The tax-filing season is behind us, but the process isn't over yet. So, if you have mentioned your email address in your tax returns, you will receive an email containing your annual tax statement (ATS) for the year that you have filed returns. So, if a mail from Tax Information Network or TIN is lying in your inbox, don't ignore it. The figures and the terms mentioned there would determine whether the tax you have paid for the assessment year has been taken into account or not. Here, we answer some common question about an ATS and tell you how to take the process forward:
What is the annual tax statement? The annual tax statement is a list that contains details about all the tax deducted at source (TDS) or tax collected at source (TCS) for a particular permanent account number. This amount may be deducted either by an employer in case of salaried individuals or by bank for fixed deposits, etc.
The ATS will tell you the amount deducted as tax for your PAN in a particular year. So, if tax has been deducted by someone in 2008-09, the letter from TIN will state ATS for Assessment Year 2009-10 (when you pay taxes for income earned between April 1, 2008 and March 31, 2009).
TIN creates the statement based on the information submitted by the organisations who have deducted tax from the money paid to you. The information contained there has to be verified by you.
When do I get the statement? You would have received a similar mail from TIN of National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL) earlier, when your company or bank filed its returns. Companies usually file returns before individuals. So, if a company, your employer or your bank cuts tax before paying you ther amount due, the same would be mentioned in the company's returns. The first ATS would have landed in your account during March-April 2009.
The second one would be sent to you after you file your income-tax return, the deadline for which was July 31. This second statement would also contain the tax that you paid in excess to the one deducted by banks or employers.
What to do with the ATS? You need to check this document thoroughly and ensure that all the tax paid by you is reflected with an 'F' (meaning final) mentioned in the 'status' column. The ATS has three parts -- the tax deducted at source (TDS) in Part A and the tax collected at source (TCS) in Part B. When you deposit tax in a bank as self-assessment or advance tax via a challan, the same would be reflected in Part C.
The status of the tax credit too would be mentioned besides the tax entry, using three letters -- P for provisional, U for unmatched and F for final.
A provisional status means the tax paid has been shown because the organisation that deducted your tax mentioned it in its returns. This would turn to final on verification. The details you submit in your returns need to match with the ones submitted by your tax deductor or collector.
Unmatched would mean the deductor has not yet deposited the taxes or has provided incorrect details of tax payment. Sometimes, a final status will not appear if the payment details in the bank don't match the details of deposit in the TDS or TCS return, or if your employer has not yet submitted the tax cut from your salary.
When and why was this exercise started? This mailer is being sent to most tax-payers since the past two years, when the income-tax department moved to a separate system of filing and submitting returns without any attachments such as Form 16, TDS certificates, etc. As there was no proof of tax deducted or collected, with the income-tax department, they were finding it difficult to process the returns.
Hence, the ATS was initiated to tell individuals about the tax credited under their permanent account number. It is claimed that the process would help the I-T department process returns faster like in the US, where refunds are given to the individuals within two months' time.
This year, the income-tax department claims that between April 2009 and July 2009, they have given out refunds worth Rs 20,768 crore, which is 53% more than Rs 13,542 crore given out during the same period last year.
Why should you check the ATS? The statement will be referred to by the income-tax department while processing your income tax return. So, if the data provided by you doesn't match that provided by deductors, then your return won't be accepted until it is corrected. Only the deductor has the right to correct the ATS data, not the individual on whom the data has been entered. The ATS sent for this assessment year notes, "The statement is being sent to enable you to take up the matter pertaining to any deficiencies in your statement with your deductor at the time of taking the TDS certificate(s) at the end of the financial year. This would also ensure that complete and correct tax credit is available to you at the time of filing of the income-tax return for the assessment year 2009-10."
Why could there be discrepancies in the ATS? Your tax credit could be erroneous if the deductor or collector has not filed its quarterly TDS/TCS return, or has either not quoted or wrongly quoted your PAN in its return. It may also happen if the deductor has not paid the required TDS to the government account. If you have not provided your PAN details, the employer or bank may not be able to submit your tax details as PAN is mandatory for submission. In case of any such errors, you must persuade the deductor to rectify the mistake.
If you don't correct it... Tax credits would be given to you only on the basis of the tax statement. The income-tax department has stated: "The same (tax credit) should be verified before claiming tax credit and only the amount which pertains to you should be claimed." NSDL will send you a fresh tax statement after the deductor corrects the data provided earlier.
Whom to contact in case of queries? In case you are still have queries on the ATS, you can call 020-2721 8080 or contact NSDL via fax at 91-20-2721 8081 or email them at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have to register to get ATS? If you have not been getting ATS and want register or see the tax credits given to you, you can register for the same. Details are available at www.incometaxindia.gov.in and www.tin-nsdl.com.