TDS vs TCS: Understanding Tax Deducted at Source and Tax Collected at Source

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Taxation is crucial to any country’s financial system, and India is no exception. Two significant tax collection mechanisms in the Indian income tax system are TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) and TCS (Tax Collected at Source). These mechanisms have distinct roles and implications for taxpayers. In this blog post, we will explore the basics of TCS vs TDS.

What is TDS on Salary?

TDS, which stands for Tax Deducted at Source, is a method employed to collect tax at the source. In this process, the payer deducts a specified amount of tax from payments made to the payee for certain services or income. The deducted tax is then remitted to the government. The payee can claim a tax credit based on Form 26AS or a TDS certificate issued by the payer.

TDS is applicable to a wide range of payments, including salaries, interest, commissions, rent, professional fees, royalties, and technical services. The applicable TDS rates vary based on the nature of the payment and the payee’s status. 

For example, TDS on salary is deducted according to the income tax slab rates, while TDS on interest is withheld at 10% if the payee has provided their PAN and 20% otherwise.

TDS aims to ensure tax collection at the source of income, prevent tax evasion, and ease the burden of paying a lump sum of tax at the end of the financial year for the payee.

What is TCS?

TCS, or Tax Collected at Source, is a tax collection mechanism where the seller collects tax from the buyer when selling specific goods or services. The seller is responsible for collecting the tax at the prescribed rate and remitting it to the government. Like TDS, the buyer can claim a tax credit based on Form 26AS or a TCS certificate issued by the seller.

TCS applies to certain goods and services that are prone to black money generation or cash transactions, such as scrap, liquor, timber, minerals, motor vehicles, overseas tour packages, parking lot fees, and toll plaza charges. The rates of TCS vary depending on the nature of the goods or services and the buyer’s status.

For example, TCS on scrap is collected at 1%, while TCS on motor vehicles exceeding Rs. 10 lakh is collected at 1%.

TCS serves the purpose of tracking high-value transactions, curbing black money generation, collecting tax at an earlier stage, and improving overall tax compliance.

Differences Between TDS and TCS

The primary distinction between TDS and TCS is the point at which the tax is either deducted or collected:

  • TDS is deducted from the payment made by the payer to the payee, while TCS is collected from the payment received by the seller from the buyer.
  • TDS is applicable to various types of income or services, whereas TCS applies to specific goods or services prone to cash transactions and black money generation.

Other notable differences between TDS and TCS include the terminology used for the parties involved, the timing of tax deduction or collection, the rate of deduction or collection, and the due dates for depositing tax, filing returns, and issuing annual certificates.

TDS and TCS with Examples

Example of TDS: Let’s say you earn interest income from a fixed deposit with a bank. The bank, as the payer, deducts a percentage of the interest amount before crediting it to your account and pays this amount to the government as TDS.

Example of TCS: Consider the sale of scrap material. If you are a seller of scrap, you would collect a specific percentage of the sale amount from the buyer and remit this TCS to the government.

Differences between TDS and TCS

AspectTDS (Tax Deducted at Source)TCS (Tax Collected at Source)
ApplicabilityOn various types of income, including salaries, interest, rent, and professional fees.On specified goods and services like minerals, forest products, and certain online services.
Collection PartyDeducted and deposited by the payer or deductor (e.g., employer, bank).Collected and deposited by the seller or service provider (e.g., seller of goods, service provider).
Purpose:Ensures a steady collection of income tax throughout the year.Ensures tax collection at the time of sale or provision of services.
Nature of TransactionIncome is received, and tax is deducted before payment is made.Tax is collected at the time of the sale of goods or services.
FrequencyOccurs regularly with income payments.Occurs at the time of specific transactions.

Consequences in case of the Failure to Deposit TDS or TCS

What happens when you fail to collect or deposit tax? –Failure to comply with TDS or TCS regulations can have significant repercussions:

  • Interest: Interest is charged on the amount of tax that was not deducted or collected or was not deposited on time. The interest rate is 1% per month or part thereof.
  • Penalty: Penalties equal to tax not deducted or collected can be imposed. However, the Assessing Officer may waive the penalty for reasonable causes.
  • Prosecution: If a person willfully fails to deduct or collect tax, prosecution can be initiated, resulting in imprisonment ranging from 3 months to 7 years and fines.

Is TCS Refundable?

TCS is refundable if the buyer has paid more tax than their actual tax liability or if the collected tax exceeds the applicable tax rate. Buyers can claim a refund by filing their income tax return and indicating the TCS amount as prepaid tax. The income tax department will process the refund after verifying the TCS details with the seller.

However, if the buyer has no taxable income or has already claimed the benefit of TCS against their tax liability, they cannot claim a TCS refund.

Are TDS and TCS applicable to the same transaction?

TDS and TCS are not simultaneously applicable to the same transaction. If a transaction falls under both TDS and TCS provisions, only one will apply. TDS takes priority over TCS, with some exceptions.

For instance, if a person purchases a motor vehicle worth Rs. 15 lakh from a dealer, both TDS (if the dealer’s turnover exceeds Rs. 10 crore) and TCS (if the buyer’s turnover exceeds Rs. 10 crore) will be applicable. In this case, only TDS is deducted at 0.1%, and the seller collects no TCS.

However, if a person buys scrap worth Rs. 60 lakh from a dealer, TDS and TCS apply due to a specific provision. In this case, TDS is deducted at 0.1%, and TCS is collected without considering TDS provisions.

How to Pay TDS and TCS

Paying TDS and TCS is convenient, with online and offline options available. Online payments can be made through the e-payment facility provided by the income tax department. This method requires filling out Challan ITNS 281 with essential details and selecting your bank for payment.

Alternatively, you can pay TDS and TCS offline by visiting an authorised bank branch with a completed Challan ITNS 281 form and paying in cash or by cheque.


 In summary, TDS and TCS are both tax collection mechanisms used by the government to ensure efficient tax collection. TDS deducts tax at the source of income, while TCS collects tax at the source of certain transactions. Understanding the differences between the two is crucial for both payers and recipients to comply with tax regulations effectively.


Who will pay TDS and TCS?

TDS is paid by the payer or the buyer, who deducts tax at source and deposits it to the government. TCS is paid by the seller or collector of goods or services, who are responsible for collecting tax at the source and remitting it to the government. 

Is TCS applicable if TDS is deducted?

No, TCS is not applicable if TDS is deducted. According to section 206C (1H) of the Income Tax Act, TCS provisions on the sale of goods do not apply in case the buyer is liable to deduct TDS- tax at source under any other Act provision and has deducted such amount. 

Can TCS be refunded?

Yes, TCS can be refunded if the amount paid exceeds the actual tax liability of the payer. They can claim a refund by providing transaction details in their income tax return, such as the amount, seller’s PAN, and the TCS certificate. 

What is the penalty for failing to collect tax at source?

Failure to collect tax at source, as required under Chapter XVII-BB of the Income Tax Act, can result in a penalty equal to the uncollected tax amount.

What is the penalty for failure to deposit TDS?

Failure to deposit the tax deducted at source within the prescribed time leads to interest at 1% per month or part of a month on the unpaid amount. Similar to TCS, if there is a reasonable cause for the failure, no penalty will be levied under section 273B of the Income Tax Act.

What happens if you fail to pay income tax?

Failure to pay income tax on time or file income tax returns can result in consequences like interest and penalties, including late filing, under-reporting, or misreporting of income. It may also lead to prosecution, imprisonment, asset seizure, denial of refunds, and loss of other benefits, affecting one’s credit score and eligibility for loans, credit cards, insurance policies, or government subsidies., etc.


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