act 1961, wherein the minimum penalty is 10,000 which can go up to Rs. 1,00,000/-. Further section 276B applies to all such cases where a willful default is established, in all those cases the punishment is 3 Years rigorous imprisonment which can go up to seven years.

Interest on Non Payment of TDS

The TDS deducted by a person need to be deposited within 7th day of the next month. Any failure or delay in depositing the TDS is punishable under section 271 C or/and Section 276 B. The defaulter is further liable to pay interest on delayed payment at the rate of 1.5% per month or part thereof. There is no provision in law where the interest can be waived; hence the assessee should be very careful.

Filing of TDS Return

After making the payment of TDS to the income tax, the taxpayer is required to file a quarterly return where the TDS deposited is mapped against the PAN of the person from which TDS was deducted. The TDS Return is filed within 30th of the month succeeding the quarter. For example, the first quarter ends on 30th June, hence the TDS Return must be submitted before 30th July.

Interest on Non-Deduction of TDS

When a person while making payment for which he ought to have deducted TDS fails in deducting TDS or deducts an amount less than the required amount. In all such cases, the deductor is liable to pay an interest @ 1% per month or part of the month, till the date on which TDS is deducted. Hence, a businessperson must be prudent while making payment to parties and ensure that TDS is deducted.

Other Consequences of Default on TDS

The expenses on which TDS was required to be deducted shall be disallowed as an expense under section 40(a) while computing the total taxable income. To understand it quickly let's take an example of business where the income is 10 lac and the expense is also 10 lac, then effectively there shall be zero income tax, However, if the TDS is not deducted then the tax shall be three lacs (30% of 10 lac)

Due Date of Payment of TDS & FIling of TDS Return

SL. NO.PARTICULARDUE DATETYPE OF EVENT
1Payment of TDS deducted under various sections of the income tax actBefore 7th day of Next MonthMonthly
21st Quarter TDS Return ( 1st April to 30th June)31st JulyQuarterly
32nd Quarter TDS Return ( 1st July to 30th September)31st OctoberQuarterly
43rd Quarter TDS Return ( 1th October to 31st December)31st JanuaryQuarterly
54th Quarter TDS Return ( 1st January to 31st March)31st MayQuarterly
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