A rupee saved is a rupee earned – but you may be wondering the relationship of this saying with Tax deduction ? Well, if a rupee deducted as tax is not reflecting as tax paid to the Income Tax authorities, then you would have to pay that rupee again as tax or would not be able to get your refund on a timely basis. Further, you would be hassled for proving that you have not evaded tax ! Hence the motive of this article is to bring to the reader’s attention a very powerful tool – FORM 26AS, which empowers the you on the status of tax deducted / paid.
Why Should I Worry About it ?
Till recently, the visibility was not really available to the tax payers into their records with the tax authorities. Further, if TDS was deducted from their interest incomes / salary / etc., an assumption was that the tax deductor was paying the TDS deligently to the tax department. If they don’t do that, the tax department would hit the tax deducting company with a penalty, however it also meant that the poor tax payer got doubly hit by :
- Tax was deducted from his income which in eyes of the tax department is not paid. This resulted in opening of scrutiny on the respective year’s tax return with threatening demand letters. Trust me that if you receive a tax demand in several thousands or in lacs, it is not a pleasant experience and results in a lot of mental traumas.
- If tax payer is eligible for a refund, the refund would either not get processed or would be significantly delayed (couple of years) and require several rounds of adminstrative followups with the tax department and the TDS deducting company.
Simple Solution – Form 26AS
I believe that a simple solution to prevent such woes – check your Form 26AS statement on a regular basis to confirm if the TDS deducted by the respective Company / Bank has actually been paid to the Tax department. Form 26AS is a report which shows the data available in tax deparment’s records on :
- Taxes deducted on a person’s account for a specific year (Part A & B);
- Self Assessment tax or advance tax paid by the person to the tax department (Part C)
- Refunds paid (if any)
For example, lets say you paid Rs. 5,000 as tax for the year by visiting a bank’s branch and filing a tax challan. Due to a processing error, the bank official types your PAN as incorrect, the tax department’s records would not show any tax paid by you. Making it worse, you would not be aware of this error right upto the time you are called by the tax man for a scrutiny of your tax records. If you checked your Form 26AS regularly, you could have spotted this error much earlier and chased up the respective bank to remediate the error and hence avoided any future tax problems.
How to Check Form 26AS
I have attempted to present a step by step process to allow you to access your Form 26AS. Before you follow step 1, you would need to create your account on Income Tax website at https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in by Registering yourself. You can CLICK HERE to reach directly to the registration page. It is a very simple process – you need to know your PAN, Name, Date of Birth and a email id. After registering, your login name would be your PAN and the password would be what you have specified while registering. Once you have registered, you can view your Form 26AS by following the steps below :
Step 1 – Visit the website
Visit https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in and click on “View Form 26 AS” on the home page.
STEP 2 – LOGIN
STEP 3 – SELECT ASSESSMENT YEAR
You would be taken to another window where you now need to :
- Re-enter your date of birth;
- Select the relevant Assessment Year (AY). Remember that AY is one year ahead of a Financial Year. For example, AY for 2012-13 financial year would be 2013-14.
- Read the number in the image (Captcha Code) and enter the number in the white box. Press Submit.
STEP 4 – REDIRECTION TO NSDL WEBSITE
STEP 5 – TAX INFORMATION NETWORK – VIEW 26AS
Apologies, but this is how it is – multiple redundant pages all asking the user to press View Form 26 AS form and taking to another page which again asks the user to press the same type of link again. I know this may be a test of your patience, but this is the last page, please click ‘View Form 26AS’.
STEP 6 – DETAILS OF FORM 26AS – Finally …
Your Form 26AS is now infront of you. On the top right, you can select the relevant Assessment Year to see the details for that year. The data in each of the Part A,B,C and D (Refund) is shown in subsequent sections. A few important points to view are :
- Name of the deductor;
- Amount of TDS
- Date of deposit of TDS
- Date of credit of income against which TDS is deducted – this can show you an important information – if the income was never paid to you against which a tax has been deducted. Keep an eye on such situations.
Hopefully, this report would be able to give you details which would help you in filing your tax returns quickly (as the details in the report are also asked in the annual tax returns) as well as help you keeping in control of what tax has been deposited with the tax man.