The income tax department is streamlining taxpayer information, reporting of income and facilitating faceless tax assessments. With this view, the annual Form 26AS will now carry information about specified high-value transactions. Taxpayers can check and verify the transactions reflected in 26AS before proceeding to file their tax return.
The new Form 26AS will contain information about below high-value transactions:
- Cash deposits and withdrawals from savings accounts
- Purchase and sale of immovable property
- Time deposit or fixed deposits
- Payments for credit cards
- Purchase of shares, debentures and other transactions in securities
- Foreign currency remittances
- Buy-back of shares
- Cash payment for goods and services
Form 26AS will include information about the high-value transactions which are reported by various organisations such as banks, post offices, authorised dealers, companies amongst others.
The Form will also display transaction-specific information for each high-value transactions reported:
- Name of the organisation filing the information
- Date and the type of transaction
- Parties to a transaction, whether singly or jointly undertaken
- Amount of the transaction and remarks if any
The data of high-value transactions will also be available in the Form 26AS for the past financial years. The data enables verification of income and whether the high-value transactions are in line with the income tax return filed by a taxpayer. In case there are any mismatches, the department could proceed with an enquiry and also enable an online assessment of the tax returns filed.
Form 26AS is an annual summary tax statement. The Form reflects the details of incomes, tax payments, refunds and tax deducted or collected (TDS or TCS). The department will match the tax return filed against the information in the Form 26AS of a taxpayer. Any mismatches are highlighted and intimated to the taxpayer for resolution. Hence, it is important to download and verify the transactions reflected in your Form 26AS before proceeding to file an income tax return.
Taxpayers can download the Form 26AS from their log-in and verify the transactions. They can match the information with their actual incomes and transactions and file their returns. The due date to file a tax return for the FY 2019-20 is 30 November 2020.
The department also extended the last date to file a tax return for FY 2018-19 to 31 July 2020. The taxpayers who are yet to do a tax filing file for FY 2018-19 have an opportunity to voluntarily file their tax returns and stay compliant with the law.
Thus, the Form 26AS is now comprehensive, enabling taxpayers to report correct incomes and verify their transactions. The Form also acts as a deterrent on non-compliant taxpayers.
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I am a Chartered Accountant by profession. I specialise in personal taxes and corporate income tax matters. I am an avid reader and track developments in financial markets, economy and other market developments.