New Form 26AS to carry transaction details for easier ITR filing; here's what else has changed

The CBDT said that financial transaction information received from filers would be shown in the new Form 26AS "to facilitate voluntary compliance, tax accountability and ease of e-filing of returns"

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said that a reformed Form 26AS would be rolled out this assessment year with additional details on taxpayers' financial transactions. This revised form will help make income tax return filing faster and more accurate.

"The new Form 26AS is the faceless hand-holding of the taxpayers to e-file their income tax returns quickly and correctly. From this Assessment Year, taxpayers will see an improved Form 26AS which would carry some additional details on taxpayers' financial transactions as specified in the Statement of Financial Transactions (SFTs) in various categories," the direct tax authority said in a statement in Saturday.

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The CBDT said that SFT information received from filers would be shown in Part E of Form 26AS "to facilitate voluntary compliance, tax accountability and ease of e-filing of returns". It would bring further transparency and accountability in tax administration, the authority said.

Earlier, Form 26AS used to provide information regarding tax deducted at source (TDS) and tax collected at source relating to a PAN, besides certain additional information including details of other taxes paid, refunds and TDS defaults. The new Form 26AS will have SFTs to help taxpayers recall all their major financial transactions so that they have a ready reckoner to enable them while filing their income tax returns.

Information that CBDT used to receive under Section 285BA of Income-tax Act, 1961 - cash deposit or withdrawal from saving bank accounts, sale or purchase of immovable property, time deposits, credit card payments, purchase of shares, debentures, foreign currency, mutual funds, buyback of shares, cash payment for goods and services, etc. - with regard to high-value individuals will now also be shown in the new Form 26AS under different SFTs.

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"The Form 26AS for any taxpayer, from now onwards, will display in part E of the Form, different fields such as type of transaction, name of SFT filer, date of transaction, single/joint party transaction, number of parties, amount, mode of payment and remarks, etc," the CBDT statement said.

"Furthermore, this would help the honest taxpayers with updated financial transactions while filing their returns, whereas it will desist those taxpayers who inadvertently conceal financial transactions in their returns. The new Form 26AS would also have information of transactions which used to be received up to Financial Year 2015-16 in the Annual Information Returns (AIR)," it further added.

In a separate statement, the CBDT said that the Income Tax Department is all set to start an e-campaign on voluntary compliance of Income Tax for the convenience of taxpayers from Monday, July 20, 2020. The 11-day campaign will continue till July 31, 2020, and focus on taxpayers who are either non-filers or have discrepancies or deficiency in their returns for the financial year 2018-19.

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