Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) is the sum that is deducted from a taxpayer’s income like salary, interest from bank accounts, rent etc. If the TDS collected is more than what you owe to the government, you can get a TDS Refund. Let us explore this concept in detail.
1. What is TDS Refund?
A TDS Refund arises when the taxes paid by way of TDS are greater than the actual tax payable calculated for the Financial Year. It is calculated after consolidating income earned from various sources. You know we all, as taxpayers, are categorized under various tax slabs.
Say, you have an FD and earn an interest income out of it. Banks levy a basic 10% TDS on the interest accumulated. Now, if you belong to the 5% tax bracket, you can claim a TDS refund for the additional amount deducted. Similarly, you can also claim a TDS refund of excess salary TDS deducted due to non-submission of 80C investment proofs or rent receipts towards house rent allowance.
At the time of filing your income tax return, you would sum up all your income from various sources, find out the tax liability, and subtract the TDS applied to your income. If the TDS is higher than your total tax liability for the financial year, it means a refund is due from the government.
2. How to claim TDS refund
When your employer deducts more than the income tax payable:
- When the tax deducted does not match your actual tax payable, you can calculate your income and taxes, file an income tax return (ITR) and claim a refund.
- During the ITR filing process, you will be prompted to provide your bank name and IFSC code. This makes it easier for the IT department to refund you the excess tax paid.
- In case you do not have taxable income, you can apply for a lower or NIL TDS certificate from your jurisdictional Income Tax Officer in Form 13 as per Section 197. You can submit the Nil deduction order passed under section 197 to the TDS deductor.
- On TDS refund on Fixed Deposit:
- When you don’t have a taxable income, please submit a declaration in Form 15G before the end of FY to your bank to notify them that you don’t have a taxable income. Hence, there should be no TDS on your interest income.
- If the bank does deduct tax on your interest income in spite of you submitting the Form 15G declaration, you can claim a refund by filing your ITR.
- For senior citizens with FD accounts:
- If you are of age 60 or above and have a fixed deposit account, you are exempt from tax deductions on FD interest earned up to Rs. 50,000 annually.
- In case you have no taxable income for a Financial Year (after claiming the deduction of up to Rs. 50,000 for interest income), you can submit Form 15H to your bank to notify them that you don’t have a taxable income.
- If the bank still deducts tax on your interest income from your FD, you can claim a refund by filing your ITR.
3. How to claim TDS Refund Online
To file your TDS online, you have to first register yourself on the IT department’s website: https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/
After registration, you can file your income tax return by downloading the relevant ITR form. Fill in the requisite details, upload the Form and click on submit. Upon filing the ITR, an acknowledgement is generated for the ITR submitted, which you must e-verify. You can do e-verification by using a digital signature, an Aadhaar-based OTP or your net banking account. However, if you haven’t been able to e-verify the ITR, then you can complete the verification by sending a signed physical copy of the same to the IT department.
4. How to check TDS refund status
You can check the status of your TDS refund:
- Acknowledgement and refund processing email from the IT Department
- Using the PAN card number to check on https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/
- By calling CPC Bangalore
5. What is the TDS Refund period?
Usually, if you have filed your ITR on time, it takes approximately 3 to 6 months for the refund to be credited in your bank account. The time it takes for the refund to be credited also depends on the completion of the e-verification.
6. How to verify the status of TDS Refund
In case you haven’t received your refund, here are a few ways to verify this.
- Download and verify your Form 26AS (Annual TDS summary statement) with your TDS and income details
- Get in touch with your jurisdictional Income Tax office
- Contact Ombudsman Income Tax Department or raise a complaint through your e-filing account
7. Interest on TDS Refund
If the IT department is late in paying you the TDS refund as applicable, then they must pay you the amount with a simple interest of 6%. This provision comes under Section 244A of the Income Tax Act.
This interest accrues from the first month of the Assessment year when an ITR is filed with the due date and from the date of filing of the returns in any other case. Do note that if the TDS refund amount is less than 10% of the income tax payable, the IT Department needn’t pay this interest. Moreover, the interest, if any, received is liable to be taxed under ‘income from other sources’.