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Now, get I-T details like a bank statement
March, 31st 2009

Just as your savings account, you can now check your income tax status online. In a move that will help an individual keep abreast with his tax details, the income tax (I-T) department has started furnishing annual tax statements directly to taxpayers.

One can also view tax details online by going through a one-time registration on the website hosted by the tax authorities and the National Securities Depository. In case of electronically filed returns, the income tax department is sending the tax credit statement by email to individual taxpayers. The facility will enable proper credit of taxes paid, without the need to file paper evidence for the same, said Shishir Jha, commissioner of income tax and official spokesperson of Central Bureau of Direct Taxes (CBDT).

It would also help identify cases of mismatch in data and enable taxpayers to detect taxes paid or deducted and paid on their behalf but not actually credited to their account.

In case of missing entries or entries against which unmatched is indicated, the individual can contact the tax deductor/collector to ascertain whether there was a mistake in quoting the PAN (personal account number), not filing the

TDS (tax deducted at source) return or not paying the TDS to the government.

Jayesh Sanghvi, tax partner, Ernst & Young, said, the initiative will allow taxpayers to check their tax account online like a bank account.

The statement will be relied upon by the I-T department while giving tax credit at the time of processing of I-T returns, although he added that there are issues of data security.

Tax authorities had last year dispensed the requirement of attaching

Form 16 while filing of tax returns. All one has to do is to fill in the required form. Earlier, Form 16 (tax statement issued by the employer) used to be so crucial, but with online statements, Form 16 will cease to be as important as it used be, Sanghvi said, adding that even if one loses Form 16, the taxpayer will not have to go through the hassles of requesting the employer to re-issue it.

However, Praveen Kapoor, a Gurgaon-based chartered accountant, said it will take some time for Form 16 to be completely pushed out of the system.

At the government end, the electronic management of tax data has reduced paperwork. According to Jha, there are more than 900,000 deductors whose data on taxes collected/deducted and paid to government are now available online. The data is stored digitally.

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