Different Methods of accounting followed by deductor and deductee
One of the important reasons for mismatch of TDS claimed and TDS as per Form 26AS is adoption of different method of accounting (i. e. Cash or Mercantile) by the deductor and deductee. Various situations that may arise have been explained below by means of examples:
i) Deductor– Mercantile system of accounting
Deductee–Cash system of accounting
If the deductor follows mercantile system of accounting, the tax would be deducted at source and deposited in the year in which provision is made. Whereas the deductee following the cash basis of accounting, would offer the income and claim TDS in the year in which the amount is actually received by him. For example audit fees paid to a Chartered accountant’s firm by a company. In such a case it is difficult for the deductee to claim TDS as the TDS certificate is issued in respect of the year other than the year in which it is claimed.
Also in some cases, the receipts may be spread over in two or more years. In such cases, there is difficulty in getting credit of TDS in second and subsequent year in which amount is actually received.
(ii) Deductor– Cash system of accounting
Deductee – Mercantile system of accounting
There is a provision to take the credit of TDS in the year in which income is asses sable to tax. If for any reason, TDS certificate has not been furnished; such certificate can be produced within two years u/s 155 of the Income-tax Act. But issue generally arises when the following situation occurs:
In case of a deductee who maintains books of accounts on mercantile basis. The amount due to him in respect of a government contract is accounted for in his books of accounts in a particular year and advance tax/ self assessment tax is paid by him in respect of that income. However, the government which maintains books of account on payment basis pays the amount after two years after deducting tax at source. In such a case, the assessee would neither be entitled to claim credit of TDS in the year of receipt as the income has already been offered to tax in an earlier year nor he would be able to get refund of tax paid by him as the time to file revised return may also have expired. This amounts to payment of tax twice to the government.
TDS should not be linked with the year of income or the year of receipt. Credit for TDS may be given on the basis of the claim made by the assessee irrespective of the assessment year in which income is received or income is offered to tax. There should be a clear differentiation between amount deducted and amount claimed. The TDS not claimed in a particular year due to any reason may either be allowed to be claimed in the any other assessment year or to be refunded to the deductee. The total TDS claimed and the balance, if any, may be reflected in Form 26AS. Form No. 26AS should be made as a bank pass book where the unclaimed credit is allowed to be carried forward for claiming in the next year.