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Here's why you must always check Form 26AS before filing tax return
June, 22nd 2017

The tax filing season is about to start. For salaried class, tax is deducted at source (TDS) by the employer and is deposited to the tax department. At the end of the financial year, the employer will provide the details of the salary paid and the tax deducted in the Form 16. This year, the deadline for providing Form 16 by the employer was raised from May 31 to June 15.

Form 16 contains the details of salary paid to you, tax deducted and deposited by the employer and the deductions you have claimed during the year.

Apart from this, if you had earned an interest income of more than Rs 10,000 in a financial year, banks deduct TDS on it if you have not submitted Form 15H or 15G.

So, TDS may be deducted from various sources. However, Form 26AS is one important document which gives you the details of the TDS deducted from various sources.

Why is Form 26AS important?

Form 26AS is an annual consolidated credit statement issued with regards to your PAN. Therefore, it is important that the tax payer should compare the Form 26AS with the Form 16 received from the employer. If there has been a tax deduction and it is not showing in your Form 26AS, it means either it has not been deposited or there was a delay in depositing the TDS deducted. In this case you should get in touch with your employer.

Also, there are chances that the TDS has been deposited against a wrong PAN by mistake. Then it is your duty to get it corrected.

If there is a mismatch between the actual TDS deposited shown in Form 26AS and the what you are showing in your income tax return, the tax department can question you.

Also, suppose there was some interest income which you didn't show while filing tax return but bank has deducted TDS and deposited it with the tax department, then you may received notice from tax department for under reporting of income.

Therefore, it is always advisable to verify both Form 16 as well as Form 26AS for any discrepancies before filing tax returns.

How can you download Form 26AS?

You can download Form 26AS from Income Tax of India's website by logging in to your account if you have already registered on the website. If not, then you will need to first register yourself using your PAN.

After logging in, you can go to "My Account" and click on Form 26AS. It will direct you to TDS Reconciliation Analysis and Correction Enabling System (TRACES) website. There you will have to select the assessment year for which you need to see the form 26AS and in which form you would like to see it.

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