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"How TDS Works for Salaried Individuals: An In-Depth Look"

Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) is a mechanism introduced by the Indian government to collect tax at the source of income. This ensures a steady inflow of revenue and helps prevent tax evasion.

For salaried individuals, understanding how TDS works is crucial for managing their finances and ensuring compliance with tax laws.

This article provides a comprehensive overview of how TDS operates for salaried employees, covering various aspects such as calculation, deduction, filing, and implications.


TDS is a system where tax is deducted by the employer at the time of making salary payments to employees. This deducted tax is then remitted to the government on behalf of the employee. The primary objective of TDS is to collect tax from the very source of income, minimizing the burden on employees to pay a lump sum at the end of the financial year.

Calculation of TDS for Salaried Individuals

The calculation of TDS on salary involves several steps:

a. Determination of Gross Salary:

  • Gross salary includes basic salary, house rent allowance (HRA), special allowances, and any other monetary benefits provided by the employer.

b. Exemptions and Allowances:

  • Various exemptions and allowances are deducted from the gross salary to arrive at the taxable income. Common exemptions include HRA, leave travel allowance (LTA), and exemptions under Section 10 of the Income Tax Act.

c. Standard Deduction:

  • A standard deduction of ₹50,000 is available to all salaried individuals, reducing the taxable income.

d. Deductions under Chapter VI-A:

  • Deductions under Section 80C, 80D, 80E, etc., are considered. These include contributions to the provident fund, life insurance premiums, tuition fees, medical insurance premiums, and more.

e. Calculation of Tax Liability:

  • The taxable income is calculated after all exemptions and deductions. The applicable tax rates are then applied to this taxable income to determine the tax liability.

f. TDS Deduction:

  • The employer deducts the calculated TDS amount from the employee’s salary every month and deposits it with the government.


Tax Slabs and Rates for Salaried Individuals

In India, tax slabs and rates for salaried individuals for the financial year 2024-2025 vary under two regimes: the old regime and the new regime.

Old Tax Regime:

  1. Up to ₹2.5 lakh: No tax.

  2. ₹2,50,001 to ₹5 lakh: 5% of income exceeding ₹2.5 lakh.

  3. ₹5,00,001 to ₹10 lakh: ₹12,500 + 20% of income exceeding ₹5 lakh.

  4. Above ₹10 lakh: ₹1,12,500 + 30% of income exceeding ₹10 lakh.

For senior citizens (aged 60-80), the exemption limit is ₹3 lakh, and for very senior citizens (above 80 years), it is ₹5 lakh. The old regime allows various deductions like Section 80C, 80D, and HRA.

New Tax Regime:

  1. Up to ₹2.5 lakh: No tax.

  2. ₹2,50,001 to ₹5 lakh: 5% of income exceeding ₹2.5 lakh.

  3. ₹5,00,001 to ₹7.5 lakh: ₹12,500 + 10% of income exceeding ₹5 lakh.

  4. ₹7,50,001 to ₹10 lakh: ₹37,500 + 15% of income exceeding ₹7.5 lakh.

  5. ₹10,00,001 to ₹12.5 lakh: ₹75,000 + 20% of income exceeding ₹10 lakh.

  6. ₹12,50,001 to ₹15 lakh: ₹1,25,000 + 25% of income exceeding ₹12.5 lakh.

  7. Above ₹15 lakh: ₹1,87,500 + 30% of income exceeding ₹15 lakh.

The new regime offers lower tax rates but eliminates most deductions and exemptions available in the old regime. Salaried individuals can choose between the old and new tax regimes based on which offers them the most financial benefit. It’s important to assess your income, eligible deductions, and overall tax liability before making a choice.


Exemptions and Allowances for Salaried Individuals

Salaried individuals in India can benefit from various exemptions and allowances to reduce their taxable income. These benefits are primarily available under the old tax regime.

House Rent Allowance (HRA):

HRA is partially exempt from tax. The exemption is the minimum of:

  1. Actual HRA received.

  2. 50% of the salary for those living in metro cities (40% for non-metro cities).

  3. Rent is paid minus 10% of salary.

Leave Travel Allowance (LTA):

LTA covers travel expenses for the employee and their family within India. It is tax-exempt for two journeys in a block of four years.

Standard Deduction:

A standard deduction of ₹50,000 is available to all salaried employees, reducing the taxable salary.

