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Section 194I- TDS on Rent

A comprehensive guide to understand TDS levied on rent paid.

Updated on :  

08 min read.

Who is this guide for?

Persons who are having rental income from land, building, plant & Machinery ,furniture & fittings etc.

Latest Update

CBDT issued a circular on 25th June 21 extending some timelines for AY 21-22

(i) The due date to file TDS return for Q4 of the FY 2020-21 is extended from 30th June 21 to 15th July 21.

(ii) The due date to furnish the TDS Certificate to employees in Form 16 is extended from 15th July 21 to 31st July 21.

What is Section 194I ?

  • The person (not being an Individual or HUF) who is responsible for paying of rent is liable to deduct tax at source.
  • TDS threshold for deduction of tax on rent is Rs 2,40,000 for the FY 2020-21. The threshold limit was Rs. 1,80,000 until FY 2018-19.
  • Also, individuals and/or HUFs who are subject to tax audit are also under an obligation to deduct the tax at source.

What is the Reason for the Introduction of TDS u/s 194I?

  • The Finance Act, 1994 inserted the Section 194I, regarding deduction of tax from rent
  • The government introduced the provision to cover the income by way of rent under tax deduction at source
  • In other countries as well, such income is subject to deduction of income tax at source

What is the Meaning of ‘Rent’ in reference to Section 194I?

  • ‘Rent’ means any payment, by whatever name called, under any lease, sub-lease, tenancy or any other agreement or arrangement for the use of (either separately or together) any:
    • land or
    • Building (including factory building) or
    • Land appurtenant to a building (including factory building) or
    • Machinery or
    • Plant or
    • Equipment or
    • Furniture or
    • Fittings
  • whether or not any or all of the above are owned by the payee (Explanation (i) to Sec. 194-I). Sub-letting is also covered.
  • If the landlord collects security or advance payment at the time of letting out a building to a tenant on the condition that the deposit will be refunded at the time of vacating the building, then such a receipt is not in the nature of income and, therefore, no tax is to be deducted at source u/s 194I.
  • However, advance rent (not in the nature of refundable security deposit) paid is, subject to a tax deduction. Moreover, where any such rent is credited to ‘suspense account’ or to any other account shall also be liable to deduct tax at source.
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What Payment is Covered u/s 194I?

  • Income from letting out of factory building
    • Where a factory building is let out, the rent received generally is income from business in the hands of the lessor or the owner of the factory. Only in a few cases, it is income from property in the lessor’s hands.
    • But such payment also, which is business income in the hands of the lessor and for which he will necessarily be paying advance tax and finally be returning the rental income, will be subject to tax deduction at source or TDS.
    • This is an unnecessary burden on both taxpayer and the tax administrator because the collection of tax will take place as TDS from the lessor without much delay.
  • Rent includes service charges
    • Service charges payable to business centres are covered under the definition of rent, as they cover payments by whatever named called.
  • TDS requirement where building and furniture, etc., let out by separate persons
    • In the case where a building is let out by one person and furniture and fixtures are let out by another person, then the payee is required to deduct tax under Sec. 194I only from the rent paid/credited for the hire of the building.
  • TDS requirement where rent not payable on monthly basis
    • Sec. 194I does not mandate that the tax deduction should be made on a month-to-month basis.
    • Therefore, if the crediting of the rent is done on a quarterly basis, the deduction at the source will have to be made on a quarterly basis only. Where the rent is paid on a yearly basis, deduction also will have to be made once a year on the basis of the actual payment or credit.
  • Charges regarding cold storage facility
    • In the case of cold storage where milk, ice cream, and vegetables, are stored, the payment may be styled as charges for use of plant and not for use of the building. Cold storage is a plant.
  • Hall rent paid by an association for use of it
    • Since the association is assessed as an association of persons and not as an individual or HUF, the obligation of tax deduction will be there, provided payment for the use of hall exceeds Rs.2,40,000 from FY 2019-20 onwards (earlier it was Rs.1,80,000).
  • Payments to hotels for holding seminars including lunch
    • Where hotels do not charge for use of premises but charge for catering/meal only, the provisions of Sec. 194I would not apply. However, Sec.194C would apply for the catering part.

Who is Liable to Deduct TDS u/s 194I ?

  • The person (not being an Individual or HUF) who is responsible for paying any income to a resident by way of rent is liable to deduct tax at source.
  • As per Budget 2017, individual /HUF (not covered under tax audit) paying rent to a resident exceeding Rs.50,000 per month are also liable to deduct TDS @ 5%. This amendment will be effective from 1 June 2017.
  • In case the aggregate of the amount of such income credited/paid or likely to be credited/paid during the financial year by the aforesaid person to the account of or to the payee exceeds Rs.2,40,000. The limit was Rs 1,80,000 until FY 2018-19.

