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Navigating GST and TDS on Rent: A Comprehensive Guide for Tenants

Comprehensive Guide on GST on Rent


Goods and Services Tax (GST) is an indirect tax implemented in India on the supply of goods and services. One of the significant areas where GST is applicable is the rental income derived from the leasing of commercial properties. This guide will provide an in-depth understanding of how GST applies to rent, the implications for landlords and tenants, and the procedural aspects involved.

Overview of GST on Rent

GST on rent primarily applies to commercial properties. Residential properties leased out for personal use are generally exempt from GST. However, any property used for business or commercial purposes attracts GST.

Applicability of GST on Rent

  1. Commercial Properties:
    • Any property rented or leased for commercial or business purposes is subject to GST.
    • The current GST rate on commercial rent is 18%.
  2. Residential Properties:
    • Residential properties rented out for residential purposes are exempt from GST.
    • If a residential property is rented out for commercial purposes, it attracts GST.
  3. Mixed-Use Properties:
    • Properties used for both residential and commercial purposes can complicate GST calculations. The proportion of the property used for commercial purposes will attract GST.

Registration Requirements

  1. Landlords:
    • Landlords whose aggregate turnover exceeds the threshold limit of Rs. 20 lakhs (Rs. 10 lakhs in special category states) are required to register for GST.
    • The turnover includes all taxable supplies, exempt supplies, exports of goods or services, and inter-state supplies.
  2. Tenants:
    • Tenants who are registered under GST need to pay GST on the rent through the reverse charge mechanism if the landlord is not registered.

Input Tax Credit (ITC)

  • Eligibility:
    • Tenants who are registered under GST can claim Input Tax Credit (ITC) for the GST paid on rent, provided the property is used for business purposes.
    • ITC can be utilized to offset the tax liability on other goods and services supplied by the tenant.

Invoicing and Documentation

  1. Invoice:
    • The landlord must issue a GST-compliant invoice to the tenant, including details such as the GSTIN of the landlord, the rate and amount of GST charged, and a description of the property rented.
  2. Documentation:
    • Both parties should maintain records of lease agreements, rent receipts, and invoices to ensure compliance and facilitate audits.

Filing GST Returns

  • Landlords must include rental income in their GST returns (GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B).
  • Tenants, if paying GST under reverse charge, must report this in their GST returns.

GST Exemptions and Special Cases

  1. Non-Commercial Properties:
    • Properties rented out for educational, religious, or charitable purposes might be exempt from GST if specific conditions are met.
  2. Government and Local Authorities:
    • Rentals received by the government or local authorities for functions listed under Article 243W of the Constitution are exempt from GST.

Impact on Different Stakeholders

  1. Landlords:
    • Need to ensure proper GST registration and compliance to avoid penalties.
    • Must be aware of the input tax credit and how it impacts their overall tax liability.
  2. Tenants:
    • Should verify the landlord’s GST registration status.
    • Must account for GST in their financial planning and ensure timely payment and ITC claims.

Practical Scenarios and Examples

  1. Commercial Office Space:
    • If a landlord rents out an office space for Rs. 50,000 per month, the GST at 18% will be Rs. 9,000. The total rent inclusive of GST will be Rs. 59,000.
  2. Co-Working Spaces:
    • Co-working spaces leased out for business purposes are subject to GST. The operators can claim ITC on the GST paid on rent and other expenses.
  3. Retail Outlets:
    • A retail outlet rented for business will attract GST on the rental amount. The retailer can claim ITC, reducing the overall tax burden.

Common Challenges and Solutions

  1. Compliance:
    • Keeping track of compliance requirements can be challenging for landlords with multiple properties. Using accounting software that integrates GST compliance can help.
  2. Dispute Resolution:
    • Disputes may arise regarding GST applicability. Clear lease agreements and maintaining proper documentation can mitigate these issues.
  3. ITC Claims:
    • Tenants must ensure proper documentation and timely filing of returns to claim ITC without issues.

TDS on Rent under GST

In addition to GST, the tenant may also be required to deduct Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) on the rent paid to the landlord under certain circumstances. The provisions related to TDS on rent are governed by the Income Tax Act, 1961.

Applicability of TDS on Rent

  1. Threshold Limit:
    • TDS on rent is applicable if the total rent paid or payable during a financial year exceeds Rs. 2.4 lakhs.
  2. Rate of TDS:
    • The rate of TDS on rent for immovable properties (land, building, or both) is 10%.
  3. Entities Required to Deduct TDS:
    • Individuals and Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs) who are subject to tax audit under Section 44AB of the Income Tax Act are required to deduct TDS.
    • Entities such as companies, firms, etc., are always required to deduct TDS on rent, irrespective of whether they are subject to tax audit or not.
  4. Section 194-IB:
    • Under Section 194-IB, individuals or HUFs not covered under tax audit can also be required to deduct TDS on rent if the monthly rent exceeds Rs. 50,000. The rate of TDS in this case is 5%.

TDS vs. GST on Rent

  • GST on Rent:
    • The tenant must pay GST on the rent if the property is used for commercial purposes and the landlord is registered under GST.
    • The current GST rate is 18%.
  • TDS on Rent:
    • The tenant must deduct TDS from the rent payment and deposit it with the government if the rent exceeds the threshold limit.
    • The rate of TDS is generally 10%, but under certain conditions (e.g., Section 194-IB), it can be 5%.

Procedural Aspects

  1. TDS Deduction:
    • Calculate the TDS amount based on the applicable rate.
    • Deduct the TDS from the total rent payable to the landlord.
  2. Deposit of TDS:
    • The TDS deducted must be deposited with the government within the stipulated time frame (usually by the 7th of the following month).
    • Use the appropriate challan (e.g., Challan No./ITNS 281) for depositing TDS.
  3. TDS Certificate:
    • The tenant must issue a TDS certificate (Form 16A) to the landlord, detailing the TDS deducted and deposited.
    • The certificate should be issued within the prescribed time frame.
  4. Filing TDS Returns:
    • The tenant must file TDS returns (e.g., Form 26QC for Section 194-IB) with the Income Tax Department, providing details of the TDS deducted and deposited.

Example Scenario

Let’s consider an example to illustrate the combined impact of GST and TDS on rent:

  • Monthly rent: Rs. 1,00,000
  • Annual rent: Rs. 12,00,000

GST Calculation:

  • GST rate: 18%
  • Monthly GST: Rs. 18,000
  • Total monthly rent including GST: Rs. 1,18,000

TDS Calculation:

  • Annual rent exceeds Rs. 2.4 lakhs, so TDS is applicable.
  • TDS rate: 10%
  • Monthly TDS: Rs. 10,000
  • Monthly rent payable after TDS: Rs. 90,000

In this scenario, the tenant will:

  • Pay Rs. 90,000 to the landlord after deducting TDS.
  • Deposit Rs. 10,000 as TDS to the government.
  • Pay Rs. 18,000 as GST to the landlord, who will then remit it to the government.

Compliance Checklist for Tenants

  1. Verify Threshold Limits:
    • Check if the total annual rent exceeds Rs. 2.4 lakhs to determine TDS applicability.
  2. GST Compliance:
    • Ensure GST is paid on the rent if the property is used for commercial purposes.
  3. TDS Deduction and Deposit:
    • Deduct TDS at the applicable rate and deposit it within the due date.
  4. Issue TDS Certificate:
    • Provide the landlord with a TDS certificate.
  5. File TDS Returns:
    • Submit the necessary TDS returns to the Income Tax Department.


Navigating the complexities of GST and TDS on rent is crucial for tenants leasing commercial properties. Understanding the applicability, rates, and procedural requirements for both taxes ensures compliance and avoids potential penalties. Tenants need to be diligent in verifying threshold limits, deducting and depositing TDS, and ensuring GST payments are made accurately. Proper record-keeping and timely issuance of TDS certificates further facilitate smooth transactions and compliance with tax regulations. By following the comprehensive guidelines provided, tenants can effectively manage their tax obligations and maintain a transparent relationship with landlords and tax authorities.



Navigating GST and TDS on Rent: A Comprehensive Guide for Tenants

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