The meaning of any work under section 194 to 206C of the Income Tax Act is not defined in the act itself. But we can take guidance from decisions by various high courts. Here are excerpts of courts orders in which the Hon’ble High Court tried to explain the meaning of any work.
Meaning of any work defined by court
The phrase ‘any work’ used in section 194 to 206C of the Income Tax Act came up before various high courts as detailed under :
1. Hon’ble Supreme court explained the meaning of ‘any work’ while delivering judgment in Associated cement co. Ltd. Vs. CIT  67 taxman 347/201 ITR 435 (SC) as under :
Meaning: Any work’ means any work and not a works contract. ‘Work’ envisaged in the sub-section has a wide import and covers ‘any work’ which one or the other of the specified organisations can get carried out through a contractor under a contract. It further includes obtaining by any of such organisations supply, of labour under a contract with a contractor for carrying out its work which would have fallen outside the scope of work but for its specific inclusion in the sub-section.
2. Hon’ble Bombay high court explained the meaning of ‘any work’ while delivering judgment in Bombay goods transport association vs. CBDT  76 taxman 334/210 ITR 136 (Bom.) as under :
Meaning : The expression ‘any work’ used in section 194c means ‘works contracts’ and ‘contracts for work’, i.E., ‘Labour contracts’ but not ‘service contracts’ or ‘transport contracts’.
Section 194 to 206C of Income Tax Act
194. The principal officer of an Indian company or a company which has made the prescribed arrangements for the declaration and payment of dividends (including dividends on preference shares) within India, shall, before making any payment by any mode] in respect of any dividend or before making any distribution or payment to a shareholder, who is resident in India, of any dividend within the meaning of sub-clause (a) or sub-clause (b) or sub-clause (c) or sub-clause (d) or sub-clause (e) of clause (22) of section 2, deduct from the amount of such dividend, income-tax 43[at the rate of ten per cent] :
Provided that no such deduction shall be made in the case of a shareholder, being an individual, if—
(a) the dividend is paid by the company by any mode other than cash; and
(b) the amount of such dividend or, as the case may be, the aggregate of the amounts of such dividend distributed or paid or likely to be distributed or paid during the financial year by the company to the shareholder, does not exceed [five thousand] rupees:
Provided further that the provisions of this section shall not apply to such income credited or paid to—
(a) the Life Insurance Corporation of India established under the Life Insurance Corporation Act, 1956 (31 of 1956), in respect of any shares owned by it or in which it has full beneficial interest;
(b) the General Insurance Corporation of India (hereafter in this proviso referred to as the Corporation) or to any of the four companies (hereafter in this proviso referred to as such company), formed by virtue of the schemes framed under sub-section (1) of section 16 of the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Act, 1972 (57 of 1972), in respect of any shares owned by the Corporation or such company or in which the Corporation or such company has full beneficial interest;
(c) any other insurer in respect of any shares owned by it or in which it has full beneficial interest;
[(d) a “business trust”, as defined in clause (13A) of section 2, by a special purpose vehicle referred to in the Explanation to clause (23FC) of section 10;
(e) any other person as may be notified by the Central Government in the Official Gazette in this behalf.]
In this article, you can get guidance from high courts on the meaning of ny work under section 194 to 206C of the Income Tax Act.
Updated up to Finance Act 2021