While the deadline for filing income tax returns (ITRs) has changed several times owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s not the only change of which you should be mindful. A new Form-26AS has been introduced by the income tax (I-T) department which will seek far more details than before.
Archit Gupta, founder and chief executive officer of ClearTax, says: “The applicability date is June 1, 2020. At present, taxpayers are successfully filing their ITRs based on the existing Form-26AS, which is available for download while the new form is underway.”
The new deadline for filing ITR is November 30. While it is not clear whether the new form will be applicable from this year, some chartered accountants say that things can go both ways. The new form will be in place by November, and the new changes will be for financial year 2020-21 for all practical purposes.
Currently, annual information Form-26AS provided by the tax department includes Information relating to the payment of taxes (advance tax, self-assessment tax, and others) and tax deducted or collected at source on income (salary, interest, dividend, professional fees, and others) received or earned by the taxpayer during the relevant financial year.
Gopal Bohra, partner at NA Shah Associates, says: “Now the new Form-26AS will contain various additional information: (a) specified financial transaction (issue of shares, debentures, bonds and others); (b) tax demand raised or refund granted by the department; (c) any pending proceeding or completed proceeding before/by the tax department; and (d) Information received from any officer under any law or under any tax agreements between countries to the extent it is in the interest of the revenue.”
Tax expert Balwant Jain says: “The general public is apprehensive about it, they are not very happy about the provision of details. But it is good for us.”
Going forward, you will have to mention your email address and mobile number registered with the IT department on the form. This will help you keep your details current with the tax department.
Jain adds: “Since the income tax department will provide details of demand which is outstanding. Such information will help you ascertain whether the same demand is genuinely outstanding or the same is disputed.”
The newly added details of pending income tax proceeding with the tax department will now include the details of proceedings which have been completed during the year. It includes the details of proceedings which have been completed during the year. This will help you remain updated about the appeals, any pending ones sitting at various levels, and also if any such proceedings are there without you being aware of it. The good thing is that these additional details will help the taxpayers verify and initiate corrective steps in case some of the Information submitted is incorrect.
How to access: Bohra says: "A Taxpayer can download Form-26AS from the income-tax e-filling portal under the tab “My Account”. It can also be downloaded from the taxpayer's net banking facility.'
Deal with a mismatch: Bohra says: “Until now the I-T department has not provided any guidelines as to how a mistake on the part of the department can be corrected. However, it is recommended that the assessee brings to the notice of the authorities any mismatch of the Information provided in Form 26AS with necessary supporting documents.” Remember Tax Credit Statement or Form-26AS is an essential document for tax filing and needs to be reviewed carefully.