Mastering TDS Compliance: Navigating India's Tax Deduction Maze

R. Arora & Associates


RAA is a forward thinking accounting practise, a kinship of professionals bound by the common belief in delivering the highest value to its clients. A complete advisory and audit service firm with 38 years of experience serving SME and larger conglomerate clients across the globe. R. Arora & Associates is a CAG empanelled (Category-1) Chartered Accountancy Firm established in 1985.
In the labyrinth of India's tax landscape, one acronym holds significant sway: TDS, or Tax Deducted at Source. TDS isn't just a mundane tax mechanism...
India Tax
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In the labyrinth of India's tax landscape, one acronym holds significant sway: TDS, or Tax Deducted at Source. TDS isn't just a mundane tax mechanism; it's the bedrock of fiscal responsibility, ensuring that tax revenues flow seamlessly into the nation's coffers while individuals and entities fulfill their tax obligations.

Understanding the Basics of TDS

TDS operates on a simple principle: tax is deducted at the source of income. This means that when certain payments, such as salaries, interest, rent, or professional fees, exceed specified thresholds, a portion of that payment is withheld by the payer and remitted to the government. The recipient then receives the net amount after TDS deduction, with the onus on them to reconcile the deducted tax against their final liability.

Compliance: The Cornerstone of TDS

Compliance with TDS regulations is non-negotiable for both deductors and deductees. Failure to adhere to these regulations can result in penalties and legal repercussions.

Here's a snapshot of key compliance requirements:

Deduction and Payment of TDS: Deductors must deduct TDS at prescribed rates and deposit it with the government within specified due dates. These rates vary depending on the nature of payment and the provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The due date for depositing TDS to the Government is by the 7th day of the subsequent month (Except for March month, due date for march month is 30th April).

Filing of TDS Returns: Deductors must file TDS returns on a quarterly basis using the appropriate forms. These returns detail TDS deductions made during the period and are essential for accurate tax administration.

The due dates for filing TDS returns are specified below:

Form No.

Transactions reported in the return

Due Date

Form 24Q

TDS on Salary

Q1 – 31st July 
Q2 – 31st October 
Q3 – 31st January 
Q4 – 31st May

Form 26Q

TDS on all payments made to residents except salaries

Q1 – 31st July 
Q2 – 31st October 
Q3 – 31st January 
Q4 – 31st May

Form 27Q

TDS on all payments made to non-residents except salaries

Q1 – 31st July 
Q2 – 31st October 
Q3 – 31st January 
Q4 – 31st May

Form 26QB

TDS on sale of property

30 days from the end of the month in which TDS is deducted

Form 26QC

TDS on rent

30 days from the end of the month in which TDS is deducted

Form 26QE

TDS on Transfer of VDA

30 days from the end of the month in which TDS is deducted

Timely Issuance of TDS Certificates
: Deductors are responsible for issuing TDS certificates to the deductee within specified timeframes. These certificates provide essential details of TDS deductions and are crucial for deductees to claim credit while filing their tax returns.


Certificate of


Due Date

Form 16

TDS on Salary Payment


Before 15th June of the assessment year

Form 16A

TDS on non-salary payments


15 days from due date of filing return

Form 16B

TDS on sale of property

Every Transaction

15 days from due date of filing return

Form 16C

TDS on rent

Every Transaction

15 days from due date of filing return

Claiming TDS Credit:

TDS deductions are linked to PAN numbers for both the deductor and deductee. If TDS has been deducted from any of the income, one must go through the Tax Credit Form 26AS.

This form is a consolidated tax statement that is available to all PAN holders. Since all TDS is linked to the PAN, this form lists out the details of TDS deducted on the income by each deductor for all kinds of payments made – whether those are salaries or interest income. This form also has income tax directly paid by the individual– as advance tax or self-assessment tax.

Navigating the TDS Landscape

The TDS landscape is vast and varied, with specific provisions governing different types of payments. From salaries to rent, professional fees to interest, each category has its own set of TDS rates and threshold limits. Below is a glimpse into some key provisions(to get an exhaustive list, please contact the authors):

Section 192 - Payment for Salary: Employers are required to deduct TDS from salaries based on applicable income tax rates.

Section 194C - Payment to Contractors: TDS rates vary based on the nature of the contractor and transaction thresholds.

TDS rate for this section is:

  • 1% to an individual or a HUF.
  • 2% to a person other than an individual or a HUF.

