Category: Apartment Accounting Software

Pitfalls of Cash Transactions in an Apartment Complex

Maintenance collection is a task that recurs every month. Committee members need to ensure that each unit in the apartment complex pays what is due and is done so in a timely manner. This is a long undertaking in itself. However, in many cases, these transactions are made in cash. While this is convenient in many cases and helps clear any immediate payments that need to be made, cash transactions come with a few pitfalls that are not easy to ignore.

Inefficiency
The time of maintenance payment sees a lot of activity within an apartment complex. Often, the committee members have to knock on individual doors to collect the dues. In other cases, the residents flock to the committee office to make the payments. Payments also need to be eventually collected and recorded from the defaulters. This takes up a lot of time from the committee member’s schedule.

Safety concerns
One of the main concerns with cash transactions is safety. When there are multiple units within an apartment complex, the amount of cash that is exchanged is a considerable sum. This opens up the possibility of misplacing or miscounting the amount. It also makes it open to theft. Further, the cash collected needs to be physically deposited in a bank. Driving around the streets with a large amount of cash can even put you at risk.

Inaccuracy
With an influx of cash payments, it falls on the committee members to ensure that the amount is recorded and reconciled. In an absence of an automated system, it has to be done manually. This leaves room for human error. The issue further extends even to cheque payments. In case of a bounced cheque, bookkeeping becomes long and tedious and prone to errors.

With tools like ApnaComplex, maintenance collections can be made almost effortless. It also sends out reminders for payments and draws out a defaulters list. ApnaComplex also offers a one of a kind and convenient Collection Gateway where members can do a NEFT/IMPS transfer of their maintenance dues to a unique “Account Number” issued by ApnaComplex. With Collection Gateway, ledgers are updated automatically with details of the amount transferred by the member and payment receipts are issued automatically. This eliminates the need for cash transactions and manual effort by the treasurer or accounts office. Going cashless has never been easier!


ApnaComplex and the end of door-to-door collections!

At the end of a working week, all everybody wants to do is relax and spend some time with family. However, every month there is one event that can get in the way of doing that: maintenance collection. A few years back, the vicious cycle of payment dues billing, reminders and door-to-door maintenance collections kept most of the apartment management associations on their toes. Add the issues of defaulters and manual bookkeeping, and the weekends could easily get as busy as the rest of the week.

Thanks to technology, the days when apartment management associations were reaching out to residents on a one-to-one basis to collect maintenance are long gone. Management associations now use sophisticated apartment management software, like ApnaComplex, to simplify their maintenance collection process to an extent of a single mouse click!

How has ApnaComplex helped the management associations in timely collections?

1. A timely reminder for payments:
Instead of sending reminders to each and every resident one by one,  the apartment management software empowers the management association to now send automatic reminders to all residents at one go via email/SMS. Residents don’t mean to default on maintenance payments, it’s their hectic schedules and absence of a timely reminder mechanism that makes them miss out on submitting the maintenance charges on time. A reminder system reduces the default rate up to a great extent.


2. Ease of paying maintenance charges:
The
ApnaComplex App comes with a collection gateway that automates monthly maintenance payments. This eases the residents from the whole ordeal of coming to the society office just to drop a cheque or pay in cash.

3. Saves Reconciliation Efforts:
Manually recording the amount received from the residents and reconciling all the payments can be quite a long process. With the advent of powerful tools like
ApnaComplex, the entire reconciliation is taken care by the App.  

4. Filter the list of defaulters:
The apartment management software enables the management association to filter the list of defaulters. The entire process gets automated and a list of residents whose maintenance payments are due can be easily drawn out along with the penalty to be charged from them. Emails/SMS to be sent out to defaulters is also automated through the software reducing the manual work up to a great extent.

One of the misconceptions was that apartment management solutions are very costly. In many cases, this misconception was cleared, when a lot of apartments started using ApnaComplex, a cost-effective subscription-based leading apartment management software with zero hardware costs and an ongoing support. The cost of the software is directly proportional to the number of units an apartment has, making it more economical than ever for the apartment management associations.


