Published on:
September 29, 2023
Shaik Musrath

TDS for Businessmen: What You Need to Know

Albert Einstein once remarked that income tax is one of the hardest things to understand, and he was absolutely right. Income tax laws can be complex and overwhelming, especially when it comes to Tax Deducted at Source (TDS). In this article, we will explore TDS, when it applies to businessmen, and the various compliance due dates. 

What is TDS

Tax Deducted at Source, or TDS, is a form of income tax that is deducted at the time of payment or crediting the account of the payee. In simpler terms, when you make certain payments, you deduct a portion as tax and remit it to the government. For instance, if you need to pay an architect Rs. 90,000, and the TDS rate is 10%, you deduct Rs. 9,000 and pay Rs. 81,000 to the architect, while the deducted Rs. 9,000 is remitted to the government.

Why TDS Was Introduced

TDS was introduced in 1961 to combat tax evasion. It ensures that tax is collected in advance at the source of income. Before TDS, there was no foolproof way to ensure that individuals reported their income honestly. TDS acted as a safeguard against tax evasion.

Who Is Liable to Deduct TDS

The responsibility of deducting TDS depends on both the business structure and the nature of payments. Business structures liable for TDS include partnership firms, LLPs, private limited companies, public companies, and trusts. For individuals (including proprietorships) and HUFs, TDS is applicable only if their turnover in the previous year exceeded Rs. 1 crore for business or Rs. 50 lakhs for professionals. However, individuals and HUFs must deduct TDS on salary and payments to non-residents regardless of turnover.

Nature of Payments Subject to TDS

TDS is applicable to various business payments, including salary, interest payments, payments to contractors, commissions, rent, professional fees, and payments to non-residents. While there are other payments subject to TDS, these are the most common ones.

Threshold Limits

Once TDS applies to a transaction, you must check whether the threshold limit is exceeded. The threshold limit is the amount above which TDS must be deducted. For example, the threshold limit for commission is Rs. 15,000 per person per year. If you pay a commission exceeding this amount in a financial year, TDS is required.

When to Deduct TDS

TDS should be deducted at the time of booking the bill or at the time of payment, whichever is earlier.

Due Dates for TDS Payment

The due date for TDS payment varies depending on the month. For payments made from April to February, the due date is the 7th of the following month. For payments made in March, the due date is April 30th.

Penalties for Late Payment

Late TDS payments can incur interest of up to 18% per annum. The rate of interest varies depending on whether TDS was deductible but not deducted or deductible but not paid to the government.

TDS Returns and Due Dates

Businesses must file two types of TDS returns: one for TDS deducted on salary and another for TDS deducted on payments other than salary. These returns must be filed quarterly, with due dates as follows:

April to JuneJuly 31st
July to September October 31st
October to DecemberJanuary 31st
January to March May 31st

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Penalties for Late Filing of TDS Returns

Late filing of TDS returns can result in penalties of Rs. 200 per day. The penalty amount is subject to an upper limit, which is the TDS amount shown in the return.

Generation of TDS Certificates

After filing TDS returns, businesses must generate TDS certificates within 15 days from the due date of filing returns. These certificates are essential for tax compliance.


Understanding TDS is crucial for businessmen to meet their tax obligations and navigate the complexities of income tax laws. By grasping the applicability, thresholds, due dates, and penalties associated with TDS, you can ensure timely compliance and avoid unnecessary financial burdens. TDS may be complex, but with the right knowledge, you can manage it effectively in your business operations.


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Updated on:
September 29, 2023