As the income tax filing deadline approaches, many salaried individuals face a dilemma if they haven't received their Form 16, a crucial document for filing their income tax returns (ITR). However, fear not; filing ITR without Form 16 is not an impossible task.
Says Akhil Chandna, partner at Grant Thornton Bharat, "Form 16 is essential to file the income-tax Return (ITR). However, in the absence of Form 16, the taxpayer can still file the ITR by relying on the following information: Salary slips/ tax sheet issued by the employer; details of investment proofs available with the taxpayer; and income & tax deducted information appearing in Form 26AS/ AIS/ TIS at the e-filing portal."
"Basis the above, the taxable income and tax liability can be determined. If the tax liability is more than the tax deducted/ deposited as appearing in Form 26AS/ AIS, the taxpayer should pay the difference and file the ITR accordingly. Remember to e-verify the ITR within 30 days of e-filing," adds Chandna.
Here's a step-by-step guide to ensure a smooth and successful ITR filing even without Form 16:
Step 1: Compute Income From Salary
To start, gather your salary slips or tax sheets issued by your employer from the entire financial year. These will serve as your main source of information for computing your salary income.
The details you need to provide include:
Value of perquisites
Amount of profit in lieu of salary
Allowances exempt under Section 10
Deductions under Section 16 (e.g., standard deduction, entertainment allowance, professional tax).
In some cases, your salary slips may not provide all the necessary details, such as the value of perquisites and profit instead of salary. In such instances, you can request your HR or finance department to provide Form 12 BA, which contains these specific details.
Use allowances that help reduce your tax liability, such as House Rent Allowance (HRA) and Leave Travel Allowance (LTA). However, be mindful of the exemption criteria defined in the Income Tax Act when computing allowances exemptions.
Remember, if you opt for the new concessional income tax regime, some exemptions may not apply.
Step 2: Compare the deducted TDS with the details in your Form 26AS, AIS, and TIS
Ensure to cross-check the TDS deducted on your salary income and other incomes with the figures shown in your Form 26AS. Discrepancies may exist, and if so, contact the respective deductor to resolve the issue.
In addition to Form 26AS, review the newly introduced Annual Information Statement (AIS) and Tax Information Statement (TIS) to capture any additional financial transaction details that might not be present in Form 26AS.
Step 3: Compute Income From House Property
If you receive rental income from a property you own, report it under this head. Additionally, if you have availed of a housing loan and are paying interest, you can claim a deduction under this category.
For those earning rental income, a standard deduction of 30 per cent and the deduction of municipal tax paid (if any) can be availed from the rental income.
Step 4: Compute Income From Capital Gains
If you've made gains from selling equities or equity-oriented mutual funds, obtain a capital gain summary statement from your broker or mutual fund house. Certain long-term gains from equity shares and equity-oriented mutual funds are exempt up to Rs. 1 lakh if held for more than one year and sold in FY 2022-23. If you've sold land or buildings, refer to the purchase and sale deed for accurate values to calculate capital gains or losses.
Note that if you fall into specific categories, you must file ITR-2 or ITR-3 instead of ITR-1.
Step 5: Compute Income From Other Sources
This category includes interest earned on various bank deposits and other sources. Refer to your bank passbook, AIS, TIS, and Form 26AS to determine your interest income.
Step 6: Claim All Available Deductions
Take advantage of the deductions available under Sections 80C, 80D, and others specified in the Income-tax Act. Each deduction has a set limit, so ensure you don't exceed the maximum allowable amount.
Certain deductions may be unavailable if you opt for the new concessional income tax regime.
Step 7: Compute Total Taxable Income
Calculate your total taxable income by subtracting the claimed deductions from the income from various sources, depending on the tax regime chosen.
Step 8: Calculate Your Income Tax Liability
Determine your tax liability based on your taxable income, depending on your chosen tax regime.
Step 9: Pay Additional Tax (If Required)
If your total tax liability exceeds the tax paid as per your Form 26AS, pay the excess amount to the tax department before filing your ITR. Enter the challan details in the ITR form.
Step 10: File Your ITR
You are now ready to e-file your income tax return without Form 16. Don't forget to e-verify it within 30 days of filing, as the time limit for verification has been reduced from 120 days to 30 days since August 1, 2022.
Even without Form 16, you can successfully file your ITR using the information provided in this guide. Remember to file within the due date to avoid late filing fees and interest. Happy filing!