A Treasurer’s Guide to TDS on Apartment Associations

What is TDS?

TDS stands for tax deducted at source.

As per the Income Tax Act, any company or person making a payment is required to deduct tax at source if the payment exceeds certain threshold limits.

Is TDS applicable for Co-operative Housing Societies and Apartment Associations?

Yes. Under the Income Tax Act, a Cooperative Housing Society is taxable entity. It is mandatory for any registered co-operative housing society / apartment association to deduct TDS, pay deducted TDS to Government on time, file TDS Returns on time and issue TDS certificates to deductees on time.

What happens if an Apartment Association does not deduct TDS?

If an apartment association fails to deduct tax at source, then the ASSESSING OFFICER has powers to disallow whole of such payments made as expenditure when arriving at taxable profits for such apartment association. For example, ABC CHS  paid a single security agency Rs 10,00,000/- during the year and failed to deduct tax on the same, then the Assessing Officer has powers to disallow entire Rs. 10,00,000/- as your expenditure (which means ABC CHS’s “profits” will increase by Rs. 10,00,000/- and Income Tax will be levied on the same).

What is amount/percentage to be deducted as TDS by our Housing Society?

The amount of TDS to be deducted depends on 4 major components:

(a) The nature of services for which payment is being made. Services fall under different sections of IT Act.

(b) If the receiver of payment (Vendor) is  an Individual / Organization

(c) Value of a single Bill raised by the Vendor being made

(d) Total Value of Bills raised by the same vendor during the financial year

While there are many sections that are applicable, most relevant and commonly applicable sections in case of Apartment Association / Housing Society are below:

Section Details TDS Rate Threshold for TDS Applicability
Section 194C – Payment to contractor/sub-contractor – Individuals / HUF 1% a) If sum paid or payable to a contractor in a single payment exceeds Rs. 30,000
b) If sum paid or payable to contractor in aggregate exceeds Rs. 75,000 during the financial year (Rs. 1,00,000 w.e.f. 1-6-2016)
Section 194C – Payment to contractor/sub-contractor – Others 2% a) If sum paid or payable to a contractor in a single payment exceeds Rs. 30,000
b) If sum paid or payable to contractor in aggregate exceeds Rs. 75,000 during the financial year (Rs. 1,00,000 w.e.f. 1-6-2016)
Section 194I – Payment towards Rent – Plant and Machinery 2% If amount paid or payable during the financial year exceeds Rs. 1,80,000
Section 194I – Payment towards Rent – Land, Building, Furniture or Fitting 10% If amount paid or payable during the financial year exceeds Rs. 1,80,000
194J: Any sum paid by way of a) Fee for professional services, b) Fee for technical services 10% If amount paid or payable during the financial year exceeds Rs. 30,000
Section 192 – Payment of Salary As per Slab Rates of the Salary If net taxable income is more than maximum amount which is not chargeable to tax (Rs. 2,50,000 for an individual, Rs. 3,00,000 for Senior Citizens and Rs. 5,00,000 for Super Senior Citizens).

You can refer TDS Rate Chart on Income Tax Website for comprehensive list of sections and the latest rates.

All these can be easily configured in ApnaComplex Society Accounting module.

When should the Apartment Association deduct TDS?

TDS should be deducted when (a) Payment is being made to the vendor OR (b) Due date of the Bill raised by the Vendor  – which ever is earlier.

Can you give some examples of TDS calculations in Housing Society?

Below are some frequent use cases:

Example – 1: if a security agency gives a bill for Rs. 2,00,000 on Jul 1st with a due date of July 31st, and the payment is made on Aug 5th – TDS has be to accounted in July itself.

Example – 2: if you are paying a painting vendor an advance payment of Rs. 50,000 to begin work on painting – TDS of Rs. 1000 (2% of Rs. 50,000) has to deducted on the date of payment and only Rs. 49,000/- to be paid to the Vendor.  Ensure you do not deduct TDS again on the Bill when you receive the final bill from the painting vendor.

