TDS or Tax Deducted at Source is the amount of tax that is deducted from your salary by your employer or the deductor. Most of the time, TDS is deducted each month by employers based on tax projections declared by the employee at the beginning of each financial year.
The significance of TDS lies in the fact that it facilitates the following five things –
- Regulates the collection of taxes
- Ensures a regular income to the government
- Lightens the burden of one-time tax payment and instead spreads the whole tax over several months making it easier for the tax-payer
- Provides a convenient mode of tax payment to the payer
- Spreads the reach of income tax collection without the Income Tax Department having to do it all by itself
What is TDS Refund?
Many a times it is seen that investment projections declared during the start of a financial year do not match with the actual investments made at the end of that year.
If there is a mismatch between the total tax deducted at the end of a financial year and the income tax you are supposed to pay for that particular year, a TDS refund arises.
TDS Refund Example:
Sandeep works at an MNC in Bangalore. Last year he was late submitting his documents for LIC premium exemption under section 80C. As a result, his company deducted around Rs.10,000 extra as TDS.
Total tax payable by Sandeep for year 2013-2014 = Rs.30,000
Tax deducted by employer from Sandeep’s salary = Rs.40,000
Tax refund Sandeep is eligible for = Rs.40,000 – Rs.30,000 = Rs.10,000
His total income tax paid for last year turned out to be Rs.30,000 when actually it should have been just Rs.20,000. He ended up paying extra because he could not get his LIC premium receipts on time.
Similarly, Arun could not invest the Rs.40,000 within the timeline set by his employer. He just could not decide on whether to get a long-term fixed deposit or avail a life insurance policy. While he picked his brain about this decision, he missed the cut-off date for tax proof submissions as set by his employer. Eventually he ended up paying more tax even when he did invest that amount before the financial year closed.
These are typical situations that are faced by a lot of people almost every financial year. The only way to get back this extra tax is to file your income tax return. The sooner you file your income tax return, the faster the returns are processed.
Claiming TDS Refund:
- In case your employer deducts more tax than applicable to you as per your IT return filing
As discussed in the example above, a mismatch between tax deducted by employer and the actual tax payable is taken care of when you file your IT return. When you file your income tax return, you are supposed to quote your bank name and IFSC code. This makes it easier for the income tax department to return the excess tax you’ve paid.
Quick Tip: For any financial year, if you’re sure that the TDS deducted will surely be more than the total tax payable by you, then under section 197 you can file Form 13 in advance for lower or nil TDS deduction. The response certificate received by income tax officer can then be submitted to the authority who is supposed to deduct TDS for you.
- If your income is below the tax slab and your bank deducts tax on your fixed deposit.
In case your income does not fall under the income tax bracket and your bank has deducted tax on your fixed deposit interest, you can recover the tax amount in two ways. First is to declare it in your IT return form and the income tax department will automatically compute the refund and credit it to your bank account.
Second way is to fill form 15G and submit it in your bank telling them that your salary is below tax slab and hence no tax should be levied on it.
- If your are a senior citizen with fixed deposit accounts:
Senior citizens are exempt from tax deduction on interest earned on fixed deposits. If you are above 60 years of age and have fixed deposit accounts, you are required to fill and submit form 15H to ensure that bank does not deduct income tax on the FD interest earned.
Alternatively, you can get the refund credited to your bank account when you file your IT return. The IT department then calculates the tax applicable to you and adjusts the excess tax paid and credits it back to the bank account you’ve mentioned in your IT return form.
Quick Tip: When you declare your interest income from fixed deposits at the time of maturity, you declare it as a lump-sum amount. This can result in a hefty tax amount payable and also a higher tax slab (as your income goes up over a period of time). Hence, it is prudent to declare interest income yearly rather than at the time of deposit maturity.
Interest on TDS Refund
Under Section 200A of the Income Tax Act, if the income tax department is late in paying you the tax refund applicable to you, then you are entitled for a simple interest of 6% p.a. on your refund amount. This interest starts accruing from the first month i.e. April of any financial year. However, interest is not paid out if the tax refund is less than 10% of the total tax payable in a year.
