With the income tax return filing season coming to an end soon on July 31, 2022, it makes sense to not postpone filing our returns till the last moment. The rush at the last hour has often caused inconvenience to taxpayers as they complain of glitches in the server response. Many people have been filing their returns for years while others may be new to this portal. Regular updates in software and technology upgradation have made tax filing nothing short of a cakewalk.
However, small errors can go unnoticed causing you much discomfort. For example, taxpayers may be apprehensive regarding the interest on their deposits or the tax deducted at source (TDS) on their earnings. Though the tax credit statement, Form 26AS, says a lot about earnings from various sources, the Income Tax Department introduced the Annual Information Statement (AIS), an extensive document containing information on the details displayed in Form 26AS.
The best part of introducing this concept is that taxpayers can share their feedback on the information contained in the AIS, thus, leaving more scope for improvement while doing away with unnecessary and erroneous configurations.
The source of information contained in the AIS is contained in the Taxpayer Information Summary (TIS) which one can download to learn more about information sources and information categories.
What is annual information statement?
For the unversed, the AIS is a tool to inform the taxpayers what the Income Tax Department knows about them. This means that the information in its details is not limited to income alone. Rather, this statement is a compendium of all kinds of income including interest income, expenses, investments, TDS, tax collection at source (TCS), specified financial transactions (SFT), tax refund, etc. of the assessees during the financial year for which the tax is being evaluated and then being paid.
- The idea behind launching the AIS was to ensure that the taxpayers have complete access to information along with the facility to capture online feedback.
- Arrange for the seamless filing of returns as opposed to the earlier technique of procuring all relevant details and then sharing them on the portal.
- Promote voluntary compliance of information with the department while raising concerns regarding any anomaly concerning any kind of income and returns.
- Deter unwilling people to pay taxes on their income.
To simplify the tax filing process, the department has divided the information contained in the AIS into two parts.
Part A contains generic but useful information including PAN, Aadhar Number, taxpayer’s name, date of birth, details of business incorporation, mobile number, email address and more. Do not ignore checking the data shared in this part to avoid confusion regarding tax assessment and payment in the future.
Part B of the information contains details of all income and expenses much needed to verify the tax component on your income and declare it accordingly. Taxpayers can scan the content in this part to check for TDS, TCS, SFT, tax liability, demand raised and refund initiated during the financial year. Apart, one will find other data including interest on refund, outward foreign remittances/purchase of foreign currencies, etc.
On your screen, check both Part A and Part B of AIS that are shown. Select the information that is not correct. Select “Optional” to submit your feedback. From the drop-down menu, select the option which is applicable to you. There will be seven options available to you:
- Information is correct
- Transfer not in the nature of the sale
- Income is not taxable
- Information is not fully correct
- Information relates to other PAN/Year
- Information is a duplicate/included in other information
- Information is denied
You might be asked for additional information depending on the option selected by you.
Then, click on “Submit”.
How does studying TIS help?
Taxpayers may not be satisfied with the information in the AIS alone raising concerns regarding the source and validity of the details contained. The TIS can be considered as an extensive summary put in place after considering the value arrived post removal of duplication of the information and the value derived post consideration of the taxpayer feedback and processed value.
Why verify details from AIS when you have Form 26AS?
Taxpayers who prefer details must download AIS to verify details to help them determine their tax liability. This is because Form 26AS talks about high-value investment transactions and details of TDS/TCS carried out during the financial year.
Now compare the same with AIS which shares information on savings account interest, dividend, rent income, and details of securities transactions including purchase and sale of properties or redemption of stocks and mutual funds, remittances from outside, interest on deposits, GST turnover, etc. Also, as opposed to Form 26AS where the details are only for viewing purposes, taxpayers can share their feedback on the AIS regarding transactions listed in the form and also seek clarification regarding the same.
How to download your AIS from the income tax portal?
What if we told you that viewing and downloading AIS is possible with just the click of a button? All you have to do is log in to the income tax portal www.incometax.gov.in.
Once you have logged in to the page using your ID (aka PAN Card) and password, you must go to the “Services” tab, and select “Annual Information Statement”. You will see a popup on the screen wherein you have to click on “Proceed”. This will redirect you to another site wherein you may choose and select between AIS and TIS or both. The web page will show you the financial year for which the AIS is being downloaded, your PAN details and your name. Depending on your convenience, you may download the AIS in either PDF format or JSON utility.
The PDF file is password protected. You must open it with a combination of your PAN number and date of birth as mentioned on the web page.
What to check in AIS and TIS?
The idea behind downloading both AIS and TIS is to check for any erroneous information on the site. Taxpayers finding mismatch in the information must inform about the same to the department. If taxpayers do not raise any queries or concerns concerning mismatch regarding information in the AIS, it may be assumed that the information collated and shown in both the forms is correct.
However, in case of incorrect information regarding identity or income or expenses, the taxpayers may share their feedback online through the facility given.
Viral Bhatt, Founder, Money Mantra - a personal finance solutions firm says “If the taxpayer feels that the information is incorrect, relates to another person/year, duplicate etc., a facility has been provided to submit online feedback. Feedback can also be furnished by submitting information in bulk," stated a press release issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) issued on November 1, 2021.”