Example – 3: if you are paying a book-keeping firm in 3 installments during the year-

First Installment – Rs. 15,000 no TDS to be deducted (Total payment during financial year is Rs. 15,000 – which is less than Rs. 30,000 allowed under 194J).

Second Installment – Rs. 12,000/- no TDS to be deducted (Total payment during financial year is Rs. 27,000 – which is less than Rs. 30,000 allowed under 194J)

Third Installment – Rs. 9,000/- 10% TDS to be deducted on Rs. 36,000 (Total payment during financial year is Rs. 36,000 – which is more than Rs. 30,000 allowed under 194J – TDS needs to be deducted for entire amount of Rs. 36,000/-).

It is good practice to deduct TDS with every payment if you are sure that you will have to pay all installments during the year.

Example -4: if you are paying your Maintenance Agency in two installments during the year –

First installment – Rs. 60,000/- TDS to be deducted at 2% (as single payment is more than Rs. 30,000)

Second installment – Rs. 15,000/- No TDS (as single payment is less than Rs. 30,000 and total payments during the year is not more than Rs. 1,00,000)

Example -5: if you are paying your Maintenance Agency in three installments during the year –

First installment – Rs. 25,000/- No TDS to be deducted (as single payment is less than Rs. 30,000 and total payments during the year is Rs 25,000 which is not more than Rs. 1,00,000)

Second installment – Rs. 25,000/- No TDS (as single payment is less than 30,000 and total payments during the year is Rs 50,000 which is not more than Rs. 1,00,000)

Third installment – Rs. 25,000/- No TDS (as single payment is less than Rs. 30,000 and total payments during the year is Rs. 75,000 not more than Rs. 1,00,000)

Should TDS be calculated on the Bill Amount including GST or Excluding GST?

Taxes must be excluded for purposes of TDS calculation.

For example, if your vendor gives you a bill for Rs. 50,000+18% GST – TDS is to be calculated only on Rs. 50,000/-

By when should we pay TDS to Government and how do we pay the amount?

Except for month of March, all amounts deducted as TDS in a given month needs to be paid on or before 7th of subsequent month. For month of March the due date date of payment is April 30th.

Non-payment or late payment of TDS will attract interest @ 1.5% per month until the tax has not been deposited.

Refer Income Tax Website on How to Pay the TDS deducted to Government online. Challan  type 281 is used for TDS payments. Please refer this extensive Do’s and Don’ts to avoid errors while making the payment provided by NSDL.

What are TDS Returns?

After paying TDS every month, the apartment association needs to file TDS Returns. A TDS Return is a quarterly statement which has to be submitted to the income tax department every quarter. TDS returns has details of

(a) PAN of the deductor (your PAN number)

(b) PAN of deductees, particulars of tax paid to the government against each deductee,

(c) TDS challan information and other details

There are different forms to be used for different types of TDS deductions and deductees. For most housing societies and apartment associations, Form 26Q is the most relevant as it deals with all non-salary deductions.

Filing TDS is a slightly complex process. We recommend you take professional help from your auditor to file error-free, timely returns as there are penalties and late payment interest for non-filing/late-filing/filing with errors. If you are interested in filing on own, you can refer TDS Return filing manual.

What is the due date for filing TDS Returns?

TDS returns need to be filed for every quarter. For Apr-Jun quarter – filing needs to be done by 31st July. For Jul-Sep quarter – filing needs to be done by 31st Oct. For Oct-Dec quarter, filing needs to be done by 31st Jan. For Jan-Mar quarter, filing needs to be done by May 31st.

Filing TDS returns on time is mandatory for every deductor, failing which deductor will attract late payment fees @ Rs 200/- per day until the return is filed. However, this amount shall not exceed the amount of tax. In addition to this ASSESSING OFFICER may direct the deductor to pay penalty minimum of Rs. 10,000 which may extend to Rs.1,00,000.

