Understanding the New Form 26AS: A Comprehensive Guide

Understanding the New Form 26AS: A Comprehensive Guide

The recent interim budget 2024 by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman shed light on significant changes in the Indian tax System, particularly the introduction of updated Income Tax Returns and a new Form 26AS. These changes are aimed at simplifying the tax filing process and enhancing the overall efficiency of the tax system.

In her budget speech, Minister Sitharaman advocated maintaining uniform tax rates for both direct and indirect taxes, encompassing import duties. A major emphasis was placed on streamlining the tax filing procedure through the incorporation of updated income tax return, a novel Form 26AS, and the pre-filling of tax returns. One of the significant outcomes of these reforms is the drastic reduction in the average processing time for tax refunds, plummeting from 93 days in 2014 to an expedited 10 days in the present year.

What is the Role of Form 26AS?

Form 26AS functions as a vital tool for validating tax credits and ensuring accurate income computation before filing income tax returns. It enables individuals to verify the timely deposit of tax deducted or collected by respective deductors or collectors.

Beyond this, Form 26AS provides insights into the Annual Information Return (AIR), submitted by various entities based on an individual's investments or expenditures, particularly high-value transactions. It becomes essential for taxpayers to ensure alignment between the details in Form 26AS and all taxes paid. Discrepancies between the claimed TDS amount in the tax return and the updated TDS amount in Form 26AS should be avoided. Serving as an indispensable financial document, Form 26AS comprises tax-related statements. It aids in verifying the accuracy of TDS statements filed by deductors or TCS statements filed by collectors, offering a detailed account of tax deductions or collections made on behalf of the taxpayer.

What is new in Form 26AS?

The renewed Form 26AS now serves as a comprehensive profile of the taxpayer, comprising detailed information on taxes paid, the status of pending and completed income tax proceedings, and the status of income tax demand and refund, among other crucial details. Additionally, the new form includes the taxpayer's mobile number, email ID, and Aadhar number. Unlike the previous version, this updated Form 26AS is a dynamic document, continuously updated within three months from the end of the month in which relevant information is received.

Financial institutions, banks, or any other authorities conducting due diligence on individuals or corporations will now seek the new Form 26AS to ensure there are no major issues associated with the concerned entity. Furthermore, the updated form provides information on "Specified financial transactions," adding an extra layer of transparency.

How to Access Form 26AS on TRACES?

For individuals seeking to view their Form 26AS on TRACES, the process is outlined below:

  • Visit the e-filing website.
  • Enter the user ID (PAN or Aadhaar number) and password.
  • Navigate to the 'e-file' section, select 'Income Tax Returns,' and choose 'View Form 26AS' from the drop-down menu.
  • Confirm the disclaimer to be redirected to the TRACES website.
  • On the TRACES (TDS-CPC) website, select the designated box and click 'Proceed.'
  • Navigate to the bottom of the page, click on 'View Tax Credit (Form 26AS),' and choose the desired Assessment Year and format for viewing (HTML or PDF).
  • Input the verification code and click 'View/Download.'
  • Open the downloaded Form 26AS to review its contents.

By following these steps, individuals can efficiently access and review their Form 26AS.

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BY: Admin Tax4wealth

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