The interest earned on tax refund is also taxable since it is considered under ‘income from other sources’.
How to Avoid Tax Filing Hassles?
You can avoid a host of tax issues if you take care of a few simple points.
- Plan your taxes in advance so that you do not have to rush into it at the eleventh hour. It is a good idea to start planning as soon as a financial year begins
- Avoid paying late tax payment charges which are 1% of the tax due
- Manage your tax smartly so that the TDS deducted is almost equal to the tax payable by you. You can avoid refund hassles and delays if you plan your tax this way
- Know all tax exemptions you are eligible for and claim them if required
Frequently Asked Questions: TDS Refund
- Will I get a TDS refund even if I have not provided my bank account details in the TDS Certificate or Income Tax Return?
A) Your correct bank account details should be provided in your TDS Certificate or ITR to allow the Income Tax Department to transfer the refund amount through NEFT directly to your account. Any mistake in the bank account could lead to either transfer of the amount to someone else or delay and non-transfer. If you have not provided a bank account number, you must ensure that at least the address you have mentioned in the ITR/linked to PAN is correct, because the tax department might send you a cheque of the refund amount.
- How do I change my address so that I don’t miss the refund cheque?
A) You can log in to the Income Tax e-filing portal and raise a Refund Re-issue Request. But this can be done only if you did not receive the refund cheque and it was returned to the Income Tax Department. If someone else has collected it in your name, then the taxman will no longer be responsible for the amount. The Refund Re-issue Request can be found in the ‘My Account’ option on the e-filing portal. You can choose your mode of refund receipt – Electronic Clearance Service (ECS) or cheque. You can change both the address and bank account number through this option. This information will be updated for all income tax-related documents.
- Is there an option to change contact details from what I provided in the ITR?
A) Yes. On the Income Tax e-filing portal, on the ‘Profile Settings’, you will find ‘Update Contact Details’. You can change your address, email id, and mobile number through this option.
- What are the different kind of refund statuses that I may see in my e-filing portal profile?
A) The Income Tax e-filing portal has 11 status options for your refund amount. They are:
- No e-Filing has been done for this assessment year: If ITR was filed physically and not online, then the status will not be displayed in your profile on the website. This might also mean that haven’t filed your ITR at all.
- Not determined: The I-T Department is yet to process your return and a refund amount has not been ascertained.
- Refund paid: The refund has been dispatched. If you haven’t received it, check with your bank and your nearest post office. Also check your address and bank account number on the e-filing profile to confirm that there is no mistake.
- No demand no refund: The tax deduction was perfect and the I-T department owes you nothing. If you had claimed refund and this status shows up, it means the taxman’s calculations were different from yours and the department does not think it owes you anything. If there are any errors in your ITR, you can either rectify or revise it online.
- ITR processed, refund determined and sent out to Refund Banker: The refund is being processed, so just wait a little more.
- Refund unpaid: Either your bank account number or your address is wrong and the department could not deliver the refund to you.
- Contact jurisdictional Assessing Officer: The department needs clarification or more information on your income tax return and you must get in touch with your jurisdictional AO for more details.
- Demand determined: Your refund request has been rejected and you have been found to owe the department more money as tax. If they are right, you need to follow the procedure suggested by the taxman and pay the dues before deadline. But if you made any mistake in the ITR, you can either rectify or revise it with the correct details.
- Rectification processed refund determined and sent out to Refund Banker: If you had filed an ITR rectification request it has been accepted and processed.
- Rectification processed demand determined: If you had filed a rectification, it has been accepted but the department still thinks you owe them some more money in taxes. You will need to pay the amount within 30 days of receiving a notice on this.
- Rectification processed no demand no refund: If you had filed a rectification, it has been accepted but the department estimates that there is no tax dues or refunds in your case.