My Vendor is asking me NOT to deduct TDS on his/her payment as they are exempt. What should I do?

Request you vendor to submit a letter/certificate issued by Income Tax Department providing such exemption. (In order to get such certificate your vendor needs to reach out to IT department seeking exemption by filing Form 13/15G/15H.)

My Vendor whom I deducted TDS is asking me to provide TDS Certificate / Form 16A. What do I do?

TDS certificates are issued by the deductor (the person who is deducting tax) to the deductee (the person from whose payment the tax is deducted). . These certificates provide details of TDS for various transactions between deductor and deductee. It is mandatory to issue these certificates to your Vendors every quarter. There are mainly two types of TDS certificates issued by the deductor:

(a) Form 16 : is issued by the employer to the employee incorporating details of tax deducted by the employer throughout the year

(b) Form 16A : is issued all non-salary related deductions. This is most relevant to Apartment Associations.

To get Form 16A: Its best to take professional help to obtain the same. If your auditor has filed your TDS returns, usually s/he will provide the same to you. Please ensure you have obtained them and mailed / distributed the same to your vendors every quarter.

If you are self-service oriented:  Login to Government’s TRACES (TDS Reconciliation Analysis and Correction Enabling System) You may have to register as a new user if this is the first time your society is deducting TDS.  Post that follow the steps on the TRACES system to download Form 16A.

What are pre-requisites to deduct TDS?

Apartment Association needs to have a TAN (Tax Deduction Account Number). It is 10 digit alpha numeric number required to be obtained by all entities who are responsible for deducting or collecting tax. It is mandatory to quote TAN allotted by the Income Tax Department on all TDS returns. The procedure for application of TAN is very simple and can be done online.  Apply For TAN  on NSDL Site.

Does ApnaComplex Accounting handle TDS?

Absolutely. In ApnaComplex Society Billing and Accounting module, you can have the ability to:

(a) Capture PAN/TAN/TDS Rate for each vendor as  part of master setup.

(b) Record Vendor Bills and Advance Payments to Vendors along with TDS deducted. ApnaComplex will automatically calculate TDS for a given vendor’s bill based on the TDS rate configured.

(c) Easily maintain different TDS Payable Ledgers per different sections (such as 194C, 194J)

(d) Get Monthly Report of all TDS Deducted to arrive at your liability to Government

(e) Record the payments made to Government under TDS/Tax Payments section.

(f) All necessary accounting entries are auto-magically taken care of by the platform.

In addition, ApnaComplex has a strong eco-system of partners offering Accounting and Auditing Services to Housing Societies using ApnaComplex platform. You can reach out to us with your society details and we shall put you in touch with professionals you can ensure TDS compliance for your apartment association.


Disclaimer: This information is offered as a public service. While we try to make it accurate as possible as on the date of publication, the laws change and more importantly the way we interpret laws could also change. We cannot promise that this information is always up-to-date and correct. We strongly recommend you to always consult appropriate professional advisers for your society to ensure compliance. We are not responsible for any actions or non-actions that are done by you based on the information present in this article or any other article on this blog.


go cashless

6 Reasons Why A Cashless Society Is Here To Stay

With the new cashless wave gaining momentum in India, societies all over are adopting various ways of doing their bit to forward this initiative. Here’s why everyone should go cashless starting from today –

 

(Firstly, to avoid this…)

go cashless

 

  • Track dues and payments automatically

Now, Indians will make payments for most purchases/liabilities online. Automatic withdrawal and payment from connected accounts are also an option. So, there are no dues pending at the end of every month and that gets ticked off your to-do list instantly, without even having to make a confirmation.

go cashless

 

  • Cloud-based auto sync in real-time

All transactions are updated in books online and accounts are kept up-to-date after every transaction. Even people not so good at math will like this number game. Going cashless isn’t so bad after all.

go cashless

 

