Changes in Form 26AS and How to Reconcile Missing Details TAXCONCEPT

While filing your income tax return (ITR) this year, it may happen that certain tax payments such as advance tax will be missing from Form 26AS. Up until last year, i.e., AY 2022-23 (FY 2021-22), the details of advance tax and self-assessment tax payments were available in a taxpayer’s Form 26AS.

As per chartered accountants, from this year AY 2023-24 (FY 2022-23), details of advance taxes and self-assessment taxes paid by a taxpayer will not be available in Form 26AS. Instead, one will have to refer to their Annual Information Statement’s (AIS) and Taxpayer Information Summary section (TIS) for the same.

The income tax department on its e-filing website said, “From AY 2023-24 onwards, Form 26 AS display only TDS/TCS data. Other taxes like advance tax, Self-assessment tax, refund, etc would be available in Annual Information Statement (AIS).”

Under income tax laws, if your annual tax liability (estimated total tax liability less of TDS) is above Rs 10,000 in a financial year, then you will have to pay advance tax in four prescribed installments. Missing these advance tax installments has penal consequences.

The problem: Missing information

For the present year, the income tax department has removed all the tax-paid-related information from Form 26AS. As mentioned above, a taxpayer filing their ITR on their own should refer to their AIS and Form 26 AS (for TDS and TCS) to reconcile and gather data about total tax deposited against their PAN for FY 2022-23 (AY 2023-24).

The reconciliation can be done from the challan that is generated while making tax payments.

According to Maneet Pal Singh, Partner, I.P. Pasricha & Co, a Delhi-based CA firm, “Due to this missing information issue, taxpayers who file their ITR without using the services of a professional might find it difficult as he/she will be required to collate the information pertaining to advance taxes paid by him in different installments during the year and self-assessment taxes. It just added an extraneous effort to be put in while filing ITR for this season.”

“In the case of certain taxpayers, even the AIS is not showing tax paid details accurately or there is tax payment information missing,” said Archit Gupta, founder and CEO, Clear, a tax filing assistance company.

What to do if tax paid information is missing?

According to Gupta from Clear, “Taxpayers must first look at their AIS and make sure they are able to spot taxes paid, or else approach the income tax department well in time to rectify if there is any missing information.”

You can put in a data correction request if you have missing tax paid information in your AIS/TIS by logging into- and selecting ‘Annual Information Statement (AIS)’ under the services column.

According to Singh, “Since taxes paid information now can’t be auto populated from form 26AS, the Chartered Accountants or any person filing the ITR will have to cross-check and fetch the challans and manually fill the details of taxes paid.”

Checking the tax payment challan is more accurate than relying completely on the details in one’s AIS. This is because if by any one-off chance the AIS missed the record of a particular advance tax or other payment details, it may lead to the payment of extra taxes, which means you will have to file a revised ITR to claim the refund.

For example, there have been cases previously where people paid the taxes online using challan 280 but put in the wrong assessment year. So, in this case, the AIS for FY 2022-23 (AY 2023-24) will not show this payment.

“Earlier, such tax payment credit used to get auto populated in ITR Form and automatically got adjusted against the tax liability for the year under consideration. Now onwards, it has to be filled manually by the person filing the ITR,” said Singh.

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