The last date to file income tax return for financial year 2016-17 is July 31. Usually, for many salaried employees, the first thing that comes to mind is Form 16 that is issued by employers. But another document - Form 26AS - is also a crucial document that a salaried individual should access before filing tax returns. Form 16 is a document from your employer, certifying that TDS or tax deducted at source has been deducted on your salary. Form 26AS is basically your tax credit statement which shows all taxes received by the Income Tax Department. You can access Form 26AS from the tax department's website.
- July 31 is the last date for filing income tax return
- TDS mentioned on Form 16 and Form 26AS need to be matched
- Form 26AS is basically your tax credit statement
"It is extremely important to go through the Form 26AS to ensure that all due credits for TDS deducted from a person's salary, FD interest, etc. are duly accounted for," said Sandeep Sehgal, director of tax and regulatory at Ashok Maheshwary & Associates LLP. "Any shortfall of TDS reflected in Form 26AS than what is actually claimable in the income tax return will result in automatic generation of demand by Centralized Processing Centre of Income Tax Department subsequent to filing of income tax return."
Conversely, it could also be problematic for the tax payer when excess TDS is reflected in Form 26AS. "Income Tax Department may question the person for the corresponding income which the person may not have shown in his/her income tax return. Hence, to avoid such hassles, it is necessary to tally the due TDS credit with Form 26AS," adds Mr Sehgal.
In case there is a mismatch in TDS figures in Form 16 and Form 26AS, Mr Sehgal says the "person should approach his/her employer or respective entity which has deducted TDS on any of his income and tell them to get their TDS return rectified to adjust."
The taxpayer can also see the refund received by him/her for previous assessment year in Form 26AS.
How to access your Form 26AS
Visit the income tax department's website for tax filing (incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in) and log into your account.
Go to 'My Account' tab and select Form 26AS from the drop down menu; After confirmation, the taxpayer will be directed to TDS Reconciliation Analysis and Correction Enabling System (TRACES) website.
The taxpayer can then select the assessment year and format in which he/she would like to view Form 26AS.
The Password for Form 26AS PDF/text file is Date of Birth as printed on PAN card. Enter date in ddmmyyyy format to open file (e.g., for 10-Oct-2012, enter as 10102012).
Taxpayers can also view Form 26AS through net banking facility. Select banks offer this facility.