TDS on rent - Detailed explanation on Section 194I

Hello and welcome. In this post, we discuss TDS on rent under Section 194I in detail.

Let us begin.

What is TDS on Rent u/s 194I?

The person (not 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.  This is applicable in cases where the aggregate of such amount of income exceeds Rs. 1,80,000/-. This can already be credited or paid or yet to be during the financial year.

Individuals and /or HUFs who are subject to tax audit are also under an obligation to deduct the tax at source.

With effect from 1st July 2010, the limit of Rs. 1,20,000/- was increased to Rs. 1,80,000/– .

Introduction to Section 194I:

The Finance Act, 1994 inserted the Sec. 194-I, regarding deduction of tax from payment of rent.

The Government felt that an item of income which is necessary to cover within the scope of deduction of income-tax at source is the income by way of rent.

In a number of countries also such income is subject to deduction of income-tax at source.

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

‘Rent’ means any payment made for the use of the following.

    1. Land or
    2. Building (including factory building) or
    3. Land appurtenant to a building (including factory building) or
    4. Machinery or
    5. Plant or
    6. Equipment or
    7. Furniture or
    8. Fittings

whether or not the payee owns any or all of the above.

Here, any lease, sub-lease, tenancy or any other agreement or arrangement (either separately or together) comes under “Rent”.  Sub-letting also comes under “Rent”.

Non-deduction case: The landlord collects security or advance payment at the time of letting out a building. The condition is that the deposit will be refunded at the time of vacating the building. In this case, such a receipt is not in the nature of income and, therefore, tax is not to be deducted at source u/s 194I.

However, advance rent (not in the nature of refundable security deposit) paid is, subject to tax deduction. Moreover, where any such rent credited to ‘suspense account’ or any other account shall be liable to TDS.

Payments Covered u/s 194I:

  • Income from letting out of factory building

    • If a factory building given out on rent by one person, the rent received is generally an income from the 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 will be subject to tax deduction at source or TDS. This is even though it 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. This is an unnecessary burden on both taxpayer and the tax administrator because the collection of the tax will take place as TDS from the lessor without much delay.
  • Rent includes service charges

    • Service charges payable to business centers cover under the definition of rent, as they cover payments by whatever name called.
  • TDS requirement where building and furniture, etc., let out by separate persons

    • Consider a case in which a building given out on rent by one person and the furniture, fixtures, etc., given out by another person. The payee has to deduct tax under Section 194I only from the rent paid/credited for the hire of the building.
  • TDS requirement where rent not payable on monthly basis

    • Sec. 194-I does not mandate that the tax deduction should be on a month-to-month basis.
    • If the crediting of the rent is done on a quarterly basis then deduction at source should be made on the quarterly basis only. Where the rent paid on a yearly basis deduction also should be once a year on the basis of actual payment or credit.
  • Charges regarding cold storage facility

    • In the case of cold storage where there is storage of milk, ice cream, vegetables, etc.. The payment may style 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

    • The association is assessed as an association of persons and not as an individual or HUF. Hence, the obligation of tax deduction will be there, provided payment for the use of hall exceeds Rs. 1,80,000
  • Payments to hotels for holding seminars including lunch

    • However, hotels do not charge for use of premises but charge for catering/meal only, the provisions of Sec. 194I would not apply.  Hence, Sec.194C would apply for catering part.

Circumstances of TDS u/s 194I is not deductible

  • The amount payable/paid not exceeding Rs.1,80,000 for the financial year.

    • No tax from the amount payable in respect of rent is deductible. The amount of such rent credited or paid or likely to be credited or paid during the financial year. Payment to the payee landlord or lessee does not exceed Rs.1,80,000.
  • A tenant is an individual or Hindu Undivided Family:

    • The deduction is not necessary under Section 194I if the amount paid or payable by an individual or Hindu Undivided Family.
    • The individual/HUF is not carrying on any business/profession or
    • The individual/HUF not liable to tax audit u/s 44AB in the preceding year
  • Sharing or proceeds of film exhibition between a film distributor and a film exhibitor owning a cinema theatre:

    • To share the proceeds of film exhibition between the film distributor and exhibitor owning the cinema theatre representations are received from various quarters. With regard to, the applicability of the provisions of Section 194I of the Income Tax Act.  The Board examines the matter, it is of the view that the provisions of Sec.194-I would not attract such payment because:
      • The exhibitor does not let out the cinema hall to the distributor. Generally, the share of the exhibitor is on account of composite services.
      • Also, the distributor does not take cinema building on lease or sub-lease or under an agreement of similar nature.
  • Where the payee is the Government at agency

    • Under the provisions of Sec. 196, no tax is required to be deducted at source from any sums payable to the government.The matter with regard to the statutory authorities and the local authorities referred to above, has been examined by the Board. Sec. 190. And it provides for deduction of income tax at source as one of the modes of collection of income tax with respect of an income. And this is notwithstanding that the regular assessment in respect of such an income should be made in a later assessment year. The income of an authority constituted in India by or under any law enacted either:
    • For the purpose of dealing with and satisfying the need for housing accommodation or
    • For the purpose of planning, development or improvement of cities, towns, and villages is exempt from income tax under Sec. 10(20A).
    • Similarly, the income of a local authority which is chargeable under the head ‘Income from house property’ or ‘Income from other sources’, is exempt from Income-tax under Sec.10(20). There is no other condition specified in these two clauses of Section 10 which is necessary to satisfy for availing the income-tax exemption. There is no requirement to deduct income-tax deducted at source on income by way of ‘rent’ if the payee is the governmental agency.
    • Also, in the case of the local authorities and the statutory authorities, there will be no requirement to deduct income-tax at source from income by way of rent if the person responsible for paying which satisfies with his exempt status under clause (20) or (20A) of Sec.10 on the basis of certificate to this effect given by the said authorities.

Persons Liable to Deduct TDS u/s 194I:

  • The person (not being an Individual/HUF) responsible for paying any income to a resident by way of rent is liable to deduct TDS.
  • 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 01.06.2017.
  • In case the aggregate of the amount of such income credited or paid or likely to be credited or paid during the financial year by the aforesaid person to the account of, or to payee exceeds Rs. 1,80,000/-. Then the person is also liable to deduct TDS u/s 194I.

Point of Deduction of TDS u/s 194I:

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

The rate of Tax Deducted At Source :

Sl no Nature of Payment Rates of tax deduction
1 Rent of plant and machinery 2%
2 Rent of land or building or furniture or fitting 10%

(5% if rent exceeding Rs 50,000 / month paid by individual/HUF who are not liable for tax audit)

That completes this blog post. Leave a comment below to let us know any question you have.

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