Filing your tax return? Know the difference between AIS and Form 26AS

The Income Tax Department has implemented the Annual Information Declaration (SIA) under the 2020 finance law with effect from June 1, 2020.

Under the prescribed provisions, the tax administration is obliged to upload to the registered account of the taxpayer, in the designated portal, information from certain sources in specified formats.

The AIS shows both the Declared Value (value declared by reporting entities) and the Modified Value (i.e. value after review of taxpayer comments) for each type of information, i.e. i.e. Withholding Tax (TDS) and Statement of Financial Transactions (SFT), as well as other information.

Anita Basrur, Partner, Direct Tax – Sudit K Parekh & Co. LLP, an accounting firm: “This AIS must be uploaded in Form 26AS. The information must be uploaded within three months of the end of the month in which the information is received by the authority. »

AIS was introduced with the following objective in mind:

To display complete information to the taxpayer with a facility to capture online comments.
Promote voluntary compliance and enable transparent pre-filling of the declaration.
Deter non-compliance.

Main features of AIS

According to Archit Gupta, founder and CEO of ClearTax, a tax portal, the AIS “includes new information – i.e. details on interest, dividends, securities transactions, mutual fund transactions from placement, information on remittances abroad, among others”.

They are:

Summary of AIS information in the form of a Summary of Taxpayer Information (TIS) to facilitate the filing of the return (pre-filling will be activated gradually).
Taxpayers will be able to submit comments online on the AIS information provided and download the information in Portable Document Format (PDF), JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) and CSV (comma separated values) file formats.
AIS Utility will allow taxpayers to view AIS and download comments offline.

Procedure to check your AIS

There are a few steps to follow to verify AIS. They are:

Step 1: Log in to the electronic income tax filing portal at www. incometax.gov.in. Then go to ‘Services’ > ‘Annual information statement’.

Step 2: Click the “Continue” button.

Step 3: It will redirect you to the compliance portal where you can see the TIS as well as the AIS on the AIS homepage.

Step 4: Now you can select the financial year concerned and display the TIS and/or AIS by clicking on the corresponding thumbnails.

Step 5: You can also download the AIS and TIS by clicking the download icon in the respective thumbnails. You can download TIS in PDF format and AIS in PDF or JSON format

Gupta adds: “The PDF file is password protected. The password is a combination of your permanent account number (PAN) and date of birth in the case of an individual taxpayer, or date of incorporation/formation for a non-individual taxpayer in the format DDMMYYYY. For example, if the PAN is AAAAA1234A and the date of birth is January 21, 1991, then the password will be AAAAA1234A21011991,” Gupta informs.

Types of information displayed in AIS

The information is displayed in two parts. Part A and Part B.

PART A: General Information

It displays general information, such as PAN, masked Aadhaar number, name, date of birth/incorporation/training and taxpayer details.

PART-B

This includes details of:

TDS/TCS Information – TDS/TCS information is displayed here. The TDS/TCS information code, information description and information value are displayed.
SFT Information – Information received from reporting entities as part of the Financial Transaction Statement (SFT) is displayed. The SFT code, the information description and the information value are made available.
Tax payment – Tax information, such as advance tax and self-assessment tax, is displayed.
Request and Refund – Details of request issued and refund initiated (AY and amount) within a fiscal year.
Other Information – Details of information received from other sources, such as Schedule II salary data, reimbursement interest, outgoing foreign remittances/purchase of foreign currency, etc., are displayed here.

Difference between AIS and Form 26AS

At present, Form 26AS primarily displays details of real estate purchases, high value investments, and TDS/TCS transactions made during the fiscal year.

Elsewhere, AIS is a much more detailed statement. It includes details, such as interest income earned on the savings account, securities/real estate purchase and sale transactions, overseas remittances and deposit interest, among others. All information is available in aggregate form as well as by individual transaction.

“The AIS is essentially a full statement containing details of financial transactions, including income, investments and expenses. Elsewhere, Form 26AS only contains data on income on which tax has been withheld” , explains Basrur.

If the taxpayer has earned Rs 1,700 in interest on his savings account and another Rs 42,000 on deposits in Bank XYZ during the financial year, Form 26AS will only show the details of the interest earned at Rs 42,000, as this includes the details on which TDS will be deducted. At the same time, the annual information statement will show both the details of the transaction. In addition, the taxpayer can also see the details of the bank account from where the income was received, for example, the name of the bank, the bank account number, the type of account, etc. Likewise, it will display all other financial information from the previous year, such as rent received, salary, dividends, etc.

“AIS covers TDS/TCS transactions, SFT information, fee payment, request or refund, and other information. However, if the taxpayer needs to verify the GST turnover based on the details provided in the GSTR-3B form, it is only visible in the 26AS form. AIS does not capture GST details,” says Gupta.

Submitting comments in AIS

To submit comments in the AIS section, you will need to access the AIS tab (as shown above). Here you will find various topics, such as TDS/TCS information, SFT information, fee payment, application and refund, and other information.

Click on the relevant information category and choose the “Optional” button to submit feedback. It will ask you to choose the feedback type. The information will reflect the modified figure in parentheses. The modified value will be used to update the derived value in TIS. The derived value is then used to pre-populate the taxpayer’s tax return form.

If there is an error in the AIS or Form 26AS

The AIS will include information currently available from the Income Tax Department. Note that the information in the AIS will only be displayed after the reporting entities have provided the information to the IT department. There may also be cases where data for a particular period is not updated. Therefore, taxpayers should verify all related information and report complete and accurate information in the tax return. The taxpayer can also follow a feedback mechanism to report errors in the AIS.

Form to which the taxpayer must refer when filing the ITR

In the event of any discrepancy between the TDS or TCS information, or details of tax paid as displayed in Form 26AS versus the AIS, the taxpayer may rely on the information displayed in Form 26AS for the filing of the declaration. However, if you have already filed your ITR and then found additional information in the AIS, you can file a revised declaration based on the information displayed in the AIS. This decision will facilitate voluntary compliance and eliminate taxpayer under-reporting of income.