Can You File Your ITR Without Form 16?
Typically, salaried employees filing their ITR begin the process by first procuring form 16 from their employers. It is the responsibility of your employer to facilitate you with this document. In the rare scenario where you cannot receive this for whatever reason, be rest assured - You can still file your ITR without form 16.
What is Form 16?
Form 16 is a TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) Certificate mandatorily issued by your employer to you for tax filing. Tax is deducted from the salary that is given to the employees. The records of all these details regarding taxable income, salary bifurcation (House Rent Allowance, Dearness Allowance), and applicable deductions are mentioned in form 16. In some instances, it may not be possible to procure this document from the employer due to the closing of the business or job switches, etc.
Filing ITR without Form 16
You can file your ITR without Form 16 using the following guidelines:
Calculate your Total Income
You can have multiple sources of income. Calculate the churnings from all your sources to zero down on your total income.
Your salary slips will come in handy to compute your total salary income. Collect these slips from your employer. Salary slips come with a string of relevant details that can help you in filing your ITR. These details include basic salary, gross salary, professional tax, dearness allowance, House Rent Allowance (HRA), components exempted under Section 10, TDS, contribution towards PF, etc. You will be able to calculate your net income and taxable salary using these detailed salary components.
The rental income that you earn by letting out your house property has to be calculated in your income too. You may have availed of home loan/s to purchase your self-occupied house or the one/s you have let out on rent. The interest you pay for the loan/s should be stated as it will be deducted from your income.
The income you earn from investments like mutual funds, equity, etc., also has to be calculated here. There are capital gain tax exemptions that you can enjoy if the sale amount of your instruments is up to Rs. 1 lakh. But that is applicable only if you have held these instruments for over a year. Your broker can facilitate you with a summarised investment statement to help you with this. Another source of income may be the sale of a property. Its sale deed will help you with the income calculation in this case.
Other Income Sources
Your other sources of income may be interest from bank deposits, interest on income tax refunds, etc. These can be calculated with assistance from your bank passbooks and Form 26AS.
Compare your TDS with Form 26AS
Form 26AS covers details of TDS deducted from your salary income as well as on other incomes. Match your calculation of TDS with the one reflecting in this form to filter out any discrepancy. In case of any discrepancy, get it rectified from the relevant source of deduction.
Claim your HRA Deductions, if applicable
Salary structures usually have a component for HRA. You can claim your HRA deduction from your salary income by submitting your house rent receipts.
Claim your other Relevant Deductions
The IT department offers the benefit of tax deductions on various types of investments. Life Insurance/s, Public Provident Fund, Employee Provident Fund, Mediclaim Premium, and Interest payment for Education Loan/s are some of these investments. Ensure to not miss out on calculating any such tax-deductible investment.
Calculate your Tax Liability
Once you have calculated your total income from all your sources and the total deductions that can be claimed, you can easily calculate your net income. That will give you a clear picture of your tax liability based on the tax slab applicable to you. Check if the taxes you have paid throughout the financial year are matching as per Form 26ASIfse you have paid less than what is payable, you will need to pay the difference amount to the IT department. If you have spent more than what is required, you can claim a refund.
File your Income Tax Return
With clarity on your tax liability, you can finally file your IT returns. The ITR filing process is a 2-step process that includes filing ITR and its verification (within 120 days from filing the return). Both of these steps can be done online as well as offline as per your preference.
It may seem like an impossible task to file your ITR without Form 16 initially, but you should know that it can be done. It's not a mammoth task. Besides the popular Form 16, you can file your ITR using several other documents such as salary slips, Form 26As, documents to prove your investments for claiming deductions, etc. Hence, it is always wise to maintain a detailed and consolidated record of your income sources.
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