Are you planning to file your income-tax returns early but are not able to in the absence of Form 16? This time you might have to wait much longer than earlier years, as the Centre has extended the date for issuance of Form 16 by employers until August 15 in view of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The decision came on the heels of the deadline for filing of tax deducted at source (TDS) returns being extended to July 31.
However, in the absence of Form 16, those looking to file their tax returns early could do so using their salary slips and Form 26AS. But that is a relatively complicated and lengthy process and the chances of errors are higher.
Earlier, Finance Minster Nirmala Sitharaman had announced a slew of measures for taxpayers in view of the pandemic. Various tax-related deadlines, including that for TDS, were relaxed.
Employees need Form 16 issued buy their employers to file income tax returns as this form contains the details of salary received by them, tax deducted by the employer on that salary, and the deduction availed of by the employee.
It contains two parts. Part A of Form 16 has basic details of the employee, such as name and address, PAN and TAN details, the period of employment, details of TDS deducted and deposited with the government. Part B of Form 16 mentions the salary paid, any other income of the employee, deductions availed of, etc. Employers deduct TDS from salaries paid to their employees under Section 192 of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
Under normal circumstances, the TDS return is required to be filed by May 31 of the financial year. Usually, within 15 days after filing of the TDS return — that is, by 15 June — employers have to issue Form 16 to employees, unless there is an extension of deadline.
For FY20, the deadline was initially extended to June 30 and later to July 31.