Refunds can be claimed only while filing returns

I am a radio show host with All India Radio. Since the day I joined as a casual presenter, I saw a deduction of TDS

I am a radio show host with All India Radio. Since the day I joined as a casual presenter, I saw a deduction of TDS after every Rs 30,000 of earning, which I reconfirmed from income-tax Web site and accounts department of All India Radio.

I am a freelance journalist and so my earnings are not too high. I am also not into the technicalities of taxation. So please let me know the easiest way to get my deducted amount back. I am not financially strong to sustain my daily life.Anand Shukla

According to the Income Tax Act, any person making payment in the nature of fees for professional services is mandatorily required to deduct tax at the rate of 10 per cent, if the sum credited or paid to the payee in a financial year (FY) exceeds 30,000. It seems that All India Radio is deducting tax at source on payments made to you, as prescribed under the provision.

If your net taxable income (receipts less expenditure) for the said FY is below the taxable limit of Rs 1,80,000 or tax on the same is lower than the amount deducted at source — presuming that no additional tax has been deposited by you — you may claim a refund of the excess deduction through your income-tax return for the said FY.

Your refund should come through only once your income-tax refund is processed by the tax department, based on the tax return filed by you.

Also there is an option of obtaining a certificate for a NIL or lower rate of withholding tax from the authorities.

I retired from LIC in January 2009. On my retirement day, I was paid gratuity of Rs 5.45 lakh. Following a wage revision, effective from August 2007 which was notified in October 2010, I was paid Rs 3.20 lakh as difference in gratuity but Rs 1.2 lakh was recovered in November 2010, 20 months after my retirement. Central Government has increased the exemption limit for income-tax on gratuity to Rs 10 lakh in 2010-11 and the CBDT has also issued instructions regarding the increase in exemption limit to Rs 10 lakh. But my employer has deducted income-tax on the difference in gratuity paid in November 2010, on which date the new exemption rule came in to force.

I feel I am unfairly treated.

Can I claim a refund from the I-T department while submitting my returns for 2011-2012 and if so please inform the relevant provisions of the Act and rules.M.K. Sivaraman

According to the income-tax notification dated June 11, 2010, the tax exemption limit for gratuity had been raised from Rs 3.5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh. However, this was only with respect to employees who retired on or after May 24, 2010. As your retirement date is January 31, 2009, the increased exemption limit may not applicable to you and the erstwhile limit of Rs 3.5 lakh continues to apply

It appears that you have received arrears of gratuity during FY 2010-11. Accordingly, income after considering the exemptions and deductions applicable to FY 2010-11 should be offered to tax in the FY.

If there is refund due to you on account of excess deduction of tax (plus tax paid) vis-à-vis the tax payable according to the rates applicable for the FY 2010-11, it can be claimed in the income-tax return filed by you for the FY.



How can one become a tax return preparer? Please give me the complete details. — M. Ramanathan

The Income-Tax Department in partnership with NIIT has launched Tax Return Preparer Scheme.

It is aimed at training unemployed and partially employed persons to assist small and medium taxpayers in preparing their returns of income.

A candidate aspiring to become a Tax Return Preparer (TRP) has to meet certain eligibility criteria about qualification (bachelor's degree from a recognised university with certain subjects) and age — candidates have to be between 21 and 35 on October 1, 2006. Please visit www.trpscheme.com to know more.

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