Threshold Limit for this is:

  • If Single Transaction is more than Rs. 30,000.
  • If Aggregate Transactions during the F.Y is more than Rs. 1,00,000.

Section 194J - Payment for Professional or Technical Services: TDS rates differ for technical services, royalty, and professional fees, with distinct threshold limits.

Applicable TDS rates:

  • Any payment towards technical services or royalty, the rate is 2%.
  • Any payment other than technical services or royalty (professional fee), the rate is 10%.

Threshold Limit is Rs. 30,000 (applicable separately for each nature of Payment). 

Section 194I - Payment for Rent: TDS rates vary for different types of rental income, with specified threshold limits.

Applicable TDS rate

  • 10% for Land/Building/Furniture/Fitting
  • 2% for Plant & Machinery.

Threshold Limit is Rs. 2,40,000.

Section 194A - Payment for Interest from other than Interest securities (i.e. Interest from deposit with banks/post office/co-operative society)

TDS rate is 10%

Threshold Limit for this is:

  • Senior Citizen- Rs. 50,000
  • Others – Rs. 40,000

Section 194BA – TDS on Winnings from Online Games

Any person responsible for paying to any person, any income by way of winnings from any online game during the financial year shall deduct income-tax on the net winnings in his user account shall be liable of deducting TDS @30%.

Section 194R – TDS on Benefit & Perquisitefrom business and profession

TDS Rate is 10%.

Threshold limit is Rs.20,000 (whether in cash or in kind).

Section 194O – TDS on Payment to E-commerce Participants

TDS Rate is 1% on the gross amount of sale.

TDS is not required to be deducted if the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • E-commerce participant is an Individual or HUF
  • Gross amount of sale or service is upto 5 lakhs
  • E-commerce participant has furnished his PAN or Aadhaar to E-commerce operator.

Section 195-Payment to Non-Residents

Any person responsible for paying to a non-resident, not being a company, or to a foreign company, any interest (not being interest referred to in section 194LB or section 194LC) or section 194LD or any other sum chargeable under the provisions of this Act (not being income chargeable under the head "Salaries") shall deduct at the rates in force.

Section 194IA- Payment for purchase of immovable property

Under Section 194-IA of the Finance Act, 2013, if you buy immovable property (excluding rural agricultural land) from a resident seller, you are required to deduct tax at a rate of 1% from the sale proceeds. No tax deduction is required if the consideration is below Rs. 50,00,000. However, if the consideration exceeds Rs. 50,00,000, tax is deducted on the entire amount. If the seller is a non-resident, tax deduction is done under Section 195, not under Section 194-IA.

Section 194S – TDS on Transfer of virtual digital assets (VDA)

TDS Rate is 1%.

Threshold Limit for this is:

  • Specified Person- Rs. 50,000
  • Others – Rs. 10,000.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

Non-compliance with TDS regulations can have serious ramifications, including penalties, interest, and legal action by tax authorities.

  1. Non-Furnishing of PAN by deductee:

    If deductee does not furnish his PAN to the deductor, then TDS rate shall be higher of respective section or Rate of 20% as per section 206AA.

  2. Interest on Late Deduction or Late Payment of TDS:

    Section Nature of Default Interest Period of Interest Payment
    201A Non-Deduction of TDS, either in whole or part 1% per month or part of the month From the date on which TDS was deductible till the date on which TDS actually deducted
    201A Non-payment of TDS after deduction 1.5% per month or part of the month From the date on which TDS actually deducted till the date on which such tax actually paid.
  3. Late Filing fees of TDS Return:

    As per section 234E, assessee shall be liable to a mandatory fee of Rs 200 per day during which default continues. The fees cannot exceed the amount of TDS deductible. The Fees shall be paid before filing of quarterly statement.

  4. Prosecution for Failure to Pay Tax:

    As per Section 276B, If a person fails to pay to the credit of the Central Government, the tax deducted at source by him as required by or under the provisions of Chapter XVII-B, he shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three months but which may extend to seven years and with fine.


TDS compliance is not just a regulatory requirement; it's a fundamental aspect of responsible tax administration. By understanding and adhering to TDS regulations, both deductors and deductees contribute to the integrity and efficiency of India's tax system. With diligence and attention to detail, navigating the TDS landscape can be a manageable task, ensuring smooth sailing in the realm of tax compliance

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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