The Finance Act, 2017 inserted new section 194-IB to provide that an Individual or a HUF (other than those covered under clause (a) & (b) of section 44AB of the Act), responsible for paying to a resident any income by way of rent exceeding fifty thousand rupees for a month or part of month during the previous year, shall deduct an amount equal to five per cent. of such income as income-tax
It is further provided that tax shall be deducted on such income at the time of credit of rent, for the last month of the previous year or the last month of tenancy if the property is vacated during the year, as the case may be, to the account of the payee or at the time of payment thereof in cash or by issue of a cheque or draft or by any other mode, whichever is earlier.
(1) The amount on which tax needs to be deducted in the last month of the previous year would generally be the total rent paid during the previous year. However, in a case when the monthly rent currently does not exceed Rs.50,000 but the same is increased, say, in the month of February and the increased rent amount exceeds Rs.50,000 per month, then it is not clear on what amount the tax needs to be deducted. Whether the tax needs to be deducted on the rent paid during that previous year although the rent per month for some of the months is less than Rs.50,000 p.m or the rent needs to be deducted on the aggregate amount of rent for the months where rent has exceeded Rs.50,000 pm.
(2) Since it is also provided that the deductor shall be liable to deduct tax only once in a previous year, requisite measures for one time remittance of tax by such deductor may be implemented to facilitate easy compliance.
It is suggested that a suitable clarification be issued clarifying the amount on which tax needs to be deducted under section 194-IB in case the monthly rent has been increased during the year and the amount of rent per month before such increment was less than Rs 50,000.