CA Sandeep Kanoi
Everyone is aware that Form 15G and form 15H are used for avoiding the TDS deduction while computing the interest earned during the financial year. In this article we are discussing important points to remember while submitting the Form 15G and Form 15H to the deductor. We have also included frequently asked questions and answers on Form 15G and Form 15H. Reader can download the latest Form 15G and Form 15H in Excel, Word and PDF format from the links given at the bottom of the article.
Difference between form 15G and 15H:-
In nutshell we can say that anybody whose tax on estimated income is not NIL and having income from interest on securities/interest other than “interest on securities”/units/amounts referred to in clause (a) of sub-section (2) of section 80CCA exceeds maximum amount not chargeable to tax can not file DECLARATION u/s 15G . This is clear from the point 3 & 4 of the of From 15 G.
However, if you are eligible and also fulfill the condition, the payer can not deduct the tax even if it is above 10,000.
Senior Citizens who are eligible to file Declaration in Form 15H has no such conditions. They can submit form 15H even if there total Income from interest on securities/interest other than “interest on securities”/units/amounts referred to in clause (a) of sub-section (2) of section 80CCA exceeds maximum amount not chargeable to tax if tax payable by them is NIL. This is clear from point 4 of the form 15H, which reads as under:-
” 4. that the tax on my estimated total income, including *income/incomes referred to in the Schedule below computed in accordance with the provisions of the Income-tax Act, 1961, for the previous year ending on relevant to the assessment year _____________ will be nil”
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION ANSWERS ON FORM 15G AND FORM 15H
Question:- I am 70 years old. I invested a sum of Rs 6,00,000 in January 2006, in GOI 8 per cent savings bonds (taxable), via a leading private bank. The bonds issued were on a cumulative basis with a maturity period of six years. The total interest payable at the time of maturity is Rs 3,50,500. I have declared the income from the bonds on an accrual basis y-o-y, and have been filing tax returns since A/Y 2006/07. But the bank is not accepting Form 15H stating that the total interest payable on maturity is more than the threshold limit for senior citizens – Rs 3,00,000, and is insisting on my submitting Certificate u/s 197 from the IT office. What do I do?
Answer:- The bank should have deducted tax at source. It seems the bank has not provided for the accrued interest and is therefore not accepting Form 15H. You can prove that the tax on your total income of the previous year in which the interest is to be received shall be nil, even after including the cumulative interest the bank should not resort to tax deduction at source. You can submit Form 15H for deduction of tax at source for A.Y. 2010-11.
Question :- I am a senior citizen having income liable for tax deduction at source in respect of my deposits with State Bank of Hyderabad. They asked me whether I would be filing declaration in Form 15G or 15H in the first week of March in respect of payments made during the year so that I am in a position to judge whether I have taxable income for the year or not and file declaration in Form 15H, if I have no taxable income. On the other hand, State Bank of India and, I understand, some other banks require form at the time of deposit itself. It may not be proper for the bank to act on such declaration made in one year for another year or for that matter act on a declaration which had become stale filed in earlier part of the year for payment towards the end of the year. What is the correct position of law?
Answer:- The doubt raised by the reader is a valid one. The law itself does not provide for any date on which the declaration is required to be filed as long as it relates to the income of the year and filed during the year. Since the deduction of tax at source has to be decided on the date of each credit or payment, deduction has to be made for each such credit or payment. Where an investor is not able to file the declaration in earlier part of the year in view of the uncertainty as to the prospect of his income crossing the exemption limit, he can probably inform the bank that deduction could be deferred till the end of the year. But then, the bank would like to have the declaration at the time of payment so that the declaration may have necessarily to be filed before the first quarterly payment, if the interest is payable quarterly. The difficulty for the investor in ascertaining the income in advance in such cases cannot be avoided. Tax may have to be deducted and refund applied in due course in such cases.
Question:- It is stated that 15H form is concessional for individuals aged 65 or more as this form, unlike 15G form, does not carry the restrictive declaration to the effect that the aggregate of eligible incomes will not exceed the maximum amount which is chargeable to income tax (Item No. 4 in 15G form).
