Income Tax Return Filing FY 2023-24: Form 16 is an important document when it comes to filing the income tax return. It is a TDS certificate issued by employers to their employees, which contains details of salary income paid, the tax regime chosen by the employee for TDS on salary, total tax deducted and deposited against salary income during the financial year, and eligible deductions claimed by the employee.
Additionally, a TDS certificate must be issued within 15 days from the due date for filing the TDS return by the deductor, as per the income tax laws and it can only be issued after the TDS return for the last quarter (Q4) has been filed.
Now, the due date for filing the fourth (final) quarter TDS return is May 31, so employees would have got their Form 16 by June 15.
However, an employer may also issue Form 16 earlier, but only if the employee has filed the TDS return for the fourth quarter of the previous financial year. The TDS certificate is issued for the financial year in which tax was deducted by the employer while making salary payments.
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For example, an employer is required to issue Form 16 for FY 2023-24 (AY 2024-25), showing tax deducted on salary income paid between April 1, 2023, and March 31, 2024.
Form 16 consists of two parts: Part A and Part B. Part A shows the total tax deducted from salary income in each quarter of the financial year, along with other details such as the employee’s PAN, the employer’s PAN and TAN, and the name and address of both the employer and employee.
Employees should ensure that the total tax deducted during the financial year matches the tax deduction shown in Form 26AS and if there are any discrepancies, they should be brought to the employer’s attention and corrected.
Part B shows the tax regime the employee opted for to calculate TDS on salary, gross salary paid during the year (including allowances and perquisites), eligible deductions and exemptions claimed, and net tax paid on the taxable salary.
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Most importantly, taxpayers should check the details in Form 16 with those in Form 26AS to ensure there are no mismatches.
Form 26AS is a tax statement showing information on all TDS and TCS deducted/collected from an individual/taxpayer during the financial year.
Form 26AS can be downloaded from the income tax e-filing portal. The total tax deducted and deposited, as shown in Form 26AS, should match the amounts in Part A of Form 16.
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Additionally, employees should ensure that they have received both parts of Form 16 and both should have the TRACES logo to ensure authenticity, as the issuer is required by law to download them from the TRACES portal after filing TDS returns.

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