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Understand the specified conditions and ascertain whether you are eligible for filling the form Now that we are right in the middle of the financial year, it is time to revisit an old but extremely significant issue — that of saving tax deducted at source (TDS) with the help of filing Forms 15G and 15H. The conditions under which Form 15G and 15H may be filed are similar yet with a significant difference. But some taxpayers end up filing the form when they are not eligible to and vice versa. Basically, TDS is applicable to any interest above Rs10,000 from most of the common investment instruments such as bank fixed deposits and senior citizens savings scheme etc. Though, TDS, or withholding tax, is in fact tax paid in advance and credit for the same can be claimed while filing the return, the process is quite cumbersome especially for those investors who aren’t liable to file a tax return in the first place. In other words, from the final tax liability of the taxpayer, the amount representing the TDS has to be reduced and only the balance will be the final tax liability. However, what happens when the situation reverses? Suppose the final tax liability is lower than the TDS? Or going a step further, the investor may not even be liable to pay any tax (by virtue of his total income being below the exempted slab) and yet the interest income that he earns may have been subjected to TDS. In such cases, the only practical solution is to file the tax return specifying the extra tax paid and request a refund. However, regular taxpayers know only too well how optimistic it is to expect a refund in time, if at all. Let’s examine the ways and means of preventing one’s income from being subject to the dreaded TDS. Rule 29C of Income Tax Rules offers taxpayers the facility of furnishing Form 15G or 15H, as the case may be, requesting the payer of income not to deduct any tax. These forms have to be filed in duplicate and once the bank or the post office takes them on record,...
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