After I prepare my e-TDS/TCS return, is there any way I can check/verify whether it conforms to the prescribed data structure (file format)?
Yes, after you have prepared your e-TDS/TCS return you can check/verify the same by using the File Validation Utility (FVU). This utility is freely downloadable from the NSDL-TIN website.
What is File Validation Utility (FVU)?
FVU is a program developed by NSDL, which is used to ascertain whether the e-TDS/TCS return file contains any format level error(s). When you pass e-TDS/TCS return through FVU, it generates an 'error/response file'. If there are no errors in the e-TDS/TCS return file, error/response file will display the control totals. If there are errors, the error/response file will display the error location and error code along with the error code description. In case you find any error, you can rectify the error and pass the e-TDS/TCS return file again through the FVU till you get an error-free file.
What is the 'Upload File' in the new File Validation Utility?
Earlier the e-TDS/TCS return file after validating using File Validation Utility (FVU) had to be filed with TIN-FC. Now 'Upload File' that is generated by the FVU when the return is validated using the FVU has to be filed with TIN-FC. This 'upload file' is a file with the same filename as the 'input file' but with extension .fvu. Example 'input file' name is 27EQGov.txt, the upload file generated will be 27EQGov.fvu.
What are the platforms for execution of FVU?
For Annual Returns, FVU can be executed on any of the Windows platforms mentioned below: Win 95/Win 98/Win 2K Professional/Win 2K Server/Win NT 4.0 Server/Win XP Professional.
For Quarterly Returns, Java has to be installed to run FVU. Details are given in FVU section of NSDL-TIN website.
What are the Control Totals appearing in the Error/Response File generated by validating the text file through File Validation Utility (FVU) of NSDL?
The Control Totals in Error/Response File are generated only when a valid file is generated. Otherwise, the Error/Response File shows the nature of error. The control totals are as under:
Number of deductee/party records : In case of Form 24/24Q, it is equal to the number of employees for which TDS return is being prepared. In case of Form 26/27/26Q/27Q, it is equal to the total number of records of tax deduction. 10 payments to 1 party would mean 10 deductee records.
Amount Paid : This is the Total Amount of all payments made on which tax was deducted. In case of Form 24/24Q, it is equal to the Total Taxable Income of all the employees. In case of Form 26/27/26Q/27Q, this is equal to the total of all the amounts on which tax has been deducted at source.
Tax Deducted : This is the Total Amount of tax actually deducted at source for all payments.
Tax Deposited : This is the total of all the deposit challans. This is normally the same as Tax Deducted but at times may be different due to interest or other amount.
Are the control totals appearing in Form 27A same as that of Error/Response File?
Yes, the control totals in Form 27A and in Error/Response File are same.
What if any of the control totals mentioned in Form No. 27A do not match with that in e-TDS/TCS return?
In such a case the e-TDS/TCS return will not be accepted by the TIN-FC. You should ensure that the control totals generated by FVU and that mentioned on Form No. 27A match. In case of any difficulties/queries, you should contact the TIN-FC or TIN Call Centre at NSDL.