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How to E-file Your Income Tax Return Without a Form 16
August, 04th 2015

Your return filing process can be a breeze if you have a Form 16 handy. If your employer did not give you a form 16, take heart, you can still file your income tax return without it.

Before we explain how to file your tax return without a Form 16, do make that extra effort to get it from your employer. Do not hesitate to reach out to your employer, even though you may have left the organisation or did not leave on pleasant terms you can always request for it. If TDS has been deducted from your employer, they're liable to provide you a Form 16. If no TDS was deducted, the employer may not issue you one. If it's a default on the employer's side the minimum penalty that they will be liable to pay is Rs 100 for every day the default continues. You can write about this failure of your employer to the assessing officer who may take appropriate action against the employer, including levying penalty as mentioned above and also carrying out further proceedings against the employer.

In spite of the slip at the employer's end, you must file your income tax return and meet your tax filing due date. This involves, making a reverse calculation and estimate your taxable salary in your tax return.

Reporting salary in your tax return: If you have your payslips your job is half done. Pick up each month's gross salary and sum it up to find out annual gross salary. Gross salary is your taxable salary before any deductions (Section 80C to 80U) and before tax. Deductions allowed under section 80C to 80U that you want to claim have to be provided separately in the return. Your gross salary does not include exempt portion of allowances; include only taxable HRA, and taxable LTA and taxable portion of other allowances.

Only gross salary has to be reported if you are filing ITR-1 or ITR-4S. And you have to provide details of TAN of your employer, name and address and the TDS deducted. You can reach out to your colleagues and ask for these details.

However, if you are filing ITR-2 or ITR-2A, besides your gross taxable salary, some additional details are required to be provided in Schedule S. Amount of exempt allowances and value of perquisites; these are not part of the value of gross salary but have to be provided in Schedule S. Taxable allowances and tax on employment deducted from your salary have to be provided. It's possible your employer provided details of perquisites in the payslip. Details of perquisites are usually provided in Form 12BA (besides Form 16), if that is available.

Include any other income: Whether or not you disclosed any other income to your employer, you need to include it in your tax return. If you own a house property, you must report it. If you have a loan and the house is self-occupied you'll be allowed to claim deduction on interest up to Rs 2,00,000. If your house is rented report rental income, deduct property taxes and allow 30 per cent standard deduction. You can claim the entire interest deduction without limit. Include income from fixed deposits or savings account interest. Add any other income that you may have earned.

Reporting deductions in your tax return: Usually your Form 16 contains details of deductions claimed by you. If you submitted any proofs to your employer for claiming deductions, you need to gather them again for filing up your return. If you deposited money in PPF, review your PPF passbook or deposit slips add the amount you deposited in the financial year to section 80C. EPF deducted from your salary i.e. employee's contribution to EPF, usually also mentioned in your salary slip, is allowed as a deduction under section 80C. You can also calculate it as 12 per cent of your basic salary. Remember to adjust the calculations if your basic changed during the year, also validate with EPF account statement. Trace your life insurance premium receipts, allowed under section 80C, or if you paid health insurance, find out the receipts from your insurer and add them to section 80D.

Do note that you can claim all the deductions in your tax return, even if you did not disclose them to your employer. Also, you don't have to submit your payslips or any other investment or deduction proof with your tax return. You must keep these records safely with you should the Assessing Officer ask you to justify them.

Include Tax Deducted at Source: This should be the least of your worries. If your employer deducted any taxes from your income you can easily add them to your return through Form 26AS. Form 26AS has details of all the TDS deducted by anyone (employer or banks). ClearTax allows TDS details to be plotted automatically from the IT Department at the click of a button, that way you don't miss taking credit for a single TDS entry.

While there may be non-compliance at the employer's end for failing to provide you a Form 16, it's important you meet your own tax filing obligations.

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