The due date to file your income tax return for assessment year (AY) 2017-18, 31 July, is fast approaching. Among the documents that you will need to file your return, one of the important ones is Form 26AS. Let's see what this form is and why you shouldn't ignore it.
What is it?
Form 26AS is an annual consolidated credit statement issued under Section 203AA of the Income-tax Act, 1961. It contains details of various taxes deducted on your income by deductors: be it your employer, bank, or even a tenant.
It also contains details of any advance tax or self-assessment tax that you may have paid during the year. Apart from that, details of tax collected at source (TCS) are also mentioned in this statement. It will also state details of any income tax refund received from the tax department during the relevant financial year.
Apart from this, it also reflects details of Annual Information Return (AIR), which is filed by different entities based on what an individual has invested or spent, mostly high-value transactions. So, if the total amount deposited in a savings account exceeds Rs.10 lakh, the bank will send an AIR. The same goes if more than Rs.2 lakh is invested in a mutual fund, or more than Rs.2 lakh is spent on a credit card.
Details of taxes in the statement are based on data submitted by deductors and sellers, after confirmation from the banks that the taxes have been received.
Every taxpayer is advised to cross-check her Form 26AS 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.
Any discrepancy could lead to the tax authority issuing a notice. Make note of any income that is reflected in the Form 26AS but does not match the income that you have received or vice versa. The mismatch could have occurred due to wrong entry of Permanent Account Number (PAN), AY, or the amount while deductor files her TDS; ask the entity to file a revised TDS return.
Where can you get it?
To download Form 26AS, log in to your income tax filing account on the Income Tax department's e-filing website https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in, either directly or through the Net banking facility of authorised banks. Once you log in, click on 'View Form 26AS (Tax Credit)' tab, either under 'My Account' or 'Quick links' tabs. You will be redirected to the TDS-CPC website to view the form. You need to choose the relevant AY for which you want to download the statement. This statement is issued on behalf of the Income Tax Department and has the heading 'TDS Reconciliation Analysis and Correction Enabling System (TRACES)'.
The form serves another purpose. Besides cross-checking the data, you also need the form while filing your tax return. It contains consolidated details of your deductors and collectors, such as: their names, tax deduction or collection account numbers, amount of income received and tax deducted at source (TDS) on them.
In arrangement with HT Syndication | MINT