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New tax rule to usher in clarity on TDS credit
March, 21st 2009

Tax deducted at source (TDS) credit can now be availed by persons other than the deductees. This has been clearly articulated by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) in a new rule on TDS credit availment.

Bringing relief and certainty to taxpayers, the CBDT has also spelt out the situations and the procedure through which the tax credit will be made available for persons other than deductees.

The credit for TDS will be allowed to persons other than the deductees only in cases where the relevant income is assessable to income tax in the hands of such other person. The new CBDT rule has now settled the position that a person who is liable to pay the tax should be eligible for the TDS credit, say tax experts.

To illustrate this point, consider a situation of winnings from a raffle going to a minor. The tax is deducted before the payment is made to the minor. Under the clubbing provisions of income tax, the income of the minor gets clubbed with those of the parent and gets taxed at the latters hands.

As the TDS certificate is in the name of the minor (deductee being the minor), tax authorities at the ground level often deny TDS credit to the parent even though the incomes are clubbed and assessed in the hands of the parent. Now, the CBDT has made it clear that tax credit has to be granted to the parent (the person in whose hands the income is assessable).

Similarly, in a situation where the deductees are joint owners of shares, property and deposits, the CBDT has now said that the TDS credit would be available to the respective joint owners in proportion of their ownership of the asset. Hitherto, no mechanism was available by which all the joint owners in shares, deposits or property could have the right to claim TDS credit.

The latest CBDT rule on credit for TDS will bring clarity at the ground level. They have gone by the principle that the person who pays the tax should get the tax credit, Mr Jayesh Thakur, Associate Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers told Business Line.

Till date, tax officers were taking different views on the eligibility for tax credit in situations where the income is assessable to tax in the hands of persons other than the deductee. Hitherto, assessees were often required to go up to the High Courts to get benefit of the TDS credit, point out tax experts.

Trusts, partnership firms

The CBDT has also brought clarity and certainty to the eligibility for availment of TDS credit in respect of trusts, partnership firms and Association of Persons (AOP).

In situations where the deductee is a Trust and the income is assessable in the hands of trustees, the TDS credit should be granted to the trustee. Similarly, where the deductee is partner or karta of a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) and the income is assessable as the income of firms or the HUF, the TDS credit would have to go to the partnership firm/HUF.

Where the deductee is the Association of Persons (AOP) and the income is assessable in the hands of the members, the CBDT has made it clear that the TDS credit should go to the members of AOP.

The procedure: For persons other than the deductee to get the TDS credit benefit, the deductees are required to file a declaration with the deductor. The declaration should have details of the other person (i.e. the person to whom tax credit is to be given) like name, PAN, payment or credit in relation to which tax credit is to be given and the reason for giving credit to such person.

The deductor would report tax deduction in the name of such other person to the tax authority. The TDS certificate could also be issued in the name of the person other than the deductee.

In Budget 2008-09, the Government decided that the system of allowing credit to the assessee for TDS/Tax collected at source (TCS) needs a certain degree of flexibility considering the ongoing technological and business process changes.

Instead of providing rigorous conditions regarding the method of giving credit for TDS in the Income Tax Act itself, the Government decided to do this through the rules. That promise has now been implemented by CBDT by bringing the necessary rule for this purpose.

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