As per section 200(3)Any person deducting any sum on or after the 1st day of April, 2005 in accordance with the foregoing provisions of this Chapter or, as the case may be, any person being an employer referred to in sub-section (1A) of section 192 shall, after paying the tax deducted to the credit of the Central Government within the prescribed time, prepare quarterly statements for the period ending on the 30th June, the 30th September, the 31st December and the 31st March in each financial year and deliver or cause to be delivered to the prescribed income-tax authority73 or the person authorised by such authority such statement in such form74 and verified in such manner and setting forth such particulars and within such time as may be prescribed.]
so in this section in words given in red colour suggests that if any tax deducted by the assessee, only than liability to file the etds statement is arises.so in my view nil statement is not mandatory.
OFFICIAL COMMENT ON NIL ETDS/ETCS RETURN
FAQ on Form 24 answered on TIN-nsdl website is reproduced hereunder
"Q10. If there is no deduction in a particular quarter, should I file the NIL statement?
Ans.10 :The filing of a NIL statement is not mandatory. "
"Q11. In case of NIL statement in the fourth quarter, do I need to show salary details of deductees mentioned in first three quarters?
Ans.11 If there is no deduction in the fourth quarter but statements for all or any of the first three quarters were filed, statement for the fourth quarter giving only salary details (Annexure II) should be filed. "
link to this answer on official website is given below
FILE Q4 24 Q RETURN EVEN NO DEDUCTION OF TAX IN Q4
Though nil return is not mandatory yet in cas e of form 24 q q4
-- if there is no deduction in forth quarter
-- but tax was deducted in any of the first three quarter
--than you should file form 24q ,keep challan detail and annex-I deductee detail blank and give detail in annex-II
WHAT IF DEPT HAS/WILL ISSUED A LETTER FOR NON FILLING
Income tax dept is issuing letters for non filling of etds/etcs returns.but dont worry as i it is clear that nil return is not mandatory ,we can reply them on a simple paper.
Inconsistencies in ETDS returns
Do and Don'ts while tax deposit
SCOPE OF ETDS/ETCS STATEMENT ENHANCED(from 01/09/07)
FAQ (ETDS/ETCS STATEMENTS)
FREE SOFTWARE FOR ETDS/ETCS STATEMENTS
NON FILLING OF ETDS STATEMENTS
DUE DATES OF ETDS/ETCS RETURN
TDS RATES 2007-08 EXCEL
NEW RETURN TO BE FILLED BY ALL GOVT ACCOUNTS OFFIC...
PAN FILLED 280,282,283
TAN FILLED 281
link to this answer on official website