Section 80C:

Deductions up to ₹1.5 lakh are available under Section 80C for investments in instruments like the Public Provident Fund (PPF), Employee Provident Fund (EPF), National Savings Certificate (NSC), and life insurance premiums.

Section 80D:

Deductions for health insurance premiums up to ₹25,000 for self, spouse, and children, and an additional ₹25,000 for parents (₹50,000 if parents are senior citizens).

Conveyance Allowance:

Exemption up to ₹1,600 per month is available for conveyance allowance.

Children's Education Allowance:

Exemption of ₹100 per month per child for up to two children.

These exemptions and allowances can significantly reduce the taxable income of salaried individuals, making effective tax planning crucial to optimize tax liabilities.


Deductions under Chapter VI-A

Chapter VI-A of the Income Tax Act provides several deductions that salaried individuals can claim to reduce their taxable income.

Here are the key deductions:

Section 80C:

Allows deductions up to ₹1.5 lakh for investments and expenses like:

  • Public Provident Fund (PPF)

  • Employee Provident Fund (EPF)

  • National Savings Certificate (NSC)

  • Life insurance premiums

  • Tuition fees for children

  • Principal repayment on home loans

  • Equity Linked Savings Schemes (ELSS)

Section 80D:

Allows deductions for health insurance premiums:

  • Up to ₹25,000 for self, spouse, and children.

  • An additional ₹25,000 for parents (₹50,000 if parents are senior citizens).

Section 80E:

Allows deductions for interest on education loans for higher studies. There is no limit on the amount, and it is available for up to 8 years or until the interest is fully repaid, whichever is earlier.

Section 80G:

Allows deductions for donations to specified charitable institutions. The deduction can be 50% or 100% of the donation amount, subject to certain limits.

Section 80TTA:

Allows deductions up to ₹10,000 on interest earned from savings accounts.

Section 80GGA:

Allows deductions for donations made towards scientific research or rural development.

Section 80CCD(1B):

Allows an additional deduction of up to ₹50,000 for contributions to the National Pension System (NPS), over and above the ₹1.5 lakh limit under Section 80C.

These deductions under Chapter VI-A enable salaried individuals to effectively reduce their taxable income, promoting savings, investments, and contributions to social causes. Proper planning and utilization of these deductions can lead to significant tax savings.


Form 16 and Its Importance for Salaried Individuals

Form 16 is a crucial document for salaried individuals in India, issued by employers to their employees. It serves as a certificate of tax deducted at source (TDS) from the employee's salary and provides a detailed summary of the employee's income and the taxes deducted during the financial year.

Components of Form 16:

  1. Part A: Contains details of the employer and employee, including names, addresses, PAN, TAN, and summary of tax deducted and deposited quarterly. This part is generated and downloaded from the TRACES portal.

  2. Part B: A detailed statement of the employee's income, including salary, other incomes, deductions claimed (under Chapter VI-A), and tax computation.

Importance of Form 16:

  1. Proof of Income and TDS: It acts as proof of income earned and taxes paid, helping employees in their tax return filings and assessments.

  2. Ease of Filing ITR: The detailed breakdown of income, deductions, and tax computations simplifies the process of filing Income Tax Returns (ITR), ensuring accuracy.

  3. Claiming Deductions: It provides a comprehensive list of deductions under various sections of the Income Tax Act, helping employees claim all eligible deductions.

  4. Verification by Tax Authorities: Form 16 is a standard document used by tax authorities to verify the income declared and taxes paid by the employee.

  5. Financial Documentation: It is often required for financial transactions like applying for loans, and visas, or during financial planning and audits.

Form 16 is indispensable for salaried individuals, ensuring compliance with tax laws and simplifying the tax filing process.


Filing Income Tax Returns (ITR) for Salaried Individuals

Filing Income Tax Returns (ITR) is a crucial responsibility for salaried individuals in India. It ensures compliance with tax laws and helps in claiming refunds and deductions.

Steps to File ITR:

  1. Collect Documents: Gather essential documents such as Form 16, salary slips, interest certificates, Form 26AS, and details of deductions under Chapter VI-A.

  2. Choose the Correct ITR Form: For salaried individuals, ITR-1 (Sahaj) is generally used. If there are additional sources of income like rental income, ITR-2 might be applicable.

  3. Register on the Income Tax Portal: If not already registered, create an account on the Income Tax e-filing portal (

  4. Fill in the ITR Form: Enter personal details, income details from Form 16, and other sources of income. Include deductions under various sections and compute the tax payable or refund due.