What is the Point of Deduction of TDS?

Tax is required to be deducted at source at the time of credit of ‘income by way of rent’ to the account of the payee or at the time of payment, thereof, in cash or by the issue of a cheque or draft or by any other mode, whichever is earlier.

What is the Rate of TDS?

S. NoNature of PaymentRates of tax deduction 
1Rent of plant and machinery2%
2  Rent of land or building or furniture or fitting  10% (5% if rent exceeding Rs 50,000 / month is paid by individual/HUF who are not liable for tax audit)
S. NoNature of PaymentTDS rate from 14 May 2020 until 31 March 2021
1Rent of plant and machinery1.5%
2  Rent of land or building or furniture or fitting  7.5% (3.75% if rent exceeding Rs 50,000 / month is paid by individual/HUF who are not liable for tax audit)

No deduction or Deduction at Lower Rate under Sec. 197

On application by the payee in Form 13, if the Assessing Officer is satisfied that this total income justifies no deduction of tax or deduction at a lower rate, he may issue a certificate in Form 15AA to that effect directly to the payer.

Under what circumstances TDS u/s 194I is not deductible?

  • Amount payable/paid not exceeding Rs.2,40,000 during the financial year: No tax is required to be deducted in case the amount of rent due or paid does not exceed Rs.2,40,000 from FY 2019-20 onwards (earlier it was Rs.1,80,000).
  • Where tenant is individual or Hindu Undivided Family: Deduction is not required under Sec. 194I when the rent is due or paid by an Individual or HUF not carrying on a business which is audited under income tax law.
  • Sharing or proceeds of film exhibition between a film distributor and a film exhibitor owning a cinema theatre: In case of a film exhibitor and film distributor contract, the share of the exhibitor is on account of composite services. The distributor does not take cinema building on lease or sub-lease or tenancy or under an agreement of similar nature. The payment made is not rental in nature.
  • Where the payee is the Government at agency: A person making payment to Government is not required to deduct tax at source under Section 194-I. The payments made to statutory authorities and local authorities are exempt from tax and hence not tax deductible.

What is the time limit on depositing TDS?

  • Where the payment is made by or on behalf of the Government- On the same day (without using any challan form)
  • Where the payment is made in any other case than the Government- On or before 7 days from end of month in which deduction is made, where tax is paid accompanied by an Income tax challan
    • If the amount is credited or paid in the month of March- On or before April 30
    • In any other case- On or before 7 days from the end of the month in which the deduction is made.

Consequences of non-deduction/non-payment of TDS

  • A taxpayer who is liable to deduct TDS will be liable to pay interest @ 1% per month from the date when tax is deductible till the date when tax is deducted.
  • A taxpayer who has deducted tax but not deposited the same to the government is liable to pay interest @ 1.5% per month from the date when tax is deducted to the date of deposit of the TDS.
  • Click here to know more about the deposit of TDS and quarterly returns of TDS and penal implications for TDS defaults.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between 194I and 194IB?

  • Applicability-Tenants, being Individual or HUF, whose books of accounts are liable for tax audit during the financial year shall deduct TDS under Section 194-I. Section 194-IB is applicable to those tenants, being Individual or HUF, whose books of accounts are not liable for tax audit during the financial year.
  • TDS rates- the TDS rate 10% in case of 194-I, and 5% for TDS under Section 194-IB.
  • Exemption limit– the minimum exemption limit is Rs. 1.8 lakh per annum for section 194-I,  and Rs. 50,000 per month for section 194-IB.

Whether rent includes payments made to a hotel for rooms hired during the year?

As per Circular: No. 715, dated 8-8-1995 issued by the income tax department, payments made by persons, other individuals and HUFs for hiring hotel rooms on a regular basis will be in the nature of rent subject to TDS under section 194-I

Whether the rent amount limit of Rs 1.2 lakh per annum under Section 194-I would apply separately for each co-owner of a property ?

Under section 194-I, the TDS is deducted from the rent amount, if such payment is likely to be Rs 1.2 lakh or more during the year. However, if there are co-owners of the property, each having a definite and ascertainable share in the property, the limit of Rs 1.2 lakh will apply to each of the co-owner separately. 

Whether the rent paid should be enhanced for notion­al income in respect of deposit given to the landlord ?

The TDS is to be deducted from actual payments and not by computing notional income as per deposit given to the landlord. If the deposit is adjustable against future rent, the deposit is in the nature of advance rent subject to TDS.

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