The Income Tax Department (ITD) also known as the IT Department, which is a government agency undertaking the direct tax collection process of the Government of India. The functioning is monitored under Department of Revenue of the Ministry of Finance. The apex or the governing body of the income tax department is the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). The inputs which are required for the policy and planning of direct taxes in India are given by the CBDT and it is also liable for the administration of direct tax laws through the IT Department. The major responsibility of the IT Department is to enforce various direct tax laws. Among these, the most important one is the income tax collection for generating revenue for the government. This act enables wide scope and empowers ITD to levy a tax on the income of individuals, firms, companies, societies, local authorities, etc.
An Income tax return (ITR) is a form, which is used to file or record information about one’s income and tax to the respective Income Tax Department. It should pertain to a particular financial year. The applicability of the form will depend on the nature and amount of income and the type of taxpayer. Form 26AS is a Tax Credit annual Statement which deals with the details of tax credit and is maintained for each taxpayer as per the record of the Income-tax Department. The Finance act 2020 introduced the new Form 26 AS by implementing certain changes to the old Form 26 AS. Multiple information from the taxpayer, regarding his sale/ purchase of immovable property, share transactions, etc., those are collected by tax authorities from the annual information statements filed by intermediaries like banks, registrar of immovable property, companies issuing shares, etc. These kinds of information are also provided to the taxpayers in Form 26AS so that it can help them for making correct disclosures in their ITR.
The revised version of Form 26AS include additional information relating to Specified Financial Transactions (SFT), demands and refunds, completed and pending assessments came into effect from 1st June 2020 onwards. The updated version of Form 26 AS contains details regarding, date of birth/ incorporation, mobile number, address, e-mail id, any kind of SFTs for example-donations, forex transactions, acquisition of shares from companies, buy-back of shares, Tax demands, details regarding any of the pending and completed assessment proceedings, information received from foreign jurisdictions under the Exchange of Information (EOI) clause of tax treaties, etc. On 18th July 2020, the CBDT has issued a press release pointing that taxpayers will see an improved Form 26AS which would carry some additional details on taxpayers’ financial transactions as specified in the SFTs in various categories. The press release mentioned that the SFT details available with the tax authorities would be reported in Part E of the new Form 26AS. The dual purpose of updated Form 26 AS is the honest taxpayers would be enabled to file accurate ITR with the help of updated information on their financial transactions and it would discourage those who conceal information about specified financial transactions. When the tax return filing deadline for FY 2019-20 approaches, taxpayers should download their latest Form 26AS, reconcile the numbers and remit taxes as due, before filing ITR