New Annual Information Statement: Does it make life simple or complex for taxpayers?

The new AIS includes taxpayer’s information on interest income from savings account, recurring and fixed deposits, income from dividend, securities transactions including mutual funds, and remittances from abroad and more.

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The Income Tax Department recently rolled out the new Annual Information Statement (AIS) on the Compliance Portal. It is basically a tool providing a comprehensive view of all financial transactions by a taxpayer in a financial year. The new AIS also has a facility to capture online feedback.

The new AIS includes taxpayer’s information on interest income from savings account, recurring and fixed deposits, income from dividend, securities transactions including mutual funds, and remittances from abroad and more. To ease ITR filing, AIS also provides a simplified Taxpayer Information Summary (TIS), which shows the aggregated value for taxpayers.

A lot of taxpayers are, however, confused as to whether the new AIS will make their life simple or complex.

The new AIS aims to make tax filing easy by providing a comprehensive view of all financial transactions in one place. It displays all financial and tax-related information available with the Tax Department for each taxpayer.

However, according to Abhishek Soni, Co-founder and CEO, Tax2win, in a few cases, incorrect information (same amount reflecting twice, wrong details given, etc.) are mentioned in the AIS due to which taxpayers are facing problems. “However, the same is expected to become smoother and hassle-free over time, as the systems are new currently. In the long run this would be beneficial to both the parties, the tax department as well as the taxpayers,” Soni told FE Online.

“With all the important information at one single place, tax filing will become much easier for taxpayers and therefore, the probability of any important information being missed out in the ITR would be very low,” he added.

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Gaurav Saraf, Partner, Tattvam & Co, said the new AIS is basically an extension of Form 26AS which contained information only related to taxes deducted and deposited during the year along with the summary of Specified Financial Transactions (SFT).

“The new AIS has an added functionality of accepting feedback from taxpayers which help the taxpayer to correct and amend the information which was not properly reflecting earlier. The Tax Information Statement (TIS) which is a summary of corrected AIS will then show edited financial information after incorporating such feedbacks,” said Saraf.

What a taxpayer can do

If a taxpayer feels that the information in AIS is incorrect, then s/he can use the online feedback facility. One can also furnish feedback by submitting multiple information in bulk.

Experts said that a taxpayer will be able to submit online feedback on the information displayed in AIS and also download information in PDF, JSON, CSV file formats.

“AIS Utility will enable the taxpayer to view AIS and upload feedback in an offline manner. AIS Mobile Application is also available that will enable taxpayers to view AIS and upload feedback on mobile. AIS has been launched to achieve more transparency and simplify the tax system. The government also might replace Form 26AS with a new AIS for the taxpayers,” said Saraf.

AIS Utility

The Tax department has provided an AIS Utility for taxpayers to view AIS and upload feedback in offline manner. The reported value and value after feedback will be shown separately in the AIS. In case the information is modified/denied, the information source may be contacted for confirmation.

Simplified TIS for ITR filing

A simplified Taxpayer Information Summary (TIS) has also been generated for each taxpayer which shows the aggregated value for the taxpayer for ease of filing return. “TIS shows the processed value (i.e.the value generated after deduplication of information based on pre-defined rules) and derived value (i.e. the value derived after considering the taxpayer feedback and processed value). If the taxpayer submits feedback on AIS, the derived information in TIS will be automatically updated in real-time. The derived information in TIS will be used for pre-filling of Return (pre-filling will be enabled in a phased manner),” the Finance Ministry said.

What about transactions not displaying in AIS?

It is important to keep in mind that the new AIS includes information presently available with the Income Tax Department. However, there may be other transactions relating to the taxpayer that are not presently displayed in AIS. Hence, a taxpayer should check all related information and report complete and accurate information in the Income Tax Return.

The taxpayers can view the information shown in AIS and provide feedback if the information needs modification.

Also, the value shown in Taxpayer Information Summary (TIS) may be considered while filing the ITR. In case the ITR has already been filed and some information has not been included in the ITR, the return may be revised to reflect the correct information.

“In case of a variation between the TDS/TCS information or the details of tax paid as displayed in Form26AS on TRACES portal and the TDS/TCS information or the information relating to tax payment as displayed in AIS on Compliance Portal, the taxpayer may rely on the information displayed on TRACES portal for the purpose of filing of ITR and for other tax compliance purposes,” the Finance Ministry said.

Till the new AIS is validated and completely operational, the display of Form 26AS on the TRACES portal will also continue in parallel.

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