News About TDS Refund
CBDT issues circular for refund of excess taxes u/s 195 with simple interest u/s 244A
In a clarification issued by the CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes), Ministry of Finance vide circular no.11/2016 dated April 26, 2016, deductors entitled for a tax refund u/s 195 of the Income Tax act, the refund issued should be made with interest charges u/s 244A. The resident deductor is eligible for the refund along with interest charges calculated from the date of payment of tax.
This clarification issued by the CBDT is in response to the recent ruling by the Supreme Court of India in the case involving Tata Chemicals Ltd where directions were issued to the central government to issue the IT refund with simple interest. The section 195 provides for deduction of applicable taxes at source to a non-resident before remitting such an amount. On the other hand, section 244A deals with refund of excess taxes to the assessee to be made along with interest charges calculated in a manner provided in the section.
24th May 2016
Now, get Interest on delayed Income Tax Refunds
According to a new directive from the Central Board of Direct Taxes, if a taxpayer has not received their tax refund on time, the Income Tax Department is liable to pay interest on the refund amount. The Department has also been asked not sue the tax deductor if the Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) amount is more than what an employee is supposed to pay.
This directive is based on a 2014 Supreme Court verdict which said that the I-T Department should pay interest on TDS refunds. The ruling had said, “The state having received the money without right and having retained and used it, is bound to make the party good, just as an individual would be under like circumstances. The obligation to refund money received and retained without right implies and carried with it the right to interest.”
27th April 2016
After TDS, Employees shouldn’t be Harassed
Kingfisher employees have been plagued by the IT department to pay taxes that have been due from the year 2009-10. That has made the pending tax liability close to lakhs, even though the employees have received their salaries with TDS deducted.
Post some protests by the employees, the Central Board of Direct Taxes has issued a memorandum that taxes once deducted as TDS are not a liability of the employee and notices can’t be served to the employee under any circumstance. If in case such a scenario occurs, the employee should file a complaint in writing and through the e-filing portal, else outstanding TDS could be adjusted against the refunds that are due.
14th April 2016
If TDS is already deducted, then IT Department to refrain from raising Tax Demand
The IT department has asked the field offices to refrain from raising tax demand against those assessees whose TDS has been deducted but not deposited. The assessing office should not enforce demands that were created on account of mismatch of credit because of non-payment of TDS to the government. If the taxpayer has had the tax deducted at source but has not deposited it to the government’s account, then he won’t be asked to pay the demand to the extent of the tax that has been deducted.
15th March 2016
Online Correction of TDS made simpler by I-T Department
The I-T department announced on Thursday that it has simplified the process of online rectification of incorrect details of tax deducted at source (TDS) filed in income tax returns. In a move that will ease the burden of compliance on taxpayers seeking rectifications due to TDS mismatch, the finance ministry stated that a new facility has been provided for pre-filling of the TDS schedule while submitting an online rectification request on the e-filing portal. This will facilitate easy correction or updation of TDS details as well as cut down on delays in processing of such applications.
6th January 2016.
Income Tax Department brings tds refunds online
The Income Tax Department, in a bid to simplify taxes has introduced an online portal to aid taxpayers. While the department has evolved over the years in terms of simplifying the tax payment process, the refund status was often a step behind. To counter this, the IT department has turned to the internet to speed up the entire refund structure. Individuals can now raise a request for reissue of refund which has returned to the department by logging onto the official portal of the income tax department. One needs to log on to www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in to request for this refund, providing the necessary details. One can also write a letter to CPC to request for the re-issue of refund, providing all relevant information.
16th September 2015
Consumer Disputes Commission: TDS cannot be deducted on Interest
A judgement passed by the Uttarakhand State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has stated that deducting TDS on the sum of interest paid to a consumer in compliance of a decree passed by consumer courts is not allowed. This judgement was passed on the basis of a case against a builder who was guilty of not delivering the promised service. This judgement has opened up a new interpretation to the word “interest”, which is not the same as defined in Section 2 (28-A) of the Income Tax Act. This new definition does not allow tax to be deducted at source under Section 194A of the IT Act.
Interest, in this context could also mean compensation which is to be given to the aggrieved and the word “interest” is just a simple method to calculate the compensation due.
27th August 2015