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What is TDS? - TDS Rates, TDS Return & Filing Process

Team AckoJan 23, 2024

In the realm of taxation, TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) holds significant importance. It is a way implemented by the government to collect taxes at the source of income generation. Understanding the ins and outs of TDS is crucial for both individuals and businesses to ensure compliance with tax regulations. This comprehensive article aims to shed light on various aspects of TDS, covering its definition, applicability, rates, exemptions, and more.




TDS Meaning

TDS, short for Tax Deducted at Source, is a method employed by the government to collect taxes from individuals and businesses at the time of income generation. Under this system, the person responsible for making payment deducts a certain percentage of the payment as tax before transferring it to the recipient. The deductor is then obligated to deposit the deducted tax amount with the government.

Understanding TDS Rates

The TDS rates vary depending on the nature of the income and the status of the recipient. The rates are prescribed by the Income Tax Act, 1961 and are subject to periodic revisions. It is important to be aware of the applicable TDS rates to ensure accurate deduction and submission of taxes. Here are some common income categories and their corresponding TDS rates:

1. Salary Income

When it comes to salary income, employers are responsible for deducting TDS based on the employee's income slab and applicable rates. The rates are progressive, meaning they increase as the income increases. For example, if an employee falls in the 20% tax slab, the employer will deduct TDS at 20% on the salary amount.

2. Interest Income

In the case of interest income, such as fixed deposits or savings accounts, TDS is deducted by banks or financial institutions at the rate of 10% if the interest exceeds a certain threshold. However, for senior citizens, the threshold is higher, and TDS is deducted only if the interest income exceeds that threshold.

3. Rental Income

For rental income, TDS is applicable when the monthly rent exceeds a specified limit. The rate at which TDS is deducted for rental income is 10%. However, it is important to note that if the total income of the recipient falls below the taxable limit, they can submit Form 15G or 15H to the deductor, requesting non-deduction of TDS.

TDS Exemptions and Deductions

While TDS is generally applicable, there are certain exemptions and deductions available that can help reduce the TDS liability. It is essential to be aware of these provisions to optimise tax planning and minimise the overall tax burden. Here are some common exemptions and deductions related to TDS:


  1. Agricultural income: Income from agricultural activities is exempt from TDS.

  2. Dividends: Dividends received from domestic companies are exempt from TDS.

  3. Capital gains: Depending on the type of capital gain and the applicable exemptions, TDS may or may not be applicable.


  1. Section 80C: Investments made in specified avenues, such as provident funds and life insurance premiums, can be claimed as deductions.

  2. Section 80D: 80D Deductions are available for premiums paid towards health insurance policies.

  3. Section 80G: Donations made to specified charitable institutions qualify for deductions.

What is a TDS return?

A TDS return refers to the filing of a statement by the deductor (the person responsible for deducting tax at source) providing details of the tax deducted and deposited with the government. It is a mandatory requirement under the Income Tax Act, 1961, for individuals and businesses who deduct TDS on various types of payments.

When a deductor deducts TDS from payments such as salaries, interest, rent, or professional fees, they are required to file a TDS return. The return contains information about the deductor, deductee, nature of the payment, the amount deducted, and other relevant details. This statement serves as proof of the TDS deducted and deposited with the government.

Filing a TDS return is a crucial compliance step that helps the government monitor and ensure the accurate collection of taxes. It enables the tax authorities to cross-verify the TDS claimed by the deductor and reconcile it with the TDS deposited by the deductor.

What is the return filing process for TDS?

The TDS return filing process involves the following steps.

  1. Collection of TDS details: The deductor needs to collect and compile all the necessary details of TDS deducted from various payments made during the specified period.

  2. Preparation of the TDS return: Using the appropriate form, such as Form 24Q for salary payments, Form 26Q for non-salary payments, or Form 27EQ for TDS on non-residents, the deductor prepares the TDS return. The return should be filled accurately, including all the required information.

  3. Verification and validation: Before filing the TDS return, it is essential to verify and validate the details provided. Any errors or discrepancies should be rectified to ensure the accuracy of the return.

  4. Submission of the return: Once the TDS return is prepared and verified, it needs to be submitted electronically through the Tax Information Network (TIN) or the e-Filing portal of the Income Tax Department. The return should be submitted within the specified due date.

  5. Issuance of TDS certificates:Once the TDS return has been filed, it is mandatory for the deductor to provide TDS certificates to the deductees. These certificates contain comprehensive information about the TDS deductions made and assist the deductees in availing the TDS credit when they file their income tax returns.

It is important to note that non-compliance or late filing of TDS returns can attract penalties and interest charges. Therefore, deductors must adhere to the prescribed due dates and fulfil their TDS return filing obligations to avoid any penalties.

Remember that a TDS return is a statement filed by the deductor to report the TDS deducted and deposited with the government. It is a crucial compliance requirement that ensures transparency and accountability in the tax deduction process.

Wrapping up

In conclusion, TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) is a vital component of the tax framework, ensuring efficient tax collection and compliance. Whether you are an individual or a business entity, understanding TDS and its implications is crucial for maintaining financial discipline and meeting your tax obligations. By being aware of the applicable rates, exemptions, and deductions, you can optimise your tax planning and minimise your overall tax burden.

Remember, it is advisable to consult with a tax professional or seek guidance from the relevant authorities to ensure accurate compliance with TDS regulations.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some questions and answers about TDS.


What is the threshold limit for TDS deduction on interest income?

For most individuals, TDS on interest income is applicable if the interest amount exceeds Rs. 40,000 per financial year. However, for senior citizens, the threshold is Rs. 50,000.

Can TDS be claimed as a refund?

Yes, if the deducted TDS amount exceeds the actual tax liability, it can be claimed as a refund while filing the income tax return.

Is TDS applicable on cash withdrawals from banks?

Yes, TDS at a rate of 2% is applicable on cash withdrawals exceeding Rs. 1 crore in a financial year. This provision aims to curb the circulation of black money.

Can TDS be reduced or waived off?

TDS can be reduced or waived off by submitting the appropriate forms, such as Form 15G or 15H, to the deductor. These forms are applicable when the total income falls below the taxable limit.

What happens if TDS is not deducted or deposited?

Failure to deduct or deposit TDS can attract penalties and interest charges under the Income Tax Act. It is crucial for deductors to fulfil their obligations to avoid any legal repercussions.

Can TDS be adjusted against self-assessment tax?

Yes, the TDS amount deducted can be adjusted against the total tax liability while filing the income tax return. If there is any excess TDS, it can be claimed as a refund.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet and is subject to changes. Please consult an expert before making any related decisions.


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