Tax Collected at Source(TCS) – Meaning, Types & Dates

Tax Collected at Source (TCS) is a significant aspect of taxation that plays a crucial role in the country’s revenue collection system. It represents a method the government employs to track and regulate certain transactions, ensuring that appropriate taxes are paid at the source itself.

Understanding TCS is essential for both businesses and individuals to navigate tax compliance and contribute to the nation’s fiscal framework. This overview aims to shed light on the fundamentals of TCS, its applicability, and its impact on various sectors.

What is Tax Collected at the Source (TCS)?

Tax Collected at Source (TCS) is a tax levied by the government of India on certain specified transactions. It operates on the principle that the seller collects a percentage of the sale amount from the buyer and deposits it with the government. TCS is applicable to various goods and services to track and regulate transactions that have the potential for tax evasion.

One of the most common instances of TCS is in selling goods like automobiles, luxury cars, and high-value items. For instance, when a car dealer sells a luxury car, they collect an additional amount as TCS from the buyer. This TCS is then remitted to the government.

The rates at which TCS is levied vary depending on the nature of the transaction and the type of goods or services involved. It is collected by individuals or entities that are specified under the Income Tax Act 1961. They are required to obtain a Tax Collection and Deduction Account Number (TAN) and deposit the collected tax to the government. Non-compliance with TCS regulations can lead to penalties and legal repercussions.

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TCS Applicability

Tax Collected at Source (TCS) might sound a bit confusing, but let’s break it down step by step.

  • What’s being sold? The first thing to check is what item you’re buying or selling. Not everything has TCS. It’s mainly for special kinds of goods.
  • How much are you spending? There’s a set price limit. If your purchase crosses that line, then TCS comes into play.
  • Which goods come under TCS? Only certain items have this tax. Think of big things like cars or luxury items like alcoholic drinks. These are just examples, and there’s a whole list to look at.
  • Paying in cash? We all know cash is hard to track. So, if you’re spending a big chunk of cash, this might attract TCS.

Types of Goods Covered under TCS & Rates

The rates and types of goods subject to TCS can change over time due to amendments in tax laws. Therefore, it’s important to consult the latest information from official sources or consult a tax professional for the most up-to-date and accurate information.


Rate of TCS

Alcoholic Liquor


Tendu Leaves




Forest Produce






Now, let’s break down what these percentages actually mean for each product:

Alcoholic Liquor

If you were to buy a bottle of fancy wine for Rs 1,000, there would be an extra Rs 10 (1% of 1000) added as TCS. So, you’d pay Rs 1010 in total.

Tendu Leaves

Widely used to roll beedis, tendu leaves have a 5% TCS. If they cost Rs 50, the price goes up by Rs 2.5 due to TCS.

Timber & Forest Produce

If you’re considering buying timber for furniture or collecting forest produce, 2.5% is added as TCS. For a Rs 100 purchase, that’s an extra Rs 2.5.


Say you’re selling scrap metal worth Rs 1000; expect an extra Rs 10 on the total due to TCS.


Buying minerals? An additional 1% would be added. That means, for minerals worth Rs 500, there’s an added Rs 5 for TCS.

Understanding Buyer and Seller in the Context of TCS

TCS (Tax Collected at Source) is a mechanism where the seller collects a tax amount from the buyer at the time of sale. But who exactly qualifies as a buyer or seller in this scenario? Let’s break it down in simpler terms.

1. Who is the Buyer?

The buyer is essentially anyone who obtains or buys goods. However, not everyone who obtains goods is considered a “buyer” under TCS rules. Certain entities are excluded:

Public Sector Companies

These are companies that are owned by the government, and when they buy goods, they aren’t treated as typical buyers for TCS purposes.

Government Entities

This includes both the Central and State Governments. When they’re making purchases, they don’t fall under the usual ‘buyer’ label in the context of TCS.

International Entities

Embassies, consulates, and other international organisations that might be operating in a country also don’t qualify as standard buyers.

2. Who is the Seller?

The seller is the person or entity that sells or provides goods. Specific definitions under TCS include:

Central Government

In certain scenarios, when the government sells goods, they act as the seller.


Any registered company, big or small, that sells goods.

Partnership Firms

Firms or businesses where two or more people have shared ownership and they sell goods.
In essence, TCS is designed to make transactions transparent and ensure that the correct tax amount is paid. By clearly defining who the buyer and seller are, the government is able to manage and track these transactions efficiently.

TCS Return Due Dates Explained

Tax Collected at Source requires sellers to collect tax from buyers during certain sales transactions. But after collecting this tax, when and how should it be remitted to the government? Here’s a simple explanation to help you understand the due dates for paying the collected TCS.

Period of Collection

Due Date for TCS Payment

Simple Explanation

April – June

July 15th

If you collected TCS anytime between April and June, you should pay that to the government by the 15th of July.

July – September

October 15th

Any TCS amount accumulated between July and September needs to be paid by the 15th of October.

October – December

January 15th

If you gathered TCS during the months of October to December, the payment deadline is the 15th of January.

January – March

May 15th

For TCS collected in the last quarter, between January and March, the due date for payment is the 15th of May.

In simpler terms, after you’ve collected the tax from your buyers, there are specific dates in the following months by which you need to pass that collected tax to the government. It ensures timely collection of revenue and smooth operations for both businesses and the tax department. Always ensure to mark these dates in your calendar to avoid any late payment issues.

Penalty of TCS

The penalty for non-compliance with Tax Collected at Source regulations in India can be substantial. If a collector fails to collect TCS or doesn’t deposit the collected amount to the government, they may face a penalty equal to the amount of TCS that should have been collected.

Additionally, interest may be levied on the delayed deposit of TCS. Intentional evasion or fraudulent practices can lead to further penalties and even prosecution. It’s crucial for collectors to adhere to TCS provisions, including timely filing of returns, to avoid incurring penalties and legal consequences under the Income Tax Act.

Understanding TCS Exemptions

Tax Collected at Source (TCS) is a form of tax that sellers collect from buyers during specific sales. However, not all sales require this tax collection. For instance, the seller doesn’t need to collect TCS when selling goods to the government, embassies, or certain special groups that the government has listed (known as “notified persons”). Why? Because these entities are given special status. Also, if a product has already had a tax applied at its creation or manufacturing stage, like the excise duty, it’s typically spared from TCS. In short, while it applies to many sales, there are certain exceptions to keep in mind.

Difference Between TDS and TCS





Tax Deducted at Source

Tax Collected at Source


At the time of credit or payment

At the time of receipt of amount


By the payer of the income

By the receiver of income


On services or specified goods

Mainly on goods

In simple words, TDS is taken before you get money for a job. TCS is taken when you pay money to buy something.

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