Optimized Guide to Taxation and Accounting for Private Limited Companies in India

Optimized Guide to Taxation and Accounting for Private Limited Companies in India


Private limited companies are a popular choice for entrepreneurs in India, offering advantages like limited liability, capital raising flexibility, and ownership control. However, taxation and accounting for these companies can be complex. This comprehensive guide will explain taxation for private limited companies in India, corporate tax rates and calculations, available tax benefits and deductions, mandatory accounting and compliance requirements, income tax return filing, penalties for non-compliance, and more.

With practical insights and expert tips, this guide aims to help business owners navigate the intricate world of corporate taxation and regulations in India. Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned entrepreneur, read on to uncover all you need to know to effectively manage taxation and accounting for your private limited company.

Overview of Taxation for Private Limited Companies

In India, taxes are categorized as direct or indirect. Direct taxes like income tax and capital gains tax are levied directly on the company’s income and profits. Indirect taxes like GST are imposed on distribution of goods and services.

Private limited companies enjoy many tax advantages over other structures. These include:

  • Lower corporate tax rates
  • Tax deductions for expenses like asset depreciation
  • Exemption from Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT)
  • Compensating directors through salaries reduces tax (dividends are taxable)

For example, a manufacturing company can reduce tax liability by opting for Section 115BAA and paying 22% flat corporate tax rates on income, irrespective of turnover thresholds.

Therefore, understanding corporate taxation is key. Companies should utilize available tax exemptions, deductions, incentives and maximize use of salaries over dividends to optimize after-tax income. Proper accounting and auditing also help minimize tax incidence.

Corporate Income Tax Rates and Calculation

Income tax is levied on a company’s total taxable income, which is closely linked to book profits. Tax liability arises only when total income is positive.

Income tax rates vary based on:

  1. Turnover thresholds
  2. Residential status (domestic or foreign company)
  3. Nature of business (manufacturing, services etc.)

Domestic Company Tax Rates:

A. Turnover above Rs. 400 crores:

  • 30% flat on first Rs 1 crore net income
  • Rs 3 lakhs plus 30% on income from Rs 1-10 crores
  • Rs 3 crores plus 30% on income exceeding Rs 10 crores

B. Turnover below Rs. 400 crores:

  • 25% flat on first Rs 1 crore net income
  • Rs 2.5 lakhs plus 25% on income from Rs 1-10 crores
  • Rs 2.5 crores plus 25% on income exceeding Rs 10 crores

C. Domestic Manufacturing Companies:

Certain new manufacturing companies can opt for beneficial corporate tax rates under Section 115BAA and 115BAB of the Income Tax Act.

In addition, surcharges, cesses are levied:

  • Surcharge – 10% if income exceeds Rs 1 crore (capped at 15% for listed companies)
  • Cess – 4% of income tax + surcharge (Health & Education cess)

Foreign Company Tax Rates:

Foreign companies in India are taxed at a flat 40% corporate tax rate on total income. Surcharge of 2% is applied if income exceeds Rs 1 crore but is less than Rs 10 crores. If income exceeds Rs 10 crores, surcharge of 5% is applicable. Cess is 4%.

Therefore, tax planning opportunities exist for private limited companies to minimize tax incidence. Choosing optimal business structure, claiming deductions for expenses, timing income recognition, and utilizing tax exemptions/incentives can help reduce overall tax liability.

Tax Benefits and Deductions

Numerous tax benefits are available for private limited companies in India, allowing them to reduce their tax outgo and improve bottom line profits.

  1. Director Salaries: Paying directors a salary instead of dividends can help reduce tax liability substantially. Salaries are tax deductible business expenses whereas dividends are taxable in directors’ hands. Salaries can optimize after-tax income for both company and directors.
  2. Preliminary Expenses: Expenses incurred during company registration like stamp duties, legal fees, printing charges can be written off over 5 years, reducing taxable income in the initial years.
  3. Rent: If the registered office is rented in a director’s name, then rent can be claimed as deductible business expenditure.
  4. Bonus/Commissions: Performance linked bonus/commission paid to directors as a percentage of profit are deductible from company’s taxable income.
  5. Leave Encashment: Unavailed leave can be encashed by employees and directors at the time of retirement and claimed as deduction while computing taxable income.
  6. Employee Benefits: Expenses incurred on employee benefits like gratuity, PF, health insurance can be claimed as business deductions under Section 36(1)(iv) and 37(1).
  7. Depreciation: Depreciation on tangible assets like machinery, furniture can be claimed as deduction under Section 32. Higher depreciation of 40% is available on some assets.
  8. Amortization: Intangible assets like trademarks, licenses, patents are eligible for depreciation of 25% under Section 32(1)(ii)
  9. Carry Forward Losses: Business losses if any can be carried forward and set off against income for next 8 assessment years, reducing future tax liability.
  10. Capital Gains Reinvestment: Capital gains earned on certain asset sales can be invested tax-free under Section 54.

