TAX FORUM: QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Time for filing declaration in Form 15H
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?
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.
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