Section 195 of the Income Tax Act 1961 is a crucial provision for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and foreign entities engaging in financial transactions with India. It mandates the deduction of Tax at Source (TDS) on any sums chargeable under the Act and payable to a non-resident or a foreign company. 

In this blog, we explore how Section 195 is crucial in ensuring that the Indian government secures tax dues on income accrued or arising in India to non-residents.

Through diligent adherence to this section, the Indian tax authorities aim to regulate and monitor cross-border transactions, thereby preventing tax evasion and ensuring compliance with the country's tax regulations.

What is Section 195 of the Income Tax Act?

  • Purpose and Importance: Section 195 pertains to the Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) on payments made to non-residents by individuals or entities in India. It ensures compliance with tax obligations on income that accrues or arises in India to a non-resident.
  • Scope of Applicability: This section covers various forms of income payable to non-residents, including interest, royalties, and fees for technical services.
  • Prevention of Tax Evasion: The mechanism of TDS under this section is designed to prevent tax evasion, ensuring that taxes due to the Indian government are collected upfront at the point of payment.
  • Who Must Deduct TDS: Any person making a payment to non-residents, whether an individual, a firm, or a corporation, is responsible for deducting the applicable tax before remitting the payment.

Rate of TDS under Section 195 of the Income Tax Act

  • Varied Rates: The TDS rate under Section 195 is dependent on the type of income being remitted to the non-resident. Rates are specified by the Income Tax Act and can vary significantly based on the income category.
  • Influence of DTAAs: Rates may be adjusted based on the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and the non-resident's country, which can sometimes reduce the TDS rate.
  • General Rate Range: Typically, the TDS rates under this section can range from 10% to 20%, but specific rates for different types of income need to be verified as per current tax laws.
  • Application for Lower Deduction: Under Section 195(2), the payer has the option to approach the Assessing Officer to determine the precise sum chargeable and the applicable rate of TDS, ensuring accurate tax deduction and compliance.

The Scope and Significance of Section 195

  • Applicable to various payments made to non-residents, including interest, dividends, royalties, and fees for technical services.
  • Crucial for the taxation of cross-border transactions involving NRIs and foreign companies.
  • TDS rates under Section 195 are influenced by the nature of income and any applicable Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs).

Compliance and Reporting under Section 195

  • Mandatory for all payers to make tax-chargeable payments to non-residents, including individuals and companies.
  • Requires deduction of TDS at prescribed rates before making any payment.
  • It features a provision under Section 195(2) allowing payers to consult with the Assessing Officer to determine the exact portion of income subject to TDS and the applicable rate.

Unique Aspects of Section 195

  • Targets, specifically payments made to non-residents, address the complexities of international financial transactions.
  • Ensures efficient tax collection on income generated in India by non-residents.
  • Includes specific provisions for real estate transactions (referred to as "tds on purchase of property from NRI"), mandating TDS deduction on sale proceeds paid to NRIs.

Consequences of not complying with Section 195 of the Income Tax Act

Failure to comply with the provisions of Section 195 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 results in several significant penalties and financial implications:

  • Disallowance of Expenses: If taxes are not deducted at source as required, the expense related to this payment cannot be deducted for tax purposes under Section 40(a)(i) of the Income Tax Act.
  • Interest Charges: Failure to remit the tax deducted within the prescribed time frame will incur an interest charge at a rate of 1.5% per month or part thereof, calculated from the date the tax was deducted until the date it is actually deposited.
  • Penalties for Non-payment: If the tax deducted at source (TDS) is not deposited at all, a penalty equal to the amount of TDS that should have been paid will be imposed.
  • Penalty for Under-deduction: If tax is under-deducted, a penalty equal to the difference between the amount that should have been deducted and the amount actually deducted will be levied.


In summary, Section 195 of the Income Tax Act plays a critical role in the taxation landscape for cross-border transactions involving NRIs. Understanding and complying with this provision is essential for payers and recipients to ensure smooth financial transactions and adherence to India's tax regulations.


Q1. What is Section 195 of the Income Tax Act, and how does it affect NRIs?

Section 195 of the Income Tax Act mandates tax deduction at source (TDS) on any income payable to NRIs that is chargeable under the Act. This provision affects NRIs by requiring the payer in India to deduct tax on any income remitted or paid to them, ensuring that the Indian government secures its tax revenue on such transactions.

Q2. Who is liable under Section 195 of the Income Tax Act?

Any person paying to a non-resident or a foreign company that is chargeable under the Income Tax Act is liable under Section 195. This includes individuals, companies, partnerships, or any entity that makes such payments, requiring them to deduct TDS at the applicable rates.

Q3. What types of transactions does Section 195 cover for NRIs?

Section 195 covers a wide range of transactions for NRIs, including interest, dividends, royalties, fees for technical services, and any other income accrued or arising in India. It also applies to the sale of property by NRIs, where the buyer must deduct TDS from the purchase amount.

Q4. Are there any exemptions or thresholds for compliance with Section 195?

Yes, there are exemptions and thresholds under Section 195, which depend on the type of income and applicable DTAA provisions. Lower TDS rates may apply for certain incomes, and some incomes may be exempt from TDS if specified conditions are met. It's important to consult the Act or a tax professional to understand these exemptions and thresholds.

Q5. How does Section 195 impact NRIs receiving income from India?

Section 195 impacts NRIs receiving income from India by imposing a TDS requirement on such income. This means that any income paid to NRIs from sources within India will be subject to TDS deduction by the payer, impacting the net amount received by the NRIs. It ensures tax compliance and facilitates the collection of taxes on income earned by NRIs in India.

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