Therefore, strategic use of available deductions, exemptions, rebates and relief provisions helps minimize company’s tax burden. Proper tax planning and projections are key.

Accounting and Compliance

Financial Reporting

  • All companies must maintain books of accounts and get them audited annually.
  • Books of accounts act as basis for computing total taxable income.
  • Financial statements like balance sheet and P&L accounts offer snapshot of company’s financial position.

Statutory Audit

  • It is compulsory for all private limited companies to conduct statutory audit by an independent auditor.
  • Scope includes verifying financial records, testing accuracy of financial statements, ensuring adherence to accounting standards.
  • Audit report highlights material misstatements or errors to improve integrity of financial information.

Annual Compliances

Some key annual compliance requirements are:

  1. Income Tax Return Filing:
  • Due date is September 30 for financial year ending March 31
  • Mandatory for all companies regardless of turnover or profitability
  • ITR-6 is the relevant form
  1. Appointing an Auditor:
  • Auditor must be appointed within 30 days of incorporation
  • Consent and eligibility certificates are required from auditor
  • ADT-1 form must be filed with MCA for auditor appointment
  1. AGM and Financial Statements:
  • First AGM must be held within 9 months of incorporation
  • Then, AGM must be conducted annually within 6 months of financial year end
  • Financial statements must be filed with MCA within 30 days of AGM in form AOC-4
  1. Directors Report:
  • As per Section 134, directors must share a report on operations, financials, performance, risks, future outlook etc.
  1. Annual Returns:
  • Form MGT-7 must be filed within 60 days of AGM as annual return

Therefore, compliance provides legal validity, accountability and transparency. It also shields the company from regulatory actions.

FilingWala – Your Compliance Partner

Staying on top of compliance requirements along with business growth is challenging. This is where FilingWala steps in as your trusted legal and compliance advisor. Their services include:

  • Company Registration and Incorporation
  • Accounting, Bookkeeping and Auditing
  • Income Tax Filing and GST Compliance
  • Trademark Registration
  • Annual Compliances and Government Filings

By outsourcing to FilingWala, you can focus on business expansion while ensuring legal compliance. Their experts track due dates, file returns well in advance and maintain up-to-date records. Leverage their cost-effective solutions for end-to-end compliance management.

Income Tax Return Filing

All private limited companies, irrespective of income or profits, must file income tax returns annually by September 30. This is mandatory even for dormant companies. Relevant forms are:

ITR-6: For domestic companies

ITR-7: For foreign companies

Documents Required:

  • Financial statements
  • Auditor’s report
  • Minutes of board meetings
  • Minutes of AGM
  • Directors’ report
  • Depreciation charts
  • Tax audit report (if applicable)
  • Bank statements

Steps for ITR Filing:

  1. Collect Documents: Gather all documents showing income, expenses, taxes paid, deductions claimed.
  2. Compute Total Taxable Income: Use financial statements to compute gross total income. Then claim deductions, exemptions, etc. to arrive at taxable income.
  3. Calculate Tax Liability: Based on residential status, turnover thresholds and taxable base, calculate income tax payable. Also factor in surcharges and cesses.
  4. Fill ITR form: Furnish all particulars like PAN, revenue details, tax liability, advance taxes paid, TDS, due refund etc. in relevant ITR form.
  5. E-verify Return: On successful submission, ITR must be e-verified within 120 days else it is considered invalid. E-verification methods include net-banking, Aadhaar OTP, EVC, physical signature etc.
  6. Issue TDS Certificates: Once ITR is filed, companies must issue TDS certificates for taxes deducted from payments to employees, contractors etc. using Form 16 or Form 16A.

Therefore, accurate and timely ITR filing coupled with issuance of TDS certificates ensures full compliance with income tax laws.

Non-compliance and Penalties

Consequences of Non-Compliance:

  1. Financial Penalties:

For statutory non-compliance like missed filings, late filings, errors etc. heavy monetary penalties are levied by MCA. Common fines are:

  • Delay in conducting AGM: Rs 1 lakh
  • Delay in filing MGT-7: Rs 10000 per day
  • Delay in filing AOC-4: Rs 1000 per day
  1. Imprisonment:

Wilful intent to evade tax or shareholder fraud can even lead to imprisonment as per Section 447A of Companies Act. Punishment can be up to 10 years.