  • No long queues to wait around in

Queues that move quickly are a crowd favourite. A place where personal presence is optional is looked forward to by everyone, not just by introverts. Anyone who can’t be at a particular place at a specific time would appreciate such a development.

go cashless

 

  • Countrywide acceptance of this stance

This line of thinking will be eventually accepted and put into practice all over the nation. So, purchasing most things gets easier when done directly using an e-account.

go cashless

 

  • Chances of robbery & theft are low

When there isn’t enough to rob, why would someone painstakingly make the effort to break in and steal? Travelling outstation also gets easier since staying connected with your funds becomes more flexible. This is a great move for tourists looking forward to exploring our country.

go cashless

 

  • You can’t get lazier than swiping a card / pre-storing payment details just ONCE!

There will be no such thing as overusing your card, especially during difficult times. Swipe it for a purchase and you’re good to go. No more hunting for change in your pocket / wallet / bag / other nooks and crannies they managed to slip into. Added bonus: It just adds to your laziness. Now, who would want to go against that?

go cashless

 

But, a move like this cannot be taken for granted. Regular monitoring of one’s own funds is the primary reason for this move to be able to thrive. You can check your account details online without the hassle of visiting the bank by visiting the website provided by it instead. The web and mobile applications made available by banks equip you with another option to go cashless.

 

Let’s make a conscious and informed effort towards having a cashless society.

 

Going cashless in your society is easy with Collection Gateway by ApnaComplex. Try it here. Go cashless today!

ApnaComplex now on iOS!

We are excited to announce the availability of ApnaComplex App on iOS from today.

Apple_iOS-new
Users should be able to log and track complaints, check out members and staff directory, get useful contacts, send SMSs to entire community and more.

ApnaComplex is a pioneer who leapfrogged Society Management to the Smart Phone generation with the launch of ApnaComplex Android App way back in May 2012. We have lots of exciting enhancements on the iOS App as well along with Android in coming days! Stay tuned for more!


Product Enhancement: Pay Society Dues on Mobile

It can’t get easier than this for Apartment Owners and Tenants to pay their society dues.

Owners/Tenants on ApnaComplex can now pay all their society dues using Credit Card / Debit Card / Net Banking from the latest version of our Android App. You can download the latest version of app from Google Play Store.

In case your society is not yet utilizing the Payment Gateway feature and want to start using the same, please reach out to us to enable the same for your society. The payment gateway setup charges are completely waived off for a limited time.


Product Enhancement: ApnaComplex now supports Printing on Cheques

Tired of writing cheques for your society expenses? We now support printing directly from the portal onto cheques.

This helps to ensure there are no data entry errors or cheque writing mistakes. Saves time for you.

You can find the “Print Cheque” icon on Expenditure->Expenses and on Expenditure->Bills->View/Record Payments screen beside the payments entered.


Swachh Bharat Cess – Service Tax Changes for Housing Societies and Apartment Owners Associations

As per the recent service tax notifications (Notification No. 21/2015-Service Tax and Notification No. 22/2015-Service Tax), all organizations that offer services covered under the ambit of Service Tax, should charge an “Swachh Bharat Cess” at 0.5% of the service value from November 15th 2015.

Housing Societies need to collect and pay service tax at the rate of 14% for all members where the monthly collection is more than Rs. 5,000/- (Refer Jan 2014 Circular on Service Tax on Apartment Associations for more details). Other key aspects of interest are listed below.

Swachh Bharat Cess needs to be on a separate line item on invoice

From Nov 15th, the invoices need to have another line item called “Swachh Bharat Cess” charged at the rate of 0.5% value of the taxable amount. Based on our understanding, Swachh Bharat Cess needs to be charged separately on the invoice, needs to be accounted separately in the books of account and needs to be paid separately under separate accounting code which should be notified separately.

