We invest money in fixed deposits to get better returns. If you go through the instructions mentioned on your FD certificate, it usually mentions: “If the depositor is not liable to pay income tax and the interest to be paid in a financial year does not exceed the maximum amount which is not chargeable to income tax, the depositor may submit a declaration in Form No. 15G / 15H so that income tax is not deducted at source.” What does the statement mean?
The below article provides a comprehensive picture of what does 'Form No. 15G' and 'Form No. 15H' mean.
Banks normally ask depositors to submit Form No. 15G and Form No. 15H each year. There are different rules as to who can submit Form No. 15G and Form No. 15H.
Form No. 15G and Form No. 15H are self-declaration forms required to be furnished by the assessee to his banker for nil deduction / lower deduction of TDS (tax deducted at source) on interest on fixed deposit.
Form 15G and Form No. 15H is a self-declaration, which is provided by a person resident in India (not being a company or firm) to their deductor that the tax on his estimated total income for the previous year, will be nil. The duty to submit these forms with assessee before end of the financial year or first payment of interest whichever is earlier.
The declaration in writing should be collected by the deductor in duplicate.
Form No. 15H: For senior citizens
Form No. 15G: For other than senior citizens
Previous year income should not be taxable
No TDS is deducted by banks on interest earned in saving bank accounts and recurring deposit accounts. Interest on fixed deposits is subject to deduction of tax as per income tax rules.
According to Section 197A of the Income Tax Act, 1961, an individual who is resident in India and whose estimated total income of the previous year is less than the minimum liable to income-tax will receive interest on securities, dividends and other interest without deduction of tax at source. The facility of claiming payments of interest on securities, dividends, etc., under section 197A is available only in the case of individuals who are resident in India. Accordingly, it is not permissible for Hindu undivided families and other categories of taxpayers to claim payments of interest on securities, dividends, etc., without deduction of tax at source on furnishing the declaration in Form No. 15G or 15H.
All banks and financial institutions will deduct TDS on all interest payments exceeding Rs. 10,000 on fixed deposits in a financial year. If a customer receives more than Rs. 10,000 per annum on his FDs as interest from a bank, the bank deducts tax on such income arising in the hands of the customer. The tax deducted is directly paid to the government on the behalf of the customer.
The bank issues a TDS Certificate also called Form 16A which mentions the details of the TDS payment with the government. The bank will deduct tax at source once the amount of interest to be credited in respect of all the fixed deposits taken together exceeds Rs. 10,000 in a financial year. This limit of Rs. 10,000 is applicable for each branch of a bank and not for all the branches of a bank taken together. So each branch of the bank will see whether the interest for the whole year on all the FDs exceed the threshold of Rs. 10,000.
Banks are not required to deduct any TDS on interest credited on your savings bank account even the amount of interest may be very substantial.
In case of FDs made for longer duration where the interest will be paid to you only on maturity, the bank will deduct tax at source on the interest accrued for the year even though no interest in fact has been paid to you.
Form No 15G: Only a person who is resident in India can submit Form No. 15G. So a NRI cannot submit this form. Any person other than a company can submit Form No. 15 G. So any individual, HUF, Trust, Association of Persons or Body of Individuals can submit Form No. 15G. Form 15G is submitted by individuals who are less than 60 years of age.
Form No. 15H: Any resident Individual who is above sixty years of age or completes sixty years during the financial year can submit Form No. 15H provided his tax liability on the basis of his estimated income is nil for the financial year.
Please ensure to submit your PAN details to the bank while submitting the Form No. 15G or 15H. In case you fail to include your PAN number to the bank, the bank will deduct TDS @ 20% against the applicable rate of 10% even if you have submitted Form No. 15G and 15H. Please take an acknowledgement from the bank for Form No. 15 G or 15H while submitting it.
The Form No. 15G or 15H as the case may be, should be submitted at the beginning of the year so as to avoid a situation where bank has already deducted the tax before you submit the form. However in case the bank deducts the tax in spite of the fact that you have submitted the form or before you actually submit the same, the bank will not refund the tax already deducted, as the bank would have already deposited the tax with the government. In such a situation the only option available with you is to file your income tax return and claim the amount of TDS a refund.
Form 15G and Form 15H have the validity of only one financial year. These forms are valid only for the financial year in which you have furnished these forms. If you want to apply for nil TDS in the new financial year, then you will have to resubmit these forms. Form 15H or 15G are meant to prevent TDS and not to avoid tax or file your tax return. You may be required to file your tax return if your total income before the deductions is above the basic tax exemption limit.