1. Can it be interpreted, that there is no ceiling on the aggregate incomes/ amounts liable for tax deduction for senior citizens of the age of 65 or more?
2. It should be “not exceeding the maximum exemption limit” and not “not exceeding the minimum exemption limit”.
3. Form No. 15H in circulation at present states that the particulars of the amounts are as per the schedule below. But there is no such schedule at all. The one and only schedule is about “investments”. Of course, Form 15G carries this Schedule as “Schedule V”.
4. Item 2 in Form 15H reads as “that my present occupation is….” At 65 and above, many have no occupations at all.
5. Item 3 in this form states “…. and am entitled to a deduction from the amount of income-tax on my total income referred to in section 88B”. Can you please enlighten me on this point regarding Sec. 88B?
As regards the first point, the limit for tax deduction for others is inapplicable for senior citizens, but the limit for statutory deduction under Sec. 80-C, for example, is applicable.
The second point made by him is correct.
As for the third point, the omission pointed out in Form 15H, the schedule for withdrawal from NSS alone has been given, because the other schedules as in Form 15G have apparently been considered unnecessary, since there is no ceiling by way of limit for tax deduction at source, so as to require the split up of the different incomes.
The fourth point made is 4 that the Form 15-H contemplates occupation for everyone is really not a defect, since a person without occupation can well fill up the column as nil. As for the last point, reference to Sec. 88B, providing for rebate for seniors citizens, has since been omitted with effect from April 1, 2006 on substitution of this relief by higher exemption limit. The Form has not been updated after this change. Probably, it was considered not necessary, because of the possible understanding that the reference to Sec. 88B is only for the limited purpose of adopting the definition of senior citizen under the section, when it was in vogue.
Question: What should I do if I am not liable to pay tax and TDS is not required to be deducted?
Answer:- To avail the benefit of deduction of tax at source at Nil/lower rate, you may submit any of the following documentation :
Exemption for insurance companies: Certain entities such as Life Insurance Corporation of India, General insurance Corporation of India along with its four subsidiaries or any other insurer are eligible to receive interest on securities without deduction of tax at source, if such securities are owned by them or it has full beneficial interest in the same.
Question:- I am an account holder in a nationalised bank and I filed Form 15H. The bank authorities refused to give acknowledgement for the same, though I have given it in duplicate. What is more is that they have deducted tax though I have no taxable income. What is the remedy for the amount already deducted and to avoid such deduction in future?
Answer:- Where tax has already been deducted and deposited by the bank, the only recourse for the assessee is to file a refund claim along with the return with the assessing officer and await the refund. It is possible for an assessee to seek remedy for deficiency of service in a consumer forum or to file a complaint with the Ombudsman asking for compensation for the trouble to which the reader has been put to. But then, the reader had failed to press for an acknowledgement. He should have complained about denial of acknowledgement at that stage to the concerned superior officers or should have sent it by registered post acknowledgement due for purposes of evidence for his case. In fact, it is not open to the bank official to refuse acceptance of any document sought to be served on the bank or refuse acknowledgement, where demanded.
Some reader has complained about the inordinate delay in getting TDS certificate to enable claim of refund in time. Such complaints received from time to time indicate the inordinate delay on the part of even banks and large corporate as regards this statutory duty to issue such certificates promptly. In the case of banks, this is again a matter on which complaint should be made to senior officers of banks in writing and on failure of response to the Ombudsman. A complaint to the TDS section of the Income-tax Department, which is expected to enforce law regarding issue of TDS certificate promptly, should be the most effective remedy, if only the TDS cell activates itself to enforce the law and the rules on those responsible for tax deduction at source for the benefit of the taxpayers.
Please Note that from 1st July 2012 Age limit for senior citizen is reduced to 60 years from earlier 65 years. So from 1st July Form 15H can be filed by an individual who is of the age of sixty years or more claiming certain receipts without deduction of tax.
(Republished with modifications)