  1. Disqualification of Directors:

As per Section 164 of Companies Act, directors may face disqualification from directorship for:

  • Fraud conviction
  • Unpaid dues
  • Repeated non-compliance
  • Mismanagement
  1. Audit Qualifications:

Errors/omissions highlighted in audit report can raise questions on financial controls. Banks may deny funding based on audit qualifications.

  1. Loss of Credibility:

Non-compliance indicates inefficient management, lack of transparency and weak internal controls. It damages company’s professional reputation.

  1. Higher Scrutiny:

Repeated non-compliance increases the likelihood of extra scrutiny and audits by tax authorities. This disrupts operations.

Therefore, compliance provides legitimacy and accountability. It helps build trust andconfidence among regulators, shareholders and other stakeholders. Non-compliance jeopardizes company’s credibility and growth.


Running a private limited company in India offers many advantages but also involves navigating complex compliance and taxation regulations. As discussed in this guide:

  • Tax planning is crucial to minimize incidence and maximize after-tax income
  • Lower corporate tax rates apply for small companies with turnover under Rs 400 crores
  • Numerous exemptions and deductions help reduce tax liability
  • Salaries to directors provide deduction benefits over dividends
  • Accounting accuracy and auditing provides transparency to regulators
  • Timely annual compliances like AGM, ITR filing, and MCA filings are mandatory

Non-compliance attracts heavy penalties, hurts company reputation and growth. Therefore, entrepreneurs should utilize available tax benefits optimally through proper projections and planning. Periodic review of updated rules also helps. Seeking expert help ensures accounting accuracy and timely compliance.

At FilingWala, our dedicated advisors assist with end-to-end company registration, accounting, tax filing, legal services and annual compliances. Partner with us for comprehensive solutions and stay compliant while growing your business.


Q1: What are the corporate tax rates applicable for private limited companies in India?

A1: Corporate tax rates for private limited companies in India are based on:

  1. Residential status: Rates differ for domestic and foreign companies
  2. Turnover slabs:
  • Domestic companies with turnover over Rs 400 crores are taxed at 30%
  • Those with turnover less than Rs 400 crores are taxed at 25%
  1. Nature of business: Beneficial rates apply for manufacturing companies
  2. Surcharges and cesses are also levied on top of base tax rates

Q2: What are some examples of tax deductions available to private limited companies?

A2: Some common tax deductions available are:

  • Salaries paid to directors
  • Rent paid for registered office
  • Preliminary incorporation expenses
  • Depreciation on tangible assets like machinery, furniture
  • Amortization of intangible assets like trademarks, licenses
  • Employee benefit expenses like PF, gratuity, health insurance
  • Bonus or commissions paid to directors
  • Interest on business loans
  • Carrying forward business losses for set-off

Q3: What are the due dates for income tax return filing by private limited companies?

A3: The due date for filing income tax returns by all private limited companies is September 30th of each assessment year, for the preceding financial year ending March 31st. For FY 2021-22, the ITR filing deadline is September 30, 2022. Delayed filing attracts interest and penalties.

Q4: Is tax audit mandatory for private limited companies in India?

A4: Tax audit is mandatory for private limited companies whose turnover or gross receipts exceed Rs 1 crore in the preceding financial year. Such companies must get their accounts audited by September 30 and file the audit report with the ITR by the due date.

Q5: What are the major accounting and compliance requirements for private limited companies?

A5: Key accounting and compliance requirements are:

  • Appointing a statutory auditor within 30 days of incorporation
  • Maintaining accurate books of accounts
  • Getting annual statutory audit conducted
  • Holding an Annual General Meeting every fiscal year
  • Filing annual returns (MGT-7) within 60 days of AGM
  • Filing financial statements (AOC-4) within 30 days of AGM
  • Issuing quarterly TDS certificates
  • Filing TDS returns quarterly
  • Filing annual income tax returns

Q6: What are the penalties for non-compliance with MCA regulations?

A6: Consequences for non-compliance include:

  • Heavy monetary penalties for delays, lapses in filings
  • Imprisonment for fraud under Section 447A
  • Disqualification of directors
  • Loss of stakeholder confidence and credibility
  • Increased scrutiny and audits by tax authorities

Therefore, companies must ensure timely compliance to avoid these outcomes.

Q7: How can accounting services providers like Filingwala help manage compliance?

A7: Outsourcing compliance activities to experts like Filingwala reduces the administrative workload for companies. Their services include:

  • Tracking of compliance due dates
  • Preparing and filing statutory forms
  • Collating documents for IT and GST filing
  • Conducting audits and bookkeeping
  • Drafting resolutions and maintaining statutory registers
  • Providing quarterly compliance reminders/updates

This allows companies to focus on core business activities while ensuring regulatory compliance.

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