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TDS late fee charge should be scrapped, say CAs

Saturday, 18 January 2014 - 1:36pm IST | Place: Indore | Agency: DNA

Conveying a bold message to the central government, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) argued that the late fee charged at Rs 200 per day for the delay in the process of filing TDS return by even a single day is uncalled for and need to be relooked.

Tax Deduction at Source (TDS) is the income tax collected on a person’s salary, assets, interest on savings and others by the immediate employer or the bank.

Until 2012, there was no such provision of late fees for being late in filing TDS return.

“TDS should not be tedious and the fee shouldn’t be so high,” said ICAI chairperson Manoj P Gupta in Indore on Friday.

He proposed the income tax department to hold camps for assisting tax payers over issues pertaining to TDS.

Expressing disapproval with section 234e (penalty for filing late TDS return) of the income tax act, chartered accountants appealed the income tax department to change the provisions of act that charge exorbitant fees from tax payers.

The section was implemented from July 2012 and states that the amount of late fee at Rs 200 per day shall be paid before deduction of a TDS statement.
All India Federation of Tax Practitioners (AIFTP) secretary CA Rajesh Mehta argued that legally the government should not charge late fees for delaying the claims of TDS return.
“In my opinion, the income tax department does not have any responsible person for recovering late fees for late TDS return filing which is a legal reason for not charging the late fees,” Mehta said.

Rebate on TDS deductions:
• According to CA Rajesh Mehta, a salaried employee can seek exemption of up to Rs 15,000 on mediclaim premiums for the purpose of preventive health checkup. This means that a person need not be admitted in hospital for 24 hours and to use the annual mediclaim amount on which TDS is deducted on annual basis. By visiting the hospital for the preventive health checkup, a person can seek exemption.

• Mehta said that for new tax payers, one of the ways to save tax is investing in equity shares. The government is providing a tax exemption of up to maximum Rs 25,000 annually, applicable for three years, only for new investors investing an amount of minimum Rs 50,000.

• A salaried employee can save TDS chargeable on the loan up to Rs 1,50,000 annually by residing in the house that he/ she has procured through bank loan.

• A person can also get 100% exemption from TDS deduction on house loan payment by self-occupying his/her own house and then procuring another house and putting it on rent.
Jewellers must watch out:

• Rajesh Mehta said that the government has made it mandatory for jewellers to collect Tax Collection at Source (TCS) amount at the rate of 1% from a customer making a procurement of jewelry of more than Rs 5 lakh and bullion of more than Rs 2 lakh.

• A jeweler will be liable for penalty is he/she doesn’t collect TCS from a customer by allowing to  make a payment of less than Rs 5 lakh by cash and the remaining through cheque or DD in case of procurement of jewelry and same applies in case of paying cash less than Rs 2 lakh for purchasing a bullion.

• However, the limit or deadline for submission of the collected TCS is not prescribed in the act, Mehta said.

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