The New Form 26AS would help the honest taxpayers with updated financial transactions while filing their returns, whereas it will desist those taxpayers who inadvertently conceal financial transactions in their returns.
Form 26AS is also popularly known as tax passbook. It is an important piece of document for a taxpayer to file his income-tax return (ITR) and to get essential tax information. It is like a ledger of all financial transactions which needs to be informed to the Income-tax Department or vice-versa. It contains various important information related to taxpayers, inter-alia, details of tax deducted/collected against his PAN, details of refund paid, etc.
The scope of Form 26AS has been enlarged by the Finance Act, 2020. The existing enabling provision of section 203AA was omitted with effect from 01-06-2020 and a new section 285BB has been introduced from the same date. Accordingly, the CBDT has subsequently replaced Rule 31AB with new Rule 114-I. The new Form 26AS has been notified in accordance with Rule 114-I. The scope of new Form 26AS has been substantially expanded so as to provide more information of the taxpayer such as information received under Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) or Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA), penalty proceedings, etc.
New Form 26AS is divided into 2 parts – Part A and Part B.
Part A contains certain basic information of the assessee, that is, Permanent Account Number, Aadhaar number, Name, date of birth/Incorporation, Mobile number, Email address and address.
Part B contains the information in respect of the following transaction:
a. Information relating to tax deducted or collected at source;
b. Information relating to Specified Financial Transactions (SFT);
c. Information relating to payment of taxes;
d. Information relating to demand and refund;
e. Information relating to pending proceedings;
f. Information relating to completed proceedings; and
g. Information received from any officer, authority or body performing any functions under any law or information received under an agreement referred under section 90 or section 90A or information received from any other person to the extent it may be deemed fit in the interest of the revenue.
The new improved version of Form 26AS will manifest many additional information which will help taxpayers to scrutinize their financial information beforehand to avoid filing of Income-tax returns with discrepancies.
The information of financial transaction is submitted to the Income-tax Department by various entities by filing an annual Statement of Financial Transaction. Following ‘Specified Financial Transaction’ are required to be reported to the Govt. if the value of transaction exceeds the threshold limit.
Now, all such information reported under SFTs will be shown in the new Form 26AS. A taxpayer should ensure that he files the Income-tax Return in sync with Form 26AS. In case of any discrepancy, the Dept. shall issue a notice asking for the explanation for such discrepancies in the figures appearing in Form 26AS and Income-tax return.
The CBDT has recently said that this new Form 26AS is a faceless hand-holding of the taxpayers to e-file their income tax returns quickly and correctly. With new Form 26AS, taxpayers can recall all their major financial transactions which will also help the Tax Dept. to ensure that ITR is in commensurate with the reported financial transactions.
The board further said the New Form 26AS would help the honest taxpayers with updated financial transactions while filing their returns, whereas it will desist those taxpayers who inadvertently conceal financial transactions in their returns.
(By CA Naveen Wadhwa, DGM, Taxmann.com and CA Rahul Singh, Manager, Taxmann.com)