  5. Verify Tax Payable and Pay Any Balance: If there is any additional tax liability, pay it using the e-payment facility available on the portal.

  6. Submit and Verify ITR: After filling in the details, submit the ITR form. Verification can be done electronically using Aadhaar OTP, net banking, or by sending a signed physical copy of ITR-V to the Centralized Processing Center (CPC) in Bangalore.

Importance of Filing ITR:

  1. Legal Compliance: Filing ITR is mandatory for individuals earning above the basic exemption limit. It ensures compliance with tax laws and avoids penalties.

  2. Claiming Refunds: If excess tax has been deducted, filing ITR is necessary to claim refunds.

  3. Loan and Visa Applications: ITR receipts serve as proof of income and are often required for loan applications and visa processing.

  4. Carry Forward Losses: Filing ITR allows individuals to carry forward and set off losses against future income.

  5. Income Proof: It acts as a legal proof of income and tax payments.

Filing ITR on time and accurately is essential for financial planning and maintaining a good tax record.


Consequences of Non-Compliance

Non-compliance with income tax regulations can lead to several consequences for salaried individuals in India:

  1. Penalties and Interest: Failure to file Income Tax Returns (ITR) on time or underreporting income can result in penalties and interest charges. The penalty can be significant, ranging from a minimum of ₹5,000 to ₹10,000, depending on the delay and income level.

  2. Loss of Refunds: A delay in filing ITR can lead to losing out on eligible tax refunds. Refunds are processed only upon filing ITR, and any delay means the refund is also delayed.

  3. Legal Actions: Non-compliance may lead to legal actions such as scrutiny assessments, where tax authorities scrutinize the taxpayer's financial records. This can be time-consuming and may result in additional taxes, penalties, and legal expenses.

  4. Difficulty in Financial Transactions: Non-filing or delayed filing of ITR can create obstacles in financial transactions such as applying for loans, credit cards, or even visa applications where proof of income tax compliance is required.

  5. Disallowance of Deductions: Late filing or non-filing of ITR can lead to disallowance of deductions under various sections of the Income Tax Act. Deductions claimed under Section 80C, 80D, etc., may not be allowed if ITR is not filed within the due date.

  6. Prosecution: In extreme cases of deliberate evasion or fraud, the taxpayer may face prosecution under the Income Tax Act, which can lead to imprisonment and hefty fines.

Salaried individuals need to comply with income tax laws by filing their ITR accurately and on time to avoid these consequences and ensure smooth financial planning and compliance.


Recent Changes and Updates in TDS Provisions 2024

As of 2024, there have been several updates and changes in Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) provisions in India:

  1. Higher TDS on Non-Filers of ITR: Individuals who have not filed their Income Tax Returns (ITR) for the previous two assessment years and where the total TDS deducted exceeds ₹50,000 in each of those years will now face higher TDS rates. This aims to encourage the timely filing of ITRs.

  2. TDS on E-commerce Transactions: TDS provisions have been extended to include e-commerce transactions where TDS at the rate of 1% is applicable on gross amounts paid to sellers on e-commerce platforms. This helps in tracking income from online sales and ensuring tax compliance.

  3. TDS on Cash Withdrawals: TDS is now applicable on cash withdrawals exceeding certain limits from bank accounts under specified conditions. This is aimed at promoting digital payments and tracking high-value cash transactions.

  4. Changes in TDS Rates: There have been adjustments in TDS rates for various types of payments to align with the latest tax laws and revenue collection objectives.

  5. Enhanced Compliance and Reporting Requirements: There are stricter compliance norms and reporting requirements for deductors, ensuring accurate TDS deductions and timely deposit of TDS to the government.

These changes reflect ongoing efforts by the government to streamline TDS provisions, enhance tax compliance, and curb tax evasion in various sectors of the economy. Taxpayers and deductors must stay updated with these changes to avoid penalties and ensure smooth compliance with tax laws.



  • TDS is a vital component of the Indian tax system, ensuring regular revenue collection and promoting tax compliance.

  • For salaried individuals, understanding the intricacies of TDS, including calculation, exemptions, deductions, and filing requirements, is crucial for effective financial management.

  • By staying informed and compliant with TDS provisions, salaried employees can avoid penalties and ensure a smooth tax filing process.

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