Filing Income Tax Return (ITR) has become relatively easier, thanks to the government’s push for digital governance. The filing procedure has simplified. However, you still need to pay attention to the tiny details to stop errors from creeping into your tax return.
To make sure that you calculate your tax outgo correctly and declare all information as required, you must have all important documents handy. One of these documents is the Form 26AS which gives a consolidated look at your recorded financial movements through the last financial year.
What is it?
Form 26AS is a consolidated statement showing your sources of income and the amount of TDS deducted from various avenues. Deductions like TDS cut by your employer, tax collected by collectors, advance tax paid by you, self-assessment tax payments, details of refund received by you and more such details are all mentioned in the form.
Form 26AS also entails the Annual Information Return (AIR), which is filed by different entities based on what an individual has invested or spent, mostly high-value transactions. For instance, if you had deposits of over Rs 10 lakh in your non-salaried savings account, the bank may send an AIR. Mutual fund investments above Rs 2 lakh or more are also depicted under this column.
Why Is It Important for Tax Filing?
Having Form 26AS eases your entire tax-filing process. If you are salaried, you must cross-check your Form 26AS with your Form 16 to ascertain that the taxes deducted and the advance tax paid during the year match with the tax deposited as per the tax department’s records.
If you are filing online, TDS deductions for investment redemptions on FDs, pension funds and likewise will reflect in the ITR Form automatically which can be matched to the Form 26AS. But not all details required to be declared in the ITR Form may show up, and thus Form 26AS is needed to assess the final numbers.
Make sure to note any income that is reflected in the Form 26AS, but does not match the income that you have received or vice versa.
Form 26AS can be accessed in two ways:
1. TRACES portal
The government’s TRACES website has been created to facilitate the digital processing of tax-related documents. Here is how you can get it from the website:
# Login to the website and click on the tab stating Form 26AS
# Enter your PAN number
# Now download the file
# The file will be password protected for which the password is your Date of Birth (in DDMMYYYY format)
# Take a print out or keep the file open while filing your return and math it with Form 16
2. Via Netbanking
The facility is available to a PAN holder having a net banking account with any authorized bank. You can View Tax Credit Statement (Form 26AS), only if your PAN number is linked to that particular account. This facility is available for free.
If you haven’t already filed your income tax return (ITR), get going as less than two weeks is left for the July 31 deadline, post which you will have to pay up a heavy penalty.
(The writer is CEO at BankBazaar.com)