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This statement will act as the Annual Information Statement of the assessee
The Finance Minister had announced in Budget 2020 that Form 26AS will be replaced by a more comprehensive statement. In accordance with this, the Central Board of Direct Taxes has released a new Form 26AS to capture more details. This statement will act as the Annual Information Statement of the assessee and could make it a one-stop shop for assessees to know about their dealings with the Income Tax Department.
Till 2019-20, the form predominantly contained all details relating to TDS/TCS, some specified financial transactions, details of tax paid other than TDS/TCS and refunds. The specified transactions include those above an aggregate amount of ₹10 lakh relating to payment by any mode to a credit card company, purchase of shares and purchase of bonds or debentures issued by a company or institution.
Now, personal identity/contact details, demands/refunds and tax proceedings, if any, against the assessee will also be captured.
“Taxpayers will be able to view all the information related to their proceedings and financial transactions (as specified), TDS/TCS details in a single aggregate form,” says Preeti Khurana, a tax expert at ClearTax. “The department will also now have a consolidated view of a majority of a person’s financial dealings.”
For assessees, Form 26AS serves as a reference to file tax returns. When you file your return, your income and tax payment details in your return are matched with this statement.
Form 26AS is available for viewing through your net banking account. It can also be seen by logging into your account on the income tax e-return filing website.
Some personal details like Aadhaar number, date of birth/incorporation, mobile number and email address have been added to the new Form 26AS. Under the Income Tax Act, Aadhaar number has to be mandatorily linked to an individual assessee’s Permanent Account Number by December 31, 2020.
The form will disclose demands and refunds. This way, an assessee can get to know the details of demand and refunds for each financial year. Before this change, the Form 26AS used to contain only the refunds paid. Currently, the details relating to demands raised by the department are available only when you have to respond to a demand notice through the income-tax e-filing website.
Three, the new Form 26AS will also contain details about income tax proceedings in which the assessee is involved. This will include proceedings in front of the Commissioner of Income Tax, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, High Courts and the Supreme Court. This will give visibility of the various pending income-tax proceedings across various financial years.
All the details pertaining to the assessee will be uploaded in the Form 26AS within three months from the end of the month it is in possession of the Principal Director General Income Tax (System), or any person authorised by him. The new form has come into force from June 1, 2020.
Information under DTAA
Additionally, the Central Board of Direct Taxes may also authorise the uploading of information obtained under double-taxation avoidance agreements (DTAAs). This information is received by the Centre under DTAA with another country (Section 90 of the I-T Act) or based on agreements between specified associations of India and another country (section 90A of the I-T Act).
In addition, if information about avoidance of income tax is received from any other person or source, that will also be uploaded in Form 26AS. This information can be sourced under various provisions under the I-T Act meant to plug tax evasion.