Swachh Bharat Cess paid for services availed cannot be claimed as Input Credit

Cenvat Credit Rules, 2004 determine if a tax / cess can be claimed as input credit. Howver, there is no amendment in the Cenvat Credit Rules, 2004 regarding Swachh Bharat Cess. In the absence of the same, Swachh Bharat Cess levied by the Housing Society vendors and paid by the Housing society cannot be claimed as input credit. So, at this point in time, this would be extra cash outflow on the society due to Swachh Bharat Cess.

What should you do in ApnaComplex to take care of this additional cess on the invoices you raise?

If your society is levying Service Tax, identify the best scenario that fits you among the below to know the steps.

Scenario 1: If you are using recurring invoice with automatic service tax calculations, you need not do anything. ApnaComplex is enhanced to charge this as a separate line item on the invoices raised after Nov 15th.

Scenario 2: If you are using recurring invoice with service tax as a calculated line item, you need add a new charge type with name “Swachh Bharat Cess” and move the same to Taxes accounting head in Chart of Accounts. Post that update your recurring invoice setup to add one more line item with net value equivalent to 0.5% under SB Cess head.

Scenario 3: If you are using manual mode, you need add a new charge type with name “Swachh Bharat Cess” and move the same to Taxes accounting head in Chart of Accounts. Now, go to Income->Add charges (or upload charges) with net value equivalent to 0.5% under SB Cess head.

In all scenarios, we would always recommend you to check with your accounting firm or auditor to ensure they are on board with your understanding.


Launching India’s first Collection Gateway for Housing Societies to automate NEFT Collections

We know how critical Maintenance Due collection is to your Housing Society.
And we also know how much more troublesome it is to reconcile NEFT payments made by members!

Usual troubles include – Members transferring funds and do not update the records, you have to wait for bank statement to be able to issue receipts, bank statements does not have name or flat numbers, suspense entries etc. – the issues are endless resulting in delay in book-keeping, calculating penalty, issuing receipts, publishing defaulters.

Its far too common in almost every society to send a list of “Suspense” NEFT transactions to the entire community asking members to identify their payment.

We are launching India’s first “Collection Gateway” for Housing Societies – where receipts are auto-issued by ApnaComplex when the member does NEFT transfer! A member need not even login into the portal or send mails to society office indicating the payment – ApnaComplex magically knows when the NEFT is done, makes accounting entries and issues the receipt to the member! A comprehensive end-to-end integrated solution.

Zero work for treasurer in issuing/reconciling NEFT receipts.  Zero Suspense Entries.  100% Automation.

For those members who prefer to pay using Credit Cards / Debit Cards we already have Payment Gateway.

With help of both Collection Gateway and Payment Gateway – members have more choices to pay and treasurers have more time to play!

Its high time your managing committee spends their week ends with Family than struggling with NEFT reconciliations and issuing receipts.

Contact us and get rid of your maintenance due collection worries!


Announcing “Bill Approval Workflow” to streamline Expenditure Approvals in your Housing Society

We are pleased to announce the release of Approval workflow for Bills.

Almost all societies have the process of bills submitted by vendors to be approved by one or more committee members before the payment is released to the vendor.  With this new feature, accountants will now be able to trigger a approval workflow when ever a new Bill is received. The approvers can approve / reject the bill with comments. A bill can re-submitted for approval with updated data to the approvers. Unless a minimum number of approvers  approve the Bill, no one would be able to record payment against that Bill.

The approver list is same as PR Approvers and Request Box approvers and thus can be reused.

To enable the approval process, please go to Complex->Settings – Accounting Settings – click on the setting “Should bills be approved before being paid?” to enable the same

Once this is done, when a new Bill is created, you have to select the Approver List to trigger the approval work flow. When ever the setting is disabled – the bills will be treated as automatically approved. To see the approval history of a Bill, click on the ‘Print button’ in actions column to see the approval/rejection history with remarks.

Coupled with the fact that you can attach any number of docs with a bill, you can now easily create a Bill – scan the physical copies of the bill and then trigger the workflow. All approvers can see the physical copies of the bill and then approve/remark with their comments.

Yet another nifty automation by ApnaComplex to save your time and efforts!