7 Mins

TDS on rent as per section 194I of the Income Tax Act, 1961 is applicable on rental income which the tenant pays to the owner. The tenant while paying the rent needs to deduct TDS on rent at the applicable rate. This section is applicable to renting of plant, machinery, equipment, land, building, furniture, and fittings. In this article, we have covered all the aspects related to TDS under section 194I, its limit, as well as its applicability.  

Who is Responsible for Tax Deduction u/s 194I?

Any person, not being an individual or a Hindu undivided family, who is responsible for paying to a resident taxpayer any rental income shall deduct TDS. However, if the individual or HUF has:

  1. a total sales, gross receipts, or turnover from the business in excess of Rs 1 crore.
  2. a total sales, gross receipts, or turnover from the profession exceeding Rs 50 lakhs.

during the financial year immediately preceding the financial year in which he pays rental income to the payee then he/ she shall be liable to deduct income-tax u/s 194I.

This might seem confusing a bit, the following table will help you understand the concept better:

Type of Payer or TenantCovered u/s 194INot Covered u/s 194I
Payer or TenantAny person paying rentNA
Payer or Tenant is an individual or a HUFSuch an individual or HUF is liable for tax audit under section 44AB. The total sales, gross receipts, or turnover exceeds Rs 1 crore (business) or Rs 50 lakhs (profession)Any other individual or HUF
Owner of the assetRent is paid to a resident of IndiaRent is paid to a non-resident or NRI. Such a payment is covered under section 195.

Meaning of Rent for the purpose of Section 194I

For the purpose of section 194I of the Income Tax Act, 1961 “rent” means any payment, by whatever name called, under any lease, sub-lease, tenancy, or any other agreement or arrangement for the use of (either separately or together) any

  1. land; or
  2. building (including factory building); or
  3. land appurtenant to a building (including factory building); or
  4. machinery; or
  5. plant; or
  6. equipment; or
  7. furniture; or
  8. fittings,

whether or not the payee owns any or all of the above.

Points to Remember

  1. Section 194I for TDS on rent will be applicable whether or not the payee owns any or all of the above.
  2. Section 194I of the Income Tax Act, 1961 is applicable to sub-letting of any of the above assets as well.
  3. Very often the landlord or owner of any asset demands a security deposit at the time of renting the assets. Such a security deposit is refundable at the time of the end of the rent agreement. Moreover, TDS is not applicable on such a security deposit.
  4. If the tenant pays an advance of rent then TDS is applicable because in this case, it’s not refundable. Moreover, if the owner credits such rental income in any ‘suspense account’ or any other similar account then TDS will still be applicable. 
  5. The provisions do not require a compulsory payment of rent on a monthly basis. If the agreement between both parties demands the payment of rental income on a quarterly, half-yearly, or yearly basis then TDS will be deductible on the same payment basis.

What is the limit to deduct TDS on Rent?

As per the provisions of section 194I of the Income Tax Act TDS must not be deducted if the amount of such rental income or the aggregate of the amounts of such income is less than Rs 2,40,000. The limit includes any amount credited or paid or likely to be credited or paid during the financial year by the owner to the account of the payee. 

The limit of Rs 240,000 is effective from the assessment year 2020-21 and the financial year 2019-20. As per the Income Tax Act, 1961, till the financial year, 2018-19 the limit to deduct TDS u/s 194I was Rs 1,80,000.

Rate of TDS on Rent Under Section 194I

Rent Income AgainstRate of TDS
Rent for the use of any machinery or plant or equipment2%
Rent for the use of:any land or building (including factory building)or land appurtenant to a building (including factory building)10%
Rent for the use of furniture or fittings10%

When to Deduct TDS on Rent Under Section 194I?

You must deduct the TDS on rent within earlier of the following:

  • At the time of credit of rent to the account of the owner, or
  • At the time of payment in cash or cheque or draft or any other mode to such owner

An exception to TDS Deduction Under Section 194I

In the following cases you don’t need to deduct TDS on rent under section 194I of the Income Tax Act, 1961:

  1. The rent amount or the aggregate of such amount does not exceed Rs 2,40,000 in the financial year
  2. The rent is paid / payable to a Government agency.
  3. The payer of the rental income is an individual or HUF who is not liable for tax audit
  4. Rent income is credited or paid to a business trust. Such a business trust is a real estate investment trust w.r.t any real estate asset as provided in clause (23FCA) of section 10, owned directly by such business trust.
  5. Film Distributor as well as Exhibitor who owns the cinema theatre share the proceeds. Such a sharing of proceeds is on account of composite service. Hence, TDS is not applicable here.

What is the due date to deposit the TDS deducted?

You must deposit the TDS deducted on or before the following due date:

TDS Deducted Due Date for Deposit
TDS is deducted for the months April to FebruaryOn or before the 7th day of the following month
TDS is deducted for the month of MarchOn or before 30th April
TDS is Deducted for Any month and the payment is made by the Government or on behalf of the Government Same Day

What is the due date for the issuance of the TDS certificate?

The following is the due date for issuing TDS Certificate Form 16A by the deductor of TDS:

PeriodTDS is NOT Deducted by GovernmentTDS Deducted by Government
1st Quarter April to June30th July15th August
2nd Quarter July to September30th October15th November
3rd Quarter October to December30th January15th February
4th Quarter January to March30th May30th May

Frequently Asked Questions

Is TDS deducted on the security deposit of rent?

No, TDS is not applicable on security deposits collected by the owner from the tenant only if the deposit is returned to the tenant. However, owner adjusts the security deposit against rent then TDS under section 194I of the Income Tax Act, 1961 is applicable. This is because here the adjustment against security deposit is just another mode of payment of rent. 

Is TDS u/s 194I applicable on renting a hotel for seminars including meals?

No, if a hotel is let out to hold a seminar and the service includes catering services i.e. then TDS u/s 194I of the Income Tax Act, 1961 is not applicable. However, since this service constructs work and both the parties agree on such terms TDS under section 194C is applicable.

Will TDS be deducted from the service tax added to the rent?

No, TDS is not applicable on the service tax component of the total rent. If the service tax is specifically shown in the invoice then TDS is not applicable. 

What if I pay to deduct or deposit the TDS?

If a taxpayer who is liable to deduct TDS fails to deduct TDS on or before the due date then interest is applicable. The default interest will be 1% per month or part thereof, from the date on which TDS was deductible till the date on which the TDS is actually deducted. 

Further, if you have deducted TDS but you have not deposited TDS to the Government then a higher interest rate is applicable. For such a failure you need to pay interest at a rate of 1.5% per month or part thereof. The interest is applicable from the date on which TDS was due to be deposited till the date on which the TDS is actually deposited.