• Notification Date: 08-11-2021
  • Notification No: 17/2021-22

Form 26AS tweaks make paying taxes easier and evasion harder. Here's how

The Income Tax (I-T) department recently expanded the scope of information that is to be included in Form 26AS, making it more comprehensive. The IT department aims to populate as much financial data as possible and to track down people who are not paying their due taxes. The fresh information to be uploaded in form 26AS includes interest on income tax refund, remittances received from overseas, dividends from mutual funds, and purchase of mutual funds, among others.

Additionally, form 26AS will incorporate information on your salary break-up, any deductions to be claimed by you, your income from other sources and house property, and your overall tax liability. New information will also include particulars on the sale or purchase of a motor vehicle, the opening of a Demat account with a depository, payment to a hotel, etc. The Form will also enclose information on off-market transactions.

So, what is the idea behind such a move?

Preeti Khurana, director of advocacy and regulation at Clear, said Form 26AS would become the single source of truth for both the IT department and the taxpayer. “It would be a good idea to review your Form 26AS from time to time,” she added.

Is this a step towards faceless digital assessment?

Khurana said: Yes, this is a step towards faceless digital assessment Govt will also start to populate capital gains into your tax forms soon. It's not just for assessment, it's also towards compliance. You will have complete visibility regarding your financial transactions. So, will evading tax through loopholes or non-reported transactions become more difficult now?

According to Khurana, evading taxes will become more difficult, as the I-T department will have visibility of all transactions. In conclusion, this will help taxpayers file their Income Tax returns correctly and assist the I-T department in detecting discrepancies.