Post Office Senior Citizen Savings Scheme: Caution to depositors
Voice of The Reader

Post Office Senior Citizen Savings Scheme: Caution to depositors

June 7, 2024

Sir,

I wish to bring to the attention of senior citizens, who have opened the popular deposit scheme of Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS) at Post Offices about the ‘unseen hand’ deducting TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) despite giving Form 15H. SCSS has become more attractive because of the recent enhancement of its upper limit from Rs. 15 lakh to Rs. 30 lakh per person and its renewable feature any number of times.

I write this with my own experience of facing a wrong deduction of tax (TDS) despite submitting Form 15H in due time. I had to struggle for nearly six months to get a refund, only recently.

I wish to advise senior citizens to get an acknowledgement of having submitted Form 15H from the counter person and preserve it for use when needed.

Also, I advise them to get their SCSS passbook updated regularly once in 3 months and see if any wrong deduction of tax has taken place. If they notice any such deduction, they must immediately approach the accounts section of the Office of Superintendent of Post Offices, Mysuru Region, near Akashvani Circle, Yadavagiri.

1. At present, there is no system of giving an acknowledgement separately or as a tearable part of Form 15H. The depositor will submit Form 15H and in good faith leave the counter that it will be diligently entered into the computer by the counter person. However, a lapse may take place unintentionally, leading to a lot of hardships in due course of time.

2. Savings Bank (SB) passbook does not have any column showing TDS. So merely updating the SB passbook, which is what is normally done, does not directly reflect any deduction.

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3. Once the amount is deducted wrongly, a refund at the Regional Office is tedious and long drawn because it needs an internal enquiry and fixing of the person responsible for the lapse.

4. In such cases, depositors are advised by the accounts office to claim the refund from the Income Tax Department by duly filing the ITR after the end of the financial year (31st March).

I have noticed that many senior depositors have never filed ITRs in their lifespans because their annual income is below the taxable limit. For such depositors, it will be an additional expense to seek the help of a CA or others to get a refund after filing the ITR.

I appeal to the authorities at the helm of the Postal Department to look into the issue and take appropriate measures to advise and alleviate the hardship faced by innocent depositors, especially at the rural and small-town levels.

— B.S. Shankara, Mysuru, 5.6.2024

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