Earlier, these details were required to be manually entered by individual in the form. These details will be pre-filled in ITR1 only for forms filed online. The software will use your PAN to pick these details from Form 26AS, the TDS return filed by your employer and your last year’s ITR. These fields are editable and you will be able to correct the figures auto-filled in case of any mis-match.
However, do remember that this facility is available for those only tax-filers who are eligible to file ITR-1 and choose to file it on the e-filing website www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in. If you choose to file your ITR-1 using Excel or Java utility, then you will have to manually fill in these details.
Abhishek Soni, CEO, tax2win.in, a tax filing website says, “As per the latest updates of the income tax website, if you are a salaried person and filing ITR using the website, then certain details will be prefilled from the last year ITR data, 26AS and from Form 24Q. Details like salary income, deductions details, bank details, TDS details etc will be prefilled. However, the taxpayer needs to check all the details before submitting his / her ITR, even if the details are prefilled. The taxpayer needs to ensure that all the details are as per the law of Income Tax Act and those columns where the filer has entered the manual information are filled correctly. Any submissions of incorrect details may invite income tax notices in future.”
Further, the tax department has asked employers to issue the Part B of Form 16 to their employees by downloading it from the TRACES website. Earlier, only Part A of Form 16 was to be downloaded from the TRACES website. Part B of Form 16 was issued by employers using a third-party software, therefore, the format for the same varied for employees.
Soni adds, “If TDS is not deducted from your salary income, then the employer is not mandatorily required to issue you Form 16. However, if your employer has submitted your income details to the tax department by filing Form 24Q, then your salary income details will be auto-populated or else you might have to enter salary details manually.”
Chartered Accountant Naveen Wadhwa, DGM, Taxmann.com says, “With a view to cross check the amount of deductions or exemption claimed by an employee in his return of income with those declared in the TDS return filed by his employer, the income tax department has made a series of changes in Form 24Q, Form 16 and ITRs. As per revised Form 24Q, an employer is required to furnish the complete break-up of salary income of its employees and, correspondingly, the employee is also required to report the complete break-up of salary income in their ITR. As fields in TDS return and income-tax return have been made similar, it was expected that the e-filing website will bring a functionality to auto-populate the break-up of salary in ITR forms from TDS return.”
Apart from salary details, deductions claimed by you under sections 80C to 80U of the Income Tax Act will also be pre-filled in ITR-1. However, remember only those deductions will be pre-filled that have been declared by you to your employer and for which you have also submitted proofs. In case if you have forgotten to claim a deduction from your employer, then that deduction will have to be claimed separately by manually entering the specific details.
In addition to salary income and deduction details, ITR-1 will also have pre-filled information on type of house property from your previous ITR, details of income from house property from Form 26AS.
Interest income from fixed deposits will also be pre-filled from Form26AS. Interest received by you on the income tax refund of the previous year, if any, will be automatically pre-filled.
Vaibhav Sankla, Managing Director, H&R Block India says, “The Indian income tax department has been at the forefront of implementation of digital governance. The e-filing was launched nearly 10 years ago, and today over 99% of the returns are e-filed. Introduction of pre-filled returns is yet another milestone. Prefilled returns would help many salaried taxpayers in filing their returns more confidently and more easily. However, taxpayers should also note that with any new system there could be some teething problems. Taxpayers should particularly double-check all pre-filled numbers with those in the Form 16, and 26AS in cases where they see large refunds or additional tax payable in the